Creed is essentially a "dad cologne" house (and I say that not as a pejorative, but just an acknowledgment that the Creed lineup is fairly conservative in its style), and Royal Oud is no exception. This feels like a modern scent for the person who remembers what it was like when oakmoss was around. No oakmoss here, but the ambient, fuzzy greenness of Royal Oud feels like it's taking a path to a neighboring destination.
This spicy, green take on cedar (no oud in sight) wears lightly but wears well: an everyday cologne for a man of means whose tastes don't lineup with niche/luxury "statement" fragrances. Its effortlessness makes it my favorite of the Creed lineup from the last fifteen years. It's rich, but it's also linear and restrained, with the only development here being a shift from spiciness to a richer, deeper register, with a light, coumarin-style sweetness lingering in the base. The cedar here isn't a "pencil" cedar, but a satisfying "tree" cedar, bark and all.
Like any Creed, it's impossible to recommend at retail, but it's nevertheless a good one that feels destined to age well due to its limited market influence and its avoidance of cliches.
I have tried this in the past, I guess, I smelled it in the air while in a Nordstrom's. I just remembered it to be very spicy.
I bought a very small sample, it seems pretty expensive on Ebay, compared to other Creed's. The opening, I actually smell rubbing alcohol for a brief 30-45 sec. I get a lot of pepper after, but it's not like the pepper that goes right up my throat and makes me choke, simultaneously, it is still extremely peppery. It becomes a skin scent pretty quickly, within 30 minutes. At which point I am met with something like a soft fern, sort of pine like, resinous accord, along with a lot of cedar. As it dries down it becomes a little sweet, some kind of maple like accord, might just be "tonka musk", while it could be the sweet elements in sandalwood too. Dare I even say, it almost smells like Mysore sandalwood. Creed tends to use different types of fragrance oils that you don't find in many other fragrances, but you may find them reused in their own.
I'm not a Creed fan really, but I think this is a well put together fragrance, that incorporates a little oud, without going overboard like many designers do, with synthetic oud notes. However, the price, to performance, is just flat out bad. I get 3 hours on my skin, I get minimal projection after 10 minutes. Ya, it's just not worth it.
Now, Lomani Intense Black, which is discontinued and going up in price, while it does mimic Royal Oud, it lacks the woodsy depth, and covers up with fake aromachemicals. The sandalwood in Royal Oud is what really makes the dry down in my opinion, and allows for the other notes to stack on top of it. Kind of hard to explain.
Bottom line. If you can afford it. You want a good spice and wood fragrance that is balanced well, that isn't synthetic at any time, that's mature and sophisticated, but that doesn't perform very well. Then this is for you. I know a lot of men who are sensitive to strong fragrances, so this may fit their what they fancy.
When I first encountered Royal Oud I felt completely underwhelmed, I expected some extravaganza of royalty, elephants bursting out of the bottle, drums being banged and a banquet of delicious flavour....ok so that was completely far fetched but the hype this fragrance seems to carry is incredible. What I got was something very muted and muffled, a woody muffled peppery thing I thought. 15mls into my bottle and five or six wearings later I completely get it, this is understated class ..the sort of fragrance that is a silent killer..those close quarter meet and greet ones that leave a lasting impression of class. I get a velvety cedar over pepper with a genius twist of angelica ..almost creating a slight liquorice vibe , the small amount of oud creates a chalky feel yet earthy at the same time, it's such a tiny amount but that small amount makes the fragrance, it's so clever really and these sort of creations are not developed under pressure from executives breathing sales pressure down the perfumers throats , they are artistic and almost poetic, Royal Oud has been allowed time to be perfected and this will show in its development and journey on the skin, excellent fragrance with very good performance (my bottle became a bit stronger over time).
It is a dry composition, but has a fresh water feel. Its zesty. The overarching feel is cedar. The pink berries are a background player. This is not a contemporary sweet thing that you find oversold. I find it of tangible density, but has a lightweight feel. Its nice, and the effect is a good one for wear. It doesn't clobber people, but sits very appropriately. So, cedar over pink berries and galbanum gives it a herbal feel. The musk that runs underneath is clean, but not laundered. It seems to be the usual Creed musk, for anyone who knows what that smells like. Each piece of this is cleverly proportioned I find myself thinking. I don't see any limitations on this fragrance day/night summer/winter casual/formal. Seems like it could be fine for it all. Extremely versatile without being boring. I like it, its a thumbs up.
I remember quickly dismissing this when first released. The Creed rep gave me a sample vile which I tried and thought "pass."
Over time, I noted a lot of positive reviews- some from people who usually eschew Creed.
Got it into my head I needed this and decided to make a risky blind buy (as happens to me from time to time since joining Basenotes). The night before a long out of town trip, made a late night "store-is-about-to-close" run to pick it up. They only had the large bottle which ticked me off.
Now so glad I got the large bottle. Became a fast favorite. Lots of compliments.
I can't add much to the many great reviews here except to say this is really worthy of the praise you mostly see here. Yeah, it's pricey. Hate that too. But it's damn good.
It is a warm, sexy, spicey, woodsy, inviting and comfortable scent. Very rich and versatile. As noted- little oud but Royal indeed!
I think it can easily be worn by young or mature, male or female.