The Enduring Influence of Oud

Mak-7

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 19, 2019
Per Ensar - he was the first to introduce oud to western markets. I doubt Tom Ford had any influence :p
 

Tamasin

Basenotes Member
May 14, 2006
Per Ensar - he was the first to introduce oud to western markets. I doubt Tom Ford had any influence :p
Actually it was Ormonde Jayne that launched the first fine fragrance with OUDH in it. Ormonde Man in September 2004, a few months before YSL's launch of M7. The latter never really took off, but Ormonde Man is in Luca Turin's Best 100 Scents. I'm surprised the author didn't research this properly.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
Per Ensar - he was the first to introduce oud to western markets. I doubt Tom Ford had any influence :p

Actually it was Ormonde Jayne that launched the first fine fragrance with OUDH in it. Ormonde Man in September 2004, a few months before YSL's launch of M7. The latter never really took off, but Ormonde Man is in Luca Turin's Best 100 Scents. I'm surprised the author didn't research this properly.

M7 was launched in 2002.

Arguably, the first use of Oud in modern Western/French perfumery was by Gérard Anthony in Balenciaga pour Homme. But, the author isn't making claims about who used it first; rather, she says, "The sharp rise in the popularity of oud has been linked to Tom Ford." That's accurate.

Ensar is a legendary artist and pioneer, but the scale of his production and price precludes direct influence on the global culture at large or Western culture in particular. (Indirect is another matter.) To 99.99% of Westerners buying oud fragrances today, he's "Ensar Who?"

Micallef and Montale were selling fragrances called "Aoud" as early as 2004. But Tom Ford promoted oud to a much wider audience beginning with Oud Wood in 2007. I don't think Micallef or Montale (or later, Mancera) had anything like Ford's cachet or market penetration, nor his influence on the big perfume houses.

No, Ford wasn't first, not even with M7. But he's still a big part of the reason everyone and his brother-in-law now has an oud fragrance. And whether he deserves as much credit as he gets or not, he still does get it, which is what the author actually said. Seems to me she did her research just fine.
 

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
M7 was launched in 2002.

Arguably, the first use of Oud in modern Western/French perfumery was by Gérard Anthony in Balenciaga pour Homme. But, the author isn't making claims about who used it first; rather, she says, "The sharp rise in the popularity of oud has been linked to Tom Ford." That's accurate.

Ensar is a legendary artist and pioneer, but the scale of his production and price precludes direct influence on the global culture at large or Western culture in particular. (Indirect is another matter.) To 99.99% of Westerners buying oud fragrances today, he's "Ensar Who?"

Micallef and Montale were selling fragrances called "Aoud" as early as 2004. But Tom Ford promoted oud to a much wider audience beginning with Oud Wood in 2007. I don't think Micallef or Montale (or later, Mancera) had anything like Ford's cachet or market penetration, nor his influence on the big perfume houses.

No, Ford wasn't first, not even with M7. But he's still a big part of the reason everyone and his brother-in-law now has an oud fragrance. And whether he deserves as much credit as he gets or not, he still does get it, which is what the author actually said. Seems to me she did her research just fine.

Excellent post. Go get'em! <3
 

Tamasin

Basenotes Member
May 14, 2006
M7 was launched in 2002.

Arguably, the first use of Oud in modern Western/French perfumery was by Gérard Anthony in Balenciaga pour Homme. But, the author isn't making claims about who used it first; rather, she says, "The sharp rise in the popularity of oud has been linked to Tom Ford." That's accurate.

Ensar is a legendary artist and pioneer, but the scale of his production and price precludes direct influence on the global culture at large or Western culture in particular. (Indirect is another matter.) To 99.99% of Westerners buying oud fragrances today, he's "Ensar Who?"

Micallef and Montale were selling fragrances called "Aoud" as early as 2004. But Tom Ford promoted oud to a much wider audience beginning with Oud Wood in 2007. I don't think Micallef or Montale (or later, Mancera) had anything like Ford's cachet or market penetration, nor his influence on the big perfume houses.

No, Ford wasn't first, not even with M7. But he's still a big part of the reason everyone and his brother-in-law now has an oud fragrance. And whether he deserves as much credit as he gets or not, he still does get it, which is what the author actually said. Seems to me she did her research just fine.

