Oud Fleur by Tom Ford (2013) has a rather optimistic note pyramid which contains many things I personally do not detect, but it isn't bad. What we have here is pretty much just another Western rose/oud take that features a structure beaten into the ground, although I'm reviewing this in 2021 rather than 2013, when this style may have struck me as fresher or more original. If anything, Oud Fleur is just more proof that too many Western perfumers flooded the market with oud rose fragrances that were all cut from the same cloth too quickly, gave them all enormous price tags, and expected everyone to buy them all up because of the "oud craze" in full swing at the time. It has therefore taken nearly a decade for even a hobbyist like myself to drill down and sample them all, and there are still likely many I am missing because samples of these are extremely hard to come by unless you want to spend a fortune in decants from splitters. Personally, to smell what has been pretty much the same fragrance in a different bottle from a different brand, often with a different perfumer too, the answer to that question is a hard no. In spite of all this, Oud Fleur is likeable, although I think for this style and price, one can do better, and I'll give my recommendations to that effect a little later on.
The opening of Oud Fleur has a bit of that pissy oud funk the Western synthetic oud materials from Firmenich and Givaudan like to implement, aka "civet oud" if you really want to get down to it. The sadly-discontinued Dior Leather Oud (2010) used it best, and I missed the boat on that one, so anywhere else it appears with few exceptions just makes me upset that it isn't done as well, and with Oud Fleur, it fades into saffron after some time. Cardamom, damask rose, pimento, davana, and dates seem to come in next, offering a bit of dried fruity spiciness with the rose oud blend, before things peter out into pedestrian patchouli and benzoin with the Tom Ford "raspberry leather" accord the house clearly overuses. The brand seems to think castoreum is in this perfume, but I get none unless it is so micro-dosed as to not matter. Caron Yatagan (1974) or Bogart One Man Show (1980) this is not. By the end of it, we get what is basically fruity synthetic oud/rose/patchouli soup that has been done way better and way more boldly than Yann Vasnier did it here, and cheaper too. Performance is average, and best use is pretty much when you want because this is still a rose oud out of context for most situations. Projection will be very loud at first, as Tom Ford private blends tend to be front-loaded to sell at the counter, but afterwards things begin falling apart into a single one-two base accord.
Once upon a time I would have recommended Jovan Intense Oud (2012) as a budget alternative to expensive rose ouds like this, but it is sadly discontinued and no longer the bargain it was. You can have 125ml of Parfums de Marly Akaster (2015), which smells superior to this, for less money if you're looking for a very "classic" example of the Western rose oud style. Outside of that, houses like Montale and Mancera are rife with these kinds of things, and are arguably the origin of the species anyway, ever since Montale Black Aoud (2007) took the world by storm. Outside of those options, there are a handful of other designer rose ouds, but since they tended to be introduced, failed, then discontinued, some of them may actually not be worth their price anymore either, although you could get something like this from Gucci, Versace, Hugo Boss, Lauder (parent of Tom Ford), and about a dozen others I can't remember all for less than this sells for today. I guess it isn't survival of the fittest with Western rose ouds, but survival of the most-hyped, and Tom Ford has both the cult of personality and marketing cash to get people excited and keep them excited, which is turn keeps this stuff in production. A fair-smelling but not fair-priced rose oud. Neutral.
The opener is everything I love about floral fragrances: lush, bright, and rich. About 20 minutes in, the fragrance shifted, turning into a bit of an olfactory jumble of temple spices, musk, and florals. A few hours in, however, the chaos settled into a pleasant musky floral. Like many others, I'm just missing the oud.
Highly spiced sweet muck was my initial impression. Oud Fleur seemed to be taking the most obvious elements of the Arabic style of perfumery and doing them no justice. The floral elements were reduced to syrup, the spices chili, ginger, cinnamon, cumin to the fore seemed thrown at the composition; this seemed to have cheap (in the sense of lacking all refinement) written all over it. About the only redeeming feature seemed to be a mentholated feel to it like a breeze blowing through the elements.
Perhaps this accounts for the much better cloud that this perfume releases its presence in a room is of a warm and buxom oriental with much of the harshness smelt close up on skin smoothed out. Alas, my hooter is firmly attached to my body and not a couple of feet distant to catch the trail.
Settles and becomes more polite in the drydown, with a spiced wood feel emerging (more sandalwood thus treated rather than oud), but by this point its difficult for me to budge from feeling underwhelmed.
As a man who loves the adventure of fragrance, I really like the oud/floral/rose mixture...when its done right. And TF did it wonderfully. The floral hits u up front and the oud and a few other notes carry in the background. The scent will hold of for quite a while and is a great way for a man to get comfortable with a floral scent.
This one is a rock star for me. Incredibly well blended, beautiful scent. A mellow spiced rose and oud combo. Can't stop smelling my arm! Big time longevity for me as well. Comes across as mellow, high-class, and relaxed. Like what James Bond would wear on his off day. 10/10.
Stunning.... This despite being heavy on the floral, It feels totally unisex.
Sweet Floral in the opening and a little oud in the background.... Stearing this away from being feminine.
Above average longevity tho, this changes quite a bit from the opening right through until the end.
Another Stunner from TF range, the more I get to try of this line, the more I am liking. A big thumbs up.