attempt at synthetic oud accord, taking an ingenious different approach

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
I've been trying to work on an alternative accord to try to give the smell of oud.

ambercore 68
kephalis 32
okoumal 53
(ambrocenide is a bit better here than okoumal but more expensive)
firsantol 38
cedramber (optional) 10
anthamber (iso e super)(10% in dpg) 150
karmawood 9
tabanon 5

anisaldehyde 85
rhubofix 40
methyl pamplemousse 55

orivone 25
beta damascone (10% in dpg) 9

andrane (optional) 4
pinoacetaldehyde (optional) 5
isobutyl quinoline (optional) 2
xylenol (1% in tec) 10

total: 600

This is only a tentative formula. It probably needs a good deal of improvement.

The idea here was to start with anisaldehyde and rubafix and then begin working onto that. For any perfumers here, these will seem like bizarre materials to begin an oud formula with, but I was working on a theory. I think anisaldehyde may be one of the primary parts to oud's sweetness, while rhubofix helps give a mouth-puckering rhubarb effect reminscent of some of the "grapefruit/nootkatone"-like sesquiterpenes in oud. The methyl pamplemousse is an attempt to try to shift that smell a little greener and more like grapefruit. (Of course, neither of the two are really exactly like nootkatone, in natural grapefruit) The anisaldehyde seems to complement the rubabix surprisingly well; it already begins to become reminiscent of something in oud, I think (I mean a certain small aspect in oud I was focusing in on).

To this, a mix of ambers were added. I didn't feel any one of them really fit what was needed exactly. I selected kephalis, firsantol, cedramber, and pinoacetaldehyde for some woody texture. It needed a little something dryer, so a little bit of karmawood is added. I think that adds a certain feeling, hard to describe, but important for a representational feeling of oud. I think it might be several things, a slight woody dryness, almost subtly sandalwood-creamy, a slight animalic aspect. Of course you definitely don't want to rely too much on karmawood by itself. So I thought only a hint would do.

The andrane I thought would sort of add a subtle warm woody patchouli edge. I was trying to find little ways that might improve it a little bit, not that it helps too much, but it might help it get slightly closer to the feeling of oud.
They say tabanon "smells like tobacco", but not really I would say. It's more like an exquisite brown furniture wood with varnish, even somewhat "acorn"-like.
And why use pinoacetaldehyde? I thought it had a certain "marine" diffusiveness, with a hint of pine texture that is helpful too. Maybe I was just desperate to try to find things that were woody in an alternative way.
The orivone is sort of in the family of damascones and ionones but with a more yellow-orange color feel, which I think is more appropriate for oud. It also has the slightest subtle raspberry nuance (some will disagree with me) that can't hurt. It's pretty weak stuff, and it's not critical to this accord. I was just trying to modify the smell of the damascone a little bit, trying to shift it into a little bit of a different direction.

This formula is obviously very heavy on the anisaldehyde, and very sweet and floral. It's almost like a perfume by itself.
(You'll notice the ACs are listed together in groups, probably should have drastically decreased the anisaldehyde/rhubofix /methyl pamplemousse chord and increased the amber chord)

I tried to smell oud incense to guide my nose, and pick out exactly what sort of notes it called for. Consider this a very rough draft.

This is a very different approach to oud, and that was the point.

How close did I get? Well, I'm not sure. I think I was able to capture some aspects of oud that are not captured so well in other accord formulas. But all in all, does it really "feel" like oud? It smells like a synthetic version. (But a very "high quality" synthetic version, mind you) I think it more represents the feeling of oud, representing the desirable aspects in oud, and so I do think it could be used to replace oud (with many big adjustments of course) in many fragrances. Well, certainly what I made could be used in incense sticks, which is probably not surprising since I was relying on the smell of incense sticks to compose this accord. I might be being too harsh on myself and being overly critical. I think this is pretty good for a synthetic oud accord. It's not a one to one replacement, of course.

