Reviews of Oud For Greatness by Initio

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Bitter herbal agarwood, a la Amouage Interlude sitting side-by-side with Baccarat Rouge 540.
Interesting combination that smells better than my description.
There is some creaminess that binds it all together, not a specific note, but the interaction of nutmeg with everything else lends a slight gourmand quality at times.
The many clones (Lattafa Oud for Glory, Afnan Supremacy in Oud, Ministry of Oud Oud Greatest) are so close it is hard to justify the ask from Initio.
Parfums de Marly Haltane is another that is in the family.
26th November 2023
Strong. Manly. Slight spice. Dark.
Cold weather scent. Definitely NOT unisex if you have a traditional sense of what leans feminine or masculine. But who am I to deny a lady this jewel...wear on

Wear in the cooler to cold months and wear dressed up, doesn't come across as a casual frag. This right here is grown man ish.

Longevity ans sillage is beastly.
Cost is high like Snoop Dog

If you like the heavy woodsy genre, this kind sir, is for you!
23rd June 2023

I simply love Oud For Greatness, and though it may not be a popular opinion, I believe the hype, and even the price are worth it. This is definitely a western oud fragrance and will be more appealing to those who haven’t dabbled too much in Oud, but every time I wear it, I discover new facets of its complex and inspiring personality. It’s sophisticated, elegant, and fits a variety of circumstances, working especially well in cold weather.

The opening hits with saffron and patchouli, and projects with power. Every time I put this in I can really smell it for the first hour, but it continues to give great projection for as much as 12 hours, way outperforming Tom Ford’s Oud Wood (another western oud favorite).

As it dries down, it maintains a linearity, but I find that the oud really comes through much later in its lifespan. Often I don’t even smell it until the day after, when I get a whiff on a sweater or jacket, and I think, “Ah, THERE’S the oud.”

Longevity and performance are just as good as the smell itself.

I haven’t tried some of the better clones like Oud for Glory, so it’s hard for me to compare, but I think Initio knocked it out of the park here. Definitely worth a blind buy of a sample if you’re interested in oud, or generally in spice and woody notes. Oud for Greatness has truly become one of my favorite fragrances in my collection, and outside of the fragrance community, is a scent that will set you apart.

16th January 2023
I like complex fragrances that surprise when I wear them but I don't like to purchase a fragrance based on listed notes, only to search long & hard for those notes.

Oud For Greatness is straight-up "as stated." Not much complexity, no real surprises. On my skin it's the opening, initial, middle and landing notes, all as listed.

OFG opens with a brief but definite spice blast, which I suppose is saffron & nutmeg. And yes, there is lavender in the opening...lots and lots of lavender, which I have grown to detest in fragrances. Within minutes, a definite oud, or very sour woody note appears and seems to briefly overtake the opening notes. And I very briefly detect ultra-faint patchouli, which almost immediately disperses. But for quite sometime, I detect sour oud, wet wood and lavender.

Within 20-30 minutes on my skin, leather and rubber notes emerge that remind me of so many other similar fragrances I simply do not enjoy. Leather, rubber, oily resins. Some mention ambroxan, others mention ambergris...for me it's just a no.

An exceptionally masculine fragrance, I cannot imagine why a woman would want to walk around smelling like this. OFG is a powerful fragrance with forever staying power and extreme silage.

I may give MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 a try, as others have compared that fragrance to a kinder, gentler, more feminine Initio OFG.

One last OFG's asking price, I would strongly recommend a sample try. IMHO, this is definitely not a blind buy.
18th December 2022
Hyped and overpriced, for no reason whatsoever. Saffron bomb type BR540 but here on a woody, sweet and spicy base. Pleasant and easy to approach but nothing special. Important trail and big duration, maybe this is the reason for so much hype, bah ... the fact is that with the money it costs, you buy real oud perfumes in which the raw material is there and it is natural and feels good without interference from synthetic aromas and musks. For me it tends to be feminine and certainly suitable for cold weather. EDIT after several hours I can confirm, very rejected, boring, cloying and, at least for me, annoying.
13th October 2022
I really didn't love this at first. The lavender and saffron opening is strong and medicinal and came off on my skin as straight-up perfumer's alcohol. As it dried down, it kept that medicine, even while fresh woods began to emerge, which made it really hard for me to enjoy. But throughout the course of the day, it settles into a really nice, non-animalic agarwood/fresh wood combination that ultimately becomes a very pleasant, very masculine woody/spicy skin scent.

I kept giving it a shot, and over the course of a month, I came to really appreciate it, even like it, maybe verging on love. Perhaps that is the power of oud, as this was my first experience with that note (although some will say this lacks actual oud and is more about the saffron and lavender).

