The company says:
Raw, wild, naked… the true OUD experience. An intense, yet gentle, balsamic and silky smooth oud volcano, majestically smoking, slowly releasing the concoction of pure Sri Lankan and Indian ouds. In spectacular volcanic fashion, rare, untamed royal oud has been pulled up from the base through the heart of this Olfactory Composition to ultimately reside at the top, giving one the unmatchable zen (true) experience that genuine oud creates: a royal aura that calms the nerves and brings peace, balance and harmony to one’s soul. Swift creamy waves of fragrant Indian and Indonesian sandalwood, spiced up with hints of smooth, highly aged saffron, culminating to fulfill one’s wildest olfactory desires… This scent will suit those mature, sophisticated persons who never fear challenges and who want to be covered in a truly mysterious, luxurious aura. Each level of this aromatic poem has been carefully blended with the utmost care, respect and love, over a long period of time, through a process consisting of multiple stages.
Oud Zen fragrance notes
- Sri Lankan agarwood oil, Papua agarwood resin
- Indian oud, Indian saffron attar
- Indian sandalwood, Indonesian sandalwood, Indian vetiver, tolu balsam, sweet myrrh, synthetic civet, castoreum
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Latest Reviews of Oud Zen
It uses a rich, cleanly distilled Hindi oud, sandalwood and Indian rose with very minimal other ingredients to distract from the combination but the result properly displays the oud’s very intimate and uniquely pure leathery and smokey woody facets naturally. In the dry down the resin is rich and the civet is largely submerged. Oud Zen is domineering, unapologetic, wanting to mate. This oud is not for the beginner nose you are getting genuine oud. Man or woman, as long as you have an open mind, you're going to enjoy this scent in the end.
The opening is quite a ride: richly sour, smoked, vividly and sharply animalic, and medicinal all at once. I do not know enough about the nuances of different oud varieties and preparations to comment on which specific ouds are present here, but suffice it to say the oud smells sharp, tangy, a tiny bit fruity and in the initial stages of decomposition - moldy is a good word for the effect. This opening roar is both heightened and smoothed by a sharp civet and a bass chord of castoreum and woodsmoke. It's a fascinating smell, and my nose keeps returning to it. In the opening stages, I identify with Mr. Darvant. It's challenging, but rewarding.
The evolution is a slow burn, but Oud Zen does gradually dry out and become a more approachable spiced woody oud, a la ClaireV. But the animal backbone is always very present. It's *just* tame enough to be approachable, but it's right on the border, and you get the sense the beast could easily go rabid and escape. But it stays contained. When it does perk up - which has a tendency to do - the richer, sweeter nuances of the leathery, balsamic, civet profile come to the fore in a pleasant fragrant bloom. But at its core, it remains primarily a woody, smoky oud.
As always with Areej le Dore scents, the materials are absolutely top notch, and from a personal perspective, this is among my favorite of the Russian Adam compositions I've smelled.
P. S: the great surprise is that along the final stage, nearly 10 hours over the "application" on skin, the note of civet (a synthetic amberish/musky civet a la Zoologist Civet) unveils all its "suggestions" providing due to its "organic acidity" (and on a certain extent) the illusion of an old school animalic classic massive chypree a la Tabù Dana (or neo classic a la Zoologist Civet) under the vest of a still dominant (but reduced in intensity) musty smokiness and overall represents a great work of civilization appointed by perfumer imo.
Instead, right from the start, the leathery, sourish smoke of the Indian oud is folded into sweet, smoky woods and vetiver that together smell rather like the saltwater taffy of labdanum. The Hindi oud oil is also moderated by the fresher, more sparkling aspects of a Papuan oud, a variety that often displays surprisingly hints of green tea, mango, and flowers.
The main impression is woody, smoky, and leathery, with the Hindi elements of fermentation slowly fading away in the heart, leaving a trail of cool, ashy woods. I suppose it is a traditionally masculine perfume, but I think any woman who wants to could certainly rock it.
Interestingly, just as I think the perfume has given up its last breath, it revives and puffs out its chest in a death display of feral honey, vetiver, and dry leather, a combination very much in the vein of Vero Profumo's Onda Voile d'Extrait or the far reaches of vintage Habanita when the powdery florals have burned off. An extraordinary finish, and one that gets me spraying again and again, just to arrive at the same destination.