You don't have to copy this outline formula exactly, you could use it as inspiration. It does require some different woody amber materials to try to approach the same quality of woody amber smell of oud. Then the rhubofix and methyl pamplemousse had some character, with them framed by the woody amber palette in the background.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
How close did I get? Well, I'm not sure. I think I was able to capture some aspects of oud that are not captured so well in other accord formulas. But all in all, does it really "feel" like oud? It smells like a synthetic version. (But a very "high quality" synthetic version, mind you) I think it more represents the feeling of oud, representing the desirable aspects in oud, and so I do think it could be used to replace oud (with many big adjustments of course) in many fragrances. Well, certainly what I made could be used in incense sticks, which is probably not surprising since I was relying on the smell of incense sticks to compose this accord. I might be being too harsh on myself and being overly critical. I think this is pretty good for a synthetic oud accord. It's not a one to one replacement, of course.

This looks totally awesome & I will definitely give it a try! Just referring to your description of how it smells quoted above, it is so very abstract. Can you share with us in more concrete terms what it smells like? Like is it a very smooth woody oud, animalic, mega ambery? Looking at the formula, I'm guessing mega-ambery, but I'll see.

Anyway, I will try it ASAP. Pretty sure I have all of the ingredients, except one or two of the optionals. Oh, looks like maybe I don't have methyl pamplemousse. As you allude to, this seems not core to the oud accord (top group of molecules), but a top to make it "complete perfume". Would something else fresh & citrus like DHM work instead? Altho DHM is so mega strong, maybe dihydromyrcenyl acetate instead, which is much mellower?
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
Would something else fresh & citrus like DHM work instead?
No, I don't think you'll find any substitute that will work instead, but it's okay, you can try leaving it out.

Rhubofix has a "grapefruit"-like feel but just does not really smell like grapefruit. The methyl pamplemousse was just to push it more explicitly grapefruit and add some greenness. It's not really essential.

Probably try cutting the anisaldehyde in half.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
I think "amarocite" is the same as methyl pamplemousse? If so, I think I actually do have it (need to look in the closet). And I will try it with half anisaldehyde, as you suggest. Since it has pretty tenacious sweet smoothening effects IME, I suspect this will allow the ambery to be more forward. But we shall see...
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
If I can make a suggestion, don't follow the formula strictly. Just use it for inspiration. The numbers are not exact. You could easily play with it to fit your preferences, if there are certain things you feel it should have more or less of.
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
Some additional notes. Some might prefer Suederal to isobutyl quinoline, since it's easier to work with. Supposedly it can combine great with Safraleine (I would assume this, but can't tell you from firsthand experience).
Safranal (if you can find it) could give much the same sort of effect here in the formula as orivone to modify the beta-damascone smell a little bit to a more "yellow color". (of course it would have to be in lower dosage)

That Rhubofix is going to be nearly impossible to replace. Unless you have nootkatone or decatone, I don't think you can substitute it.
(Vetiver might work however, assuming you also want vetiver in your final fragrance. That wasn't really what the idea behind this formula was trying to showcase, however)

For those who prefer using small amounts of natural oils, I think cypriol root is sort of like the natural version (if there is such a thing) of isobutyl quinoline in this situation, while guaiac wood would sort of give a similar sort of effect/feel to the xylenol. (obviously those are both drastic oversimplifications, but there's truth in saying this)

And just to throw in one random thought, I think pink pepper could combine nice in this type of fragrance. (I mean if you're thinking about what type of fragrance this accord could be used in)
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Well, there is absolutely zero way to use this formula for "inspiration" other than to assemble it as closely as possible to how you actually did & tested as a starting point. Regarding rhubofix, I've got it!
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
OK I made the following close attempt at your formula & sprayed on the smelling strip at abt 5% in EtOH.