M7 was launched in November 2004 - 2 months after Ormonde Man.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Interesting article.

M7 was launched in 2002.

Arguably, the first use of Oud in modern Western/French perfumery was by Gérard Anthony in Balenciaga pour Homme. But, the author isn't making claims about who used it first; rather, she says, "The sharp rise in the popularity of oud has been linked to Tom Ford." That's accurate.

Ensar is a legendary artist and pioneer, but the scale of his production and price precludes direct influence on the global culture at large or Western culture in particular. (Indirect is another matter.) To 99.99% of Westerners buying oud fragrances today, he's "Ensar Who?"

Micallef and Montale were selling fragrances called "Aoud" as early as 2004. But Tom Ford promoted oud to a much wider audience beginning with Oud Wood in 2007. I don't think Micallef or Montale (or later, Mancera) had anything like Ford's cachet or market penetration, nor his influence on the big perfume houses.

No, Ford wasn't first, not even with M7. But he's still a big part of the reason everyone and his brother-in-law now has an oud fragrance. And whether he deserves as much credit as he gets or not, he still does get it, which is what the author actually said. Seems to me she did her research just fine.

Thanks for clarifying.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019

badarun

Basenotes Institution
Jan 15, 2013
Oud in western fragrances started with Balenciaga Pour Homme, then Guerlain Habit Rouge.

All other brands followed suit after...
 

The Bark

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 24, 2003
The earliest out creation in mass market perfumery that I am aware of was released in 1999: 10 Corso Como. I had a bottle in the early 2000s and it was noticeable. Not sure how recent formulations compare, though.
 
Nov 19, 2015
Super interesting. Thanks for the article. I just asked friends on Facebook to tell me their favourite men's cologne, and a few chose Tom Ford's Oud Wood, with a few others mentioning cologne including Oud! It does seem popular.
 

ScentBound

Super Member
Jan 11, 2013
I'm a bit confused by the purpose of this article. The first paragraph suggests that it's a news piece telling us about the change in measurement of oud. I'm not sure why anyone would care but let's have it.

Then, it goes into a perfunctory coverage of the cultural significance of oud. I enjoyed this part but it was relevant seven years ago. Then the oud trend was on the rise and few Western readers knew about the ingredient and its cultural importance.

After this cultural background, we dive back into the measurements and wrap things up with a general conclusion: oud is here to stay.

Below are a couple of things I would have added to this piece:

  • Most of the oud used in Western perfumery is synthetic. Very few niche perfumes have real oud and usually do so in very limited quantities.
  • Tom Ford's fragrances do not use real oud (the only exception maybe being M7 from 2002). They all use synthetic bases that approximate the material. No surprises there given how limited the real stuff is and how much supply a brand like Tom Ford would need. Further, if Tom Ford were to use real oud and keep his margins, he'd have to sell his fragrances for double.
  • The oud trend in the West is actually on the decline. During the boom many fragrances carried some form of the word Oud in their names. We don't see this as much any more. So, from a cultural point of view, the oud trend has largely passed. Synthetic ouds, however, indeed are likely to stay but for a very practical problem perfumers nowadays face: they can't seem to get a decent woody dry-down, especially in mainstream fragrances. This is why, all woody-oriental designer perfumes default to the typical ambroxan mixed with some form of synthetic woods. Passable but not good. Synthetic oud helps solve that problem. Many perfumers continue to use it without labeling the fragrance after it.

I hope this is helpful.
 

Akragas

Basenotes Member
Nov 9, 2017
A few things to correct:.
first western Oud scent: "Balenciaga pour Homme", year 1990 , containing real Oud.
then : "Todd Oldham pour Homme", year 1993
then: Micallef perfumes, since 1997
then "Aouds" by Montale, year 2001
then Tom Ford arrived, in 2002 (M7) .
 

JBS1

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2016
I like a number of the organic ouds these days.
There's good farms out these days that cultivate the trees for harvest.
I've bought a couple oud oils , early on, that smelled like one of those metal cabinets that you would store paint thinners in.
Come to find out that then when you get something like that, the tree most likely been prematurely infected with toxins to produce the oud.
I've found these producers of oud, oud oils, attars