Positive Reviews of Thirty-three 
Ex Idolo (2013)

Average Rating:  16 User Reviews

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Thirty-three by Ex Idolo

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Reviews of Thirty-three by Ex Idolo

This is my ultimate go-to in the rose-oud genre. It's absolutely stunning from the slightly peppery opening through to the slightly metallic heart and into the warm animalic base. But it's rose all the way through and I think an incredible example of using the different facets to their best effect while staying true to the theme.

But where this really shines, especially for me, is on skin. Everything warms up and breathes beautifully. Definitely one that you want to be an "all day" fragrance, this isn't something you'll want to top up or layer with anything else. It has fantastic staying power and is something to savour as it shifts.

In a word, this is sumptuous and worth every penny.

Ex Idolo is another UK luxury niche upstart (why is Britain so full of these I don't know), that wraps a bit of artisanal market copy around the experience of "the rarest ingredients within sympathetic composition" and "quality versus quantity" with perfumes made "under a deliberate ethos". I'll let you decipher what that means (if you deem it means anything), and get right to the skinny on Thirty-Three (2013). This is an indie rose/oud perfume, and you've mostly smelled this before if you've smelled any rose oud combinations made in the decade or so preceding it. If not, you can expect a dark rose coupled with a semi-animalic oud rounded by patchouli and orris. Thirty-Three smells slotted between the more-medicinal Black Aoud by Montale (2006) and the full animal ass that is Oudh Infini by Parfums Dusita (2015). Rose oud perfumes are such a worn out subject in the world of niche and luxury perfumes that even by 2013 Thirty-Three was released to a cacophony of tired yawns and moans of derision, but it's nice if you can ignore the ridiculous market copy. Chinese oud from 1980? I don't know. Chinese rose? Is that even a thing? Artisanal hand-crafted batches? Well, this perfume has been out since 2013 and still from what I can tell smells the same (having samples from older and newer bottle styles), so either it's a slow mover, the brand has a ton of that 1980's oud to use, or there are some white lies going on here. Either way, divest yourself of any hopes this is going to be Areej le Dore minus the gatekeepers and scalping.

Thirty-Three opens with dark rose, pepper, and a bit of mandarin orange, but you're immediately slammed with the oud note. In a similar turn to Black Aoud, the oud note binds itself wholly to the rose and you pretty much just smell "oudrose" for the rest of the wear, the key difference between the two being the ambergris-like chlorinated animalic aspects of a dirtier oud in Thirty-Three informing the wear. People who think Black Aoud is a little too tame will enjoy this aspect, but everyone else will wrinkle their nose, while the rest of the claimed notes in the composition, from the so-called caoutchou to the Chinese tea all just fall away and dissipate in this main accord. Slowly the terpines of the patchouli add hints of green, and the "Damascus steel" note of flinty metallic sheen come in to add some spike to the "oudrose", but it's not enough to steer away from the course. I'm not enough of an artisanal perfume snob to have my delicate sensibilities hurt by the cognitive dissonance between the market copy and the perfume itself, but I admit the overall ham-fisted feel of Thirty-Three gets boring after a while since it's just that "oudrose" accord from beginning to end, in a front-loaded way similar to a Tom Ford Private Blend. Thirty-Three is one of those eternal perfumes you'll need to scrub off, so performance isn't an issue. Also, the oud slowly overtakes the rose the further along the wear you go. Best use is wherever, because as can be expected, this one is a head-turner, and most likely easier to handle in colder climes or times of year unless you live particularly dangerously. Also I think Thirty-Three is unisex.

Now, I believe that Mathew Zhuk has done nice work here. This is the first fragrance from Ex Idolo and I'm assuming this is his first work too, so merit where merit is due, as this is a very well-conceived if Johnny-come-lately into the rose/oud scene, stretched over a basic chypre framework thanks to the patchouli. Passion projects being what they are, I can smell the heart and soul poured into Thirty-Three, and am really only at odds with the presentation of the house being yet another droll exercise in British luxury perfume pomp when it's really just an indie perfumer from the UK. Maybe Zhuk felt the need to borrow the exotic rare ingredients claptrap from other UK luxury perfume houses such as Fragrance du Bois or Roja Dove in order to fairly compete in this market segment, and whatever ingredients are in Thirty-Three, they are quality (at least to my nose), but all of this combined with the fact that he chose a rose/oud combo as his first release for the house just makes this a tired exercise. At a price of $120 for 30ml, this isn't the most expensive rose oud niche perfume you could buy, but certainly not the cheapest either, at a trade-off of one-third the juice for the same price of Montale Black Aoud in exchange for a little more animal vigor in the oud component. In such a prolific genre within the niche perfume world, Thirty-Three is one option among many, but in every category except complexity and marketing, is worthy of a sniff if you're a fan of the subject matter. Thumbs up

Strong pepper. Only a hint of orange. Loud rose and orris mix, amped up in a vibrant screechy bath of oud and patchouli, leaning more towards patchouli. Masculine but not so much so that us ladies cannot wear. Long lasting.