It is overpriced but what you're paying for is the longevity and sillage. If you love this smell, it might be worth the big bucks, especially if you're made of big bucks.

But copy houses have replicated this scent at a fraction of the cost (Oud for Glory is a good one), and I cannot in good conscience suggest someone pay over $300 USD for something that can essentially be had for 1/10th of the cost. This is the first time I have ever thought it truly advisable to go with a clone, but that's where I've landed.
20th February 2022
Oud for Greatness is often dismissed as a Baccarat Rouge smellalike. As the latter seems to have been created with the express intention of taking out any stray elephants one may encounter during one’s urban peregrinations, the prospects aren’t bright. However, despite sharing the stuck-to-the-pan sugary density of BR and some of its suffocating power, there are points of difference. Oud for Greatness is lighter up top with some foamy lavender and zingy fake saffron, and deeper at the bottom end with peppery charred woods providing much needed contrast to the cotton candy main theme. Thus, its wearability is enhanced somewhat, despite its essentially synthetic scent profile – but nowhere near enough for me to even want to consider its ‘robbed blind’ asking price.
17th December 2021
Finally got to sample O4G and while it has it's qualities, it comes across a bit underwhelming IMO. The opening is a large dose of lavender, saffron and dry oud. The effect for me is a dry, rotting log. The lavender gives a barbershop undertone that is unusual but not entirely warming or pleasant. The musk and patchouli arrive late to flatten it out, but for me it's overly dry and medicinal. Not my cup of tea for Initio prices. Neutral.
29th November 2021
Have been settling in with this very nice perfume Oud for Greatness by Initio. The general accomplishment of this product is to bring back the memory of a dry oud wood resin vaporized upon a white hot charcoal incense burner. There is a cooling dry suede opening from the start with lavender revealing its pinene qualities supported by nutmeg and saffron giving a soft leather feel to the opening. The cool opening reminds me of MFK Oud Velvet Mood, or Xerjoff GAO; however the warm musk base adds a little warmth to the character here which reminds me of Acqua di Parma Oud or Armani Prive Oud Royal. This is a nice combination of cool and warm qualities. Through the middle Oud wood, agar wood oil and patchouli keep a central theme of cooling sensual incense that stays on the woody resin side while being lifted by the lavender and nutmeg and soft smokey musk at the very base. I like Oud for Greatness as a perfume and it has good performance overall. Like most oud perfumes the artistry of the oud story in Oud for Greatness is not the equal of any good quality pure oud oil that would cost you the same amount as this 90 ml. but for only 3 gr. of intense pure Cambodian, Indonesian, Malaysian and recently Vietnamese harvested oud oil. Both the perfume and pure oud oil have their place and are different but the naming begs a comparison. As far as an oud based perfume goes Oud for Greatness is enjoyable to wear and accomplishes a very competent burning oud resin aroma. Rated: 4/5.
22nd April 2021
Oud for Greatness by Initio Parfums Prives, in my opinion,is very good, albeit slightly over-hyped. This fragrance is a combination of Montale's Aoud Musk with a splash of BR 450 and a splash of a synthetic woody fragrance, such as Wonderwood by CdG. The oud is semi-challenging with a moldy basement/petrol vibe, but everything is very smooth and nicely blended. I'm also getting a synthetic, masculine, woody musk accord, very similar to the one in Aoud Musk. Sometimes it feels like a masculine leather accord, which makes sense given the saffron and oud. I'm really enjoying the touch of dry sweetness that emerges in the dry down. Please note that my categorization of masculine is based on fragrance marketing/conditioning.

OFG is BR 540 Extrait's "masculine" brother who listens to 90's butt rock, ironically (he says).

I'm happy to own a travel size of OFG, but it isn't going on my full bottle list.

Nice performance; overpriced. 3.5/5
19th April 2021
Initio Parfums Privés' takes a highly stylized and tempered approach to the traditional agarwood niche here. This is designed to sway the flock and to appease. From the aesthetic pop of the third-eye trance, to the masonic bottle and its accord, the modus operandi is one of pretty persuasion and possibly the wool being pulled over a frag-head; unfortunately at a luxury premium. Labeled as ‘greatness', the theme feels a bit hollow due to the oud being reduced to an ornamental note, whereby the ‘greatness' is attained with a surprisingly bright lavender and spicy suede of saffron rubbing their spirited zests with zeal and emitting burnt sugary vapours that eventually bring ‘the great' when entering the hearty mouth of this particularly toothless yet fragrant one-eyed agarwood beast. The result is a gracious release of a sensual, savoury barbershop air that is saccharine and chocolaty; only to be further augmented by a sweet musk, and then lessened by a patchouli vinaigrette. The result is a mango-esque toothache of a finish, not far from a certain ‘creed'. Overall, ‘Oud for Greatness' is mass appealing, refined, measured (longevity/projection to the heavens) and merely in line with Western tastes for boring luxury sweeteners. Certainly, this fragrance will sit well with a select hip or those willing to ape or pay a heft for something that plays so safe. Despite the perceived quality, it comes across as pretty vacant, devoid of any soul and simply one for the chorus line... What to do, when birds of a feather flock together.
30th November 2020
I like it but it doesn't last that long on my skin and could stand to be a bit stronger. As it stands it should be renamed Oud for mediocracy (the philosopher who never amounted to much). It does remind me a little of Rose D" Arabie with a less rose and more Oud.
16th November 2020
BR 540 Pour Homme