PXL_20220115_183426849~2.jpg

It's definitely ambery & woody, and has good power. I'm not sure I'd guess "oud" if I smelled it blind, but if so, it's definitely in the Cambodian oud range, not at all like Indian oud. However, I do think it's substantially over-dominated by tabanon & damascone. Probably worth trying again substantially reducing those materials.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
BTW I do think ambercore is some pretty magical shit. It was major overdose in my nine-line freshie I posted yesterday & it seemed to create super lift & oomph from the other components.
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
I'm not sure I'd guess "oud" if I smelled it blind, but if so, it's definitely in the Cambodian oud range
Probably not surprising. The oud incense I was smelling to base this off of was a special variety, historically imported from the territory just south of the borders of modern-day China (Vietnam, Laos, just north of Cambodia). The site was in Chinese so it probably doesn't translate into English very well, but I believe the description was "Wu aloeswood", which was a distinct separate variety from the other oud incense in their collection. I have no idea how natural this incense actually is, but I did get the impression it was a higher quality one and wasn't just the cheap stuff. The incense sticks are extremely narrow (I'd say maybe even a tiny bit more narrow than a grain of basmati rice), which I presume is to minimize the amount of material used in the sticks, which I presume is an indicator of quality material. If it is not 100% natural, I presume the ACs were added to try to give it a distinctive type of smell of "Wu aloeswood", as opposed to just regular aloeswood/oud.

It is a little "dirty" (barnyard, band-aid, somewhat patchouli-like but toned down and flat grey smell?) but also has some mildly subtle exquisite fruity sweetness.
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
Your writing looks like english in cuneiform haha
I agree. That writing reminds me of the handwritten letters my grandmother used to scribble down on a piece of paper, sort of mixing elements of cursive and shorthand with normal print. It is sort of a scribble and casual writing, but you do have a distinctive style. It's not "bad", and I think you have interesting writing.

I didn't think it had too much tabanon, but I guess my oud incense smells different than yours. I guess that could be toned down.
 
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mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
I agree. That writing reminds me of the handwritten letters my grandmother used to scribble down on a piece of paper, sort of mixing elements of cursive and shorthand with normal print. It is sort of a scribble and casual writing, but you do have a distinctive style. It's not "bad", and I think you have interesting writing.

It is true that I definitely kind of idiosyncratically mix cursive & print. I learned to write on my own before I was taught & teachers never succeeded in forcing me to do it "correctly". Do they even teach kids to write nowadays? Anyway, getting way off topic... 😹 😹 😹
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
OK back to the oud formula. About twelve hours on the smelling strip, it is very fruity tobacco, with seemingly the tabanon & damascone very powerfully taking over. It's interesting that there is a kind of minty accord that has formed at this phase of the drydown on smelling strip. In its current configuration, I'm not sure this would be useful as an oud accord for fine fragrance (at least what I know of oud, from blending (only Indian) and smelling commercial fine frags (Indian and Cambodian). For incense, where there presumably is no temporal progression, maybe it works? But I don't know shit about incense...
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
About twelve hours on the smelling strip, it is very fruity tobacco
I probably way overdosed on the Rhubofix, grapefruit, anisaldehyde, and you're right, probably should tone the damascone way down.
It doesn't seem to smell like tobacco to me, but I guess the tabanon could be reduced, maybe down to 1.5 or 2. (It's possible the oud you're smelling doesn't have that brown smell to it)

The Rhubofix may be kind of doomed to failure. It does give the kind of woody mouth-puckering grapefruit-vetiver quality I want, but it is also kind of rather fruity in way too.

I wonder if some Theaspirane (Orspirane) might be kind of useful here, as a modifier for the Rhubofix in addition to methyl pamplemousse. I was just trying to shift it into a little less fruity and more green direction, while still trying to retain most of its fundamental properties.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Tabanon to my nose definitely confers in addition to its woody dark brown facet of tobacco also a greenness that to me is also tobacco-like. Both of these facets are apparent to me in the accord & throughout the drydown so far. Dunno if theaspirane could participate usefully...
 
Jan 26, 2021
Tabanon to my nose definitely confers in addition to its woody dark brown facet of tobacco also a greenness that to me is also tobacco-like. Both of these facets are apparent to me in the accord & throughout the drydown so far. Dunno if theaspirane could participate usefully...
I think Hercolyn D is one of the best choice in Oud Accord
 
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