Perris Monte Carlo Bois d'Oud (2012) is a fragrance from the original gold bottle launch collection of the house, and although I enjoy it, isn't an oud that's easy to like. For one thing, this really isn't an oud fragrance in the sense you might suspect, but as it was smack dab in the middle of the oud craze that was sweeping Western perfumers, it makes sense that Perris Monte Carlo would play it safe on this outing and focus more on the woody aspects of agarwood than animalic ones. I mean come on, the thing is basically named "oud wood" with a French twist, so that sets you up right there for the expectation. Beyond this, Bois d'Oud does another fashionable trick of borrowing the peachy plum lactonic elements made popular in Tom Ford Black Orchid (2006), elements that would also be abused by several other luxury perfume brands be they purveyors of oud or not, with Amouroud being a particular exploiter of these elements. Luckily, this was a few years yet from Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 (2015) becoming a thing, so you don't have to worry about Perris trying to stuff bits of that into Bois d'Oud like Initio did with Oud for Greatness (2018). In fact, this is a much better perfume that Oud for Greatness, but still will not be as well-liked because it doesn't merge as much of the familiar into the design, lacking elements like lavender and instead going with things like peach that will be off-putting to conventional minds seeking a Western oud along the lines of the many Yves Saint Laurent M7 (2002) or Montale Black Aoud (2007) copycats around at the time.
In any case, Bois d'Oud opens up with bergamot and that interesting plum and peach accord, being a bit leathery overall and mildly sweet. This isn't tannery leather, but rather more like suede leather boosted with some cashmeran to make it fuzzy and creamy. A bit of orris moves in with the plum and a dark Turkish rose, the latter which is barely perceptable under the rest, but adds hints of floral green to keep Bois d'Oud from becoming too rich. Orange blossom and hedione also provide some lift, but Bois d'Oud never leaves the darkness behind, especially into the dry down as the "oud" note of various woody aromachemicals comes to bear. This note most closely resembles something like a rubbery patchouli akigalawood sort of thing, smoothed with musky labdanum, vanilla, and javanol for continued creamy woodiness. I'd almost say a saffron note is also here but it isn't listed if so, although Iso E Super "cedar" shows up along with more-conventional white musks and ambroxan to continue pillowing out the base accord, which finally sends off with a puff of birch smoke and vetiveryl acetate. Whatever Perris tries to sell you on the naturalness of the fragrance, don't believe it, but the stuff still smells good nonetheless. Best use is fall through early spring, for black tie events or any time you want to feel classy and serious as a heart attack. Expect about 10 hours from this with moderate sillage too. Projection never booms from the start, but everything hums along nicely so long as you don't over-do it with the sprays, which will turn this into a syrupy cloying fruit and smoky resin monster ready to devour your sanity.
Bois d'Oud was composed by Gian Luca Perris himself, as was all of the initial range, but would eventually be followed up with the much more-animalic Oud Imperial (2012) the following year when Luca Maffei was invited to work on the next series of Perris fragrances. I think Gian Luca Perris makes the much better creative director than perfumer, because while his efforts are noble here, the results aren't something that leap out at you to pull the trigger at $200 a bottle. As a $100 designer, this is a much easier pill to swallow, but as a $200 niche brand trying to peddle an oud take into the same crowded high-end space as many Xerjoff ouds and the like, Bois d'Oud just feels a bit flat. Even if the same could probably be said to a lesser extent for the entire Perris Monte Carlo brand, it's a little easier to suspend disbelief with knockouts like Oud Imperial, Rose de Taif (2013), and others from later series. Overall though, Bois d'Oud is different yet vaguely familiar, comfortable in it's smooth woody smoky richness, yet also mysterious to beg additional exploratory sniffs, and I can't help but feel just a bit mysterious myself when I wear it. Perhaps that last bit is just a bit of the old nose brain getting in the way of an objection evaluation, but what is perfume if not emotional huh? If you find a really good deal or are already invested in collecting the brand, Perris Monte Carlo Bois d'Oud may be just the Western oud you're looking to mix things up, but otherwise move onto Oud Imperiale, which mops the floor with this hands down. Thumbs up.
Loving the other Perris Monte Carlo scents, I had to check out "Bois d'Oud" EdP.
Spray-on starts out very boozy, like amaretto or other sweet liquer. Heart reveals itself to be rich and layered with several notes; initially, I get some mint and some other spices. Oud is present, but it seems to be slightly overtaken by a moderate sweet-spicy brightness, keeping the quality as slightly "wet." (Vanilla is the source of the foundational sweetness that pairs up nicely with the edible and floral heart notes.)
According to the fragrance note triangle, there are several "edible" notes within the heart. I do detect a slight presence of ripe peach and plum, with a "damp" sensation of rose, iris, and orange blossom deep within.
Woodiness and the animalic elements (ambergris, musk) add a slight pungency, warmed with rock rose.
I really like this scent. I would consider this more of a scent with oud accompaniment vs. oud as center stage (though agarwood (oud) isn't listed above, it is present in Bois d'Oud). It has a well-blended, warm, dark quality that can be enjoyed by both genders, though it seems to distantly echo certain beast mode perfumes like Dior's Poison for ladies. For men, it has a very classic, clean vibe that tips a hat to smooth old-school scents. And personally, this old-school trait is more wearable and enjoyable for me than Perris Monte Carlo's Oud Imperial, which waxes outdated versus this one.
A sweet, almost syrupy woody scent (don't get much oud to be honest, it's more a generic and synthetic "dark" wood note, which also takes quite a while to emerge), with rose, fruity notes and amber, lightly "viney" at the beginning but also boldly vanillish and resinous. As minutes pass it even gets sweeter, basically becoming for a while a vanilla gourmand with rose on fruity-woody notes. Initially it's nice, but to be honest after a while it gets a bit "tiring", mostly because of a persistent sweet personality which makes it hard to enjoy all the rest it covers. After some 2 hours it becomes tolerably more dry and dusty, slightly darker too. Still sweet, but in a more pleasant way - more gentle, more dusty, sophisticated, silky, finally revealing better its woody soul. If you like the idea of a fruity-floral syrupy sweetness gently darkened by some shady woods, it may be good for you don't expect much oud, though (and be prepared to wait a bit for the best part).
A good friend Nilo recommended this to me after I asked him where could I get Aoud 1. He said that this is hands down a better fragrance and at better lower price point than Aoud 1. After testing both, I have to agree. They are both very good and different enough to have both in my wardrobe.
If im in the mood for something masculine yet a little on the sweet side, I will no doubt reach for this.
High quality and beast mode smell.