I feel like this fragrance is BR 540 meets Creed Viking.
Opens in medicinal synth clean oud like in MFK. Saffron gives it some fruity/floral zing, and nutmeg gives it a kind of new age barbershop kind of smell. This is what makes it like Viking. The overall vibe is spicy BR 540 that can more easily be worn by a man.
Way strong, too much. Super synthetic. Composition and blending, average. Feels a little Tom Ford Private Blend basic. Meh, neutral.
28th September 2020
Initio Parfums Privés is a sister label to Parfums de Marly, and their fragrances do not follow the same French theme, instead focusing more on mysticism and myth from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In practice, this means headier and denser perfumes with less overall mainstream appeal and a higher price tag to impart the exclusivity of it all. Oud for Greatness (2018) is among the better and more-accessible scents from the collection, seeking to present agarwood in a manner that is cleaner, more approachable, but no less powerful than traditional oud perfumes. I'd say it succeeds at doing this, but draws comparisons to a few other popular luxury niche perfumes in the same market segment as Oud for Greatness. For starters, the bottle very much looks like it's going for that Illuminati/Freemasons secret society vibe, eschewing the usual iconography from the house, and the scent within seems to approach the subject of oud with a Westernized buttoned frock or sportcoat attitude.

The opening of Oud for Greatness is a sharp, medicinal oud note that may or may not be synthetic, then polished and rounded by lavender instead of the usual rose, lending this oud interpretation an odd barbershop-like conservatism. Saffron enters the fray next, and comparisons to Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 (2014) happen at this point, although Oud for Greatness is a great deal more defined than the amorphous blob that is BR 540. Nutmeg adds some dustiness to the mix and eventually cashmeran joins the heart of Oud for Greatness, before akigalawood (fractionated patchouli) and musks enter the final stages to thicken and bolster the woody rounded character of the opening. Oud for Greatness is only semi-sweet with hints of vanilla in the latest stages, and comes across very stately on skin, perfect for formal events, cold weather, and night time. Longevity is good at 10 hours and sillage is about average, but since this is an eau de parfum, I didn't expect obnoxious projection or scent trails. Bottom line is this should last longer than your secret society meetings concerning world domination.

My conclusion on this is that Oud for Greatness is a weird hybrid that touches upon barbershop tones, traditional oriental spice, medicinal oud preferred by Western buyers, and a bit of that luxury niche shine to make something that explores many facets of what is popular among male buyers of niche perfumes without smelling directly like a copy of something or like you need a secret handshake to score a bottle. Yeah, you could say this is the oud version of BR 540, but you could also call Parfums de Marly Kalan (2019) the pepper version of BR 540 too, so this kind of reductionism doesn't really serve anyone well, Illuminati or otherwise. If you like BR 540 but find it lacking, Oud for Greatness might be a good alternative, and likewise if you want a high-quality wearable oud without the "barnyard" factor, Oud for Greatness may also be a nice option. Whether or not Oud for Greatness, or any Initio perfume is worth the $350+ being asked,is another question altogether, but I suppose catching a deal could make or break the "greatness" of this novel take on the subject, Skulls membership not included. Thumbs up.
28th February 2020
Oud For Greatness is a dark fruity oud. I get dried fruit, I get smoke, I get saffron, I get vanilla and I get oud although It's not in your face. OFG is a nice fragrance. It might even be a very nice fragrance. The longevity is pretty decent although the projection is quite low key.

Here's my problem. At this price I really need to be blown away. I wasn't. There is not a massive gap between this and some of the cheaper Roja Doves. The difference is that the Rojas blew me away. If this was £90 - £120 I would most probably of bought a bottle. Instead I opted for a large decant.

In summary Oud For Greatness offers some greatness but not quite enough for me.
23rd January 2020
The opening has a bit more of a sharp, biting-oud than the drydown but for the most part, it remains a pretty linear, soft, accessible, dry oud with airy-sweetness on my skin. It does lose some of the oud effect as it gets deep into the drydown but I think the whole fragrance is fading away by that point.

What's interesting is the sweetness, reminds me of BR 540. So if you'd like a bit of dry, soft oud in your super sweet crowd-pleaser, this could be a gem find. It comes off more masculine than BR 540 as well, so that could also be a great combination for someone turned off by the sweet and airy MFK fragrance. Sexy stuff.

The performance is very good with solid projection and all-day longevity with minimal sprays.
16th January 2020
After all of the initial hype, I was excited to get my nose on this. Meh. On my skin it did not last and had a less-than-memorable impression. The oud was there for sure, but even after the 3rd wearing of it, I can't get behind this one. Good, yes. For me, it's a No for Greatness.
31st December 2019
Opens with an immediate wallop of rubbery, medicinal oud followed by the gradual emergence of a semi-sweet, fragrant, fruity-floral saffron. 10 or 15 minutes later wafts of a sweet, resinous roasted-sugar accord a la BR540 show up, at which point Oud For Greatness has hit its stride, settling in comfortably with a beautifully warm aroma, the saffron, oud, and roasted sugar all working together harmoniously to create a sillage that is instantly alluring, curious, and appealing. The heart of Oud For Greatness is beautiful. Along with the aforementioned notes there's hints of exotic spice via the nutmeg, a masculine woods provided by the oud, and even some patchouli, lending a dark earthiness to the whole. Sensuality comes via a pleasantly warm musk enveloping the base, aligning the fragrance with the skin. Consequently OFG is sweet, aromatic, woody, and warm, with dark, masculine edges, and a hearty, substantial core. It persists in such a way for several hours. In its final stages, Oud For Greatness is dominated by a heavy sweetness. The resinous sugary accord alluded to earlier comes out in full force and takes over as the other various elements recede more into the background. Whether or not you enjoy this final stage will depend on your appreciation for this sweetness. While I find it pleasant, I prefer the more balanced heart, as the sweetness is somewhat relentless (when still and up close) and one-dimensional. Nevertheless, it's very nice, and some people will probably find this their favorite part. Furthermore, unless your nose is pressed to your body, you are more likely to catch this very sweet stage in wafts, as opposed to a constant direct smell, making it less relentless and less potentially tiring.

I don't want this last criticism to overshadow the rest of this review–OFG is a very enjoyable fragrance overall and deserves much of the praise it's received. Performance is stellar, with nearly nuclear projection and 8 plus hours of longevity. While I wouldn't wear this one in the heat, it's fine for the fall, winter and early spring, and seems like it would work very well dressed up or even down. Final rating: 9/10

Side note: I currently own this and BR540 and do not find them redundant. However, until recently I also owned Kalan. All three together felt a bit redundant however, due to the resinous burnt sugar accord that ties them together. So in the end I picked my two favorites of the trio and sold off Kalan.
31st December 2019
Second wearing of Initio Oud for Greatness some ten months after initially trying it out, following its late 2018 release, and it's still quite the interesting spicy oud fragrance that has once again become seasonally appropriate with the weather cooling down.

Its blend is full of provocative notes–oud, patchouli, saffron, lavender, patchouli, musks–and it's a strong arrangement, with some lavender to add freshness, nutmeg to add spicy, and saffron as a wildcard to complement what is dominantly an oud/patchouli blend, slightly reminiscent of Parfums de Marly Nisean in its general sense but even more vaguely like a Montale or Mancera aoud/oud-named fragrance, albeit slightly more complex.

Oud for Greatness feels rather floral on my skin, too, as I imagine there being rose or something similar in addition to the lavender. It's not particularly sweet but more a spicy woody oud, though not an especially animalic oud, but a “safe” or “smooth” oud, as I'd usually classify it.

It's solid winter staple, in short. This is something I could wear regularly and not get tired of it, even if I'm not particularly amazed by it. As a side note, its bottle is beautiful, the eye reminding me of masonic imagery from National Treasure, clearly a visual upgrade from the other more sober Initio bottles in the same shape.

It's for sale at great retailers like Perfumology, Osswald (from whom I obtained the sample), and Beverly Hills Perfumery, but doesn't come cheap, at only the 90ml size for $350 though there are sometime sales to be had.

I really like it, overall, but I don't think I need a bottle, maybe just a large decant. Rehab remains my favorite of the Initio line, though Blessed Baraka is another one that I've wanted to do a full sampling of.

7 out of 10
15th November 2019
Perefect name for a damn near perfect oud fragrance IMO. No barnyard notes, but the agarwood and saffron mix is very well blended. The only problem with this one is the price!$300.00 plus. Dealbreaker! 8/10
2nd October 2019