Vivid, super fresh, dewy rose. Clean, clear, and as if picked from the garden. An exceptional rose perfume.

Oud? Not really.

Let me see now...is this the 56th or 57th rose/oud fragrance i've sampled? sorry, I lost count...well, I can see the popularity and prolifiration...it is a great smelling combination that can be tweaked in a multitude of ways...I'm gonna try not to compare this to any other examples of this combo...it's been done in other reviews and I am in agreement with most of the comparisons already presented...OK, I'll just say - Montale Black Aoud...probably most mentioned because it's probably the one that most have sampled and has sort of become the benchmark of the genre, so that all others are judged as being better, same, or worse than MBA...OK, enough of that...on with the show...to my nose, 33 opens up with the rose and oud duking it out for the top spot...the oud is smooth, very woody and refined...i get no bandaid or barnyard funk...the rose is dark/jammy/rich...like a rose syrup being dripped on the oud...this, in turn, is sitting on top of a rubber mat...very plesant and relaxing to me...a slightly dusty feel...i find 33 to be on the mellower spectrum of this scent combo...overall, i think the rose takes the gold and the oud and patch get the silver and bronze...if you like this genre I would highly recommend giving this a sniff or two...

Rose and oud, with some spices. Nothing more, and nothing less - but the execution and quality is very good.

Thirty-Three starts off with a sharp, rich rose with a hint of pepper, quite dark and deep. The oud is in the background, before slowly developing. There's a steely / metallic note in the mid-phase, when the oud-rose accord is in full swing. The rose continues into the woody oud-driven dry down, but is more subdued. There's a bare hint of patchouly at this stage. On my skin, sillage is strong initially before dropping off, and longevity is excellent at over eight hours.

Thirty-Three is yet another entry in an overcrowded subcategory, that's almost become an olfactory cliché. However, it is among the best in its style. I perceive two potential drawbacks. At times the steely note makes the composition feel a little synthetic. Secondly, it's not very complex or abstract, and can appear boring if worn on several days in a row.

Otherwise, thumbs up.


I agree with many of the other reviewers. This is reminiscent of Montale Black Aoud. It has a more Inky Aoud smell than Black Aoud, and a less quality rose. Great projection, great longevity.

Must Love Oud.

Thirty-Three features some of the strongest oud I have come across, paired with a rather beautiful rose and a surprisingly quiet patchouli (no wonder really, having to compete with an oud like that). I feel like there is more going on than that but it's supremely hard to sort out, given the sheer force of this trio. This is not to say this fragrance is abrasive or unpleasantly strong; it radiates with an intense softness which lasts until the next day and then some. The market is currently flooded with rose/oud duos but this offering simply nails the style and sticks the landing.

At my first wearing, this was my impression. Maybe my nose is not sensitive yet, but this one did not impress me. It seems better for a serious man. I like a lighter scent that makes me smile, not brood.

Edit: one month later 11/11/2015 wow, this is something else. I love the heart and the base. The rose is simply beautiful and full bodied and luscious and wrapped in something I can't put my finger on. The base is wood and flower. A beautiful perfume. The top note smells straight up like a tire, but once you get past that..it's heaven. This is going straight to my full bottle purchase list.

The opening blast of slightly smoky black pepper, hints of sweet orange marmalade and a deep, velvety rose is a stunner. Rich, dark, deep and powerful. Some of Lubin's creations comes to mind, especially Idole. Soon a nice oud develops that adds additional depth and texture and blends in beautifully with the opening notes. In the base a dark patchouli is added towards the end.

A very nice autumnal oud-rose composition; the only issue is the performance in my skin: whilst the sillage is strong and the projection very good, it collapses on after three hours and lasts only five hours altogether, less than expected form this type of fragrance. Nonetheless is is well made, and if one does not mind a bit of reapplication it is definitely worth a try. 3/5

I'm completely rewriting my review for this. It deserves it.

This was released amongst SO MANY other rose-oud perfumes. Even Yves Richer got in on the mix. It was easy to overlook a relatively straightforward example of the genre which included things like Black Aoud.

The thing is - this is the real thing. You can smell the quality. The roses are lush and the oud is (or seems) genuine and the combo are nothing short of stunning.

There was a reason everyone made a rose-oud...it's a match made in heaven. I don't know about current formulations, as mine is the early bottle with the plastic cap, but it doesn't get any better in this genre. Okay maybe The Night but this is literally a fraction of the cost.

The Citric, Hot Pepper Iodinic opening sets the stage for the unfolding of an incredible, multifaceted painting of "The Red Rose of Carnal Dreams". That of which has tinges of the Yellow needed, to have my Masculine heart, beat faster.

There is a Tannin of Tea that has my mind drift to the Root of the Rose. Damascus Steel? Perhaps.
I can conjure a vision of a wall of Steel created by
the Iodinic and Tannin accord. The Oud is expressed as a thin layer of Rubber Paint to which the Camphour of the Patch turns ever so slightly Animalic and a small touch of smoke.

A dark beauty.
One of my faves.

One of the best oud and rose combinations I've seen in a while. The oud is very well done in this one. The rose settles the oud down and the floral vibe kicks in (mandarin). Great fragrance. 8/10.

I received this blind in a split with Portrait of a Lady, at the time my favorite rose scent. Little did I know that along with PoaL I was receiving what may very well unseat it as my favorite rose. I've worn 33 3 times so far, and each time it is shockingly beautiful, with a gorgeous and warm earthy rose scent. I do not get the citrus another reviewer smelled, mainly a rose with oud playing second fiddle. I was looking forward to a nice aged oud scent, so was a bit disappointed that it's barely noticeable (but still there). However the quality of the rose more than makes up for it. The only down side is it's performance. It does not project nor last long on my skin. I am enjoying it, but I don't think I'll be replacing the 10ml that I have once it's gone. Definitely worth checking out

At first I smell oud and an orange rose warmth. This is rose warmed with a touch of orange as is found in the early blendings of Amouage Hommage. Nice! I thought what a beautiful amber scent, at first, but it is heliotrope that adds a caramel warmth. I guess Thirty Three is predominantly a rose scent and it does smell fresh, clean, slightly oudish and natural rose. It is interesting the twists and turns that perfumers go through to capture the incredible lift and healing essence of rose oil and still keeping it masculine and rugged enough for everyday wear. The oud gives it a hollow wood aspect noticeable throughout, but it never looses its rose warm essence. Next to Silk Mood Oud this is the finest rose masculine fragrance I've tried in a long time.

Thirty Three opens with a slightly sweet boozy dried fruit accord with hints of dark dulled rose peeping through. As the composition moves to its early heart the rose takes command, gaining in its depth and breadth as it turns jammy with the boozy fruit replaced by supporting rubbery Oud and relatively sanitized patchouli rising from the base. During the late dry-down the rose remains the star though now more airy and dewy, with the supporting patchouli joining near-transparent smooth Oud sans rubber coupling late with slightly powdery heliotrope. Projection is outstanding, as is longevity at well over 15 hours on skin.

Thirty Three has been marketed as featuring "vintage Oud" aged thirty-three years before its use (hence the composition's name). That said, it is clear early-on that the rose is the real star, and it changes in its characteristics throughout the composition's relatively linear development. The rose starts off dark and slightly dull before blooming into a jammy full dominant rose in the heart and then a light and airy natural smelling dewy rose at the finish. The smooth vintage Oud used is detectable throughout, but my guess is it is enhanced by some synthetic Oud to create the rubbery effect early before it smooths into the composition during the late dry-down seamlessly eschewing its rubbery facet. While the official notes list has some fancy esoteric ingredients listed like "Damascus steel" I confess I did not detect them after multiple wearings on skin. The composition is really a more classic rose, Oud and patchouli elixir distinguished by the way the rose changes as the composition develops, exhibiting excellent execution. The bottom line is the vintage real Oud in the $120 per 30ml bottle Thirty Three is what most likely will get people to try it, but it is the ever-changing characteristics of the rose that makes the composition the "excellent" 4 star out of 5 success it is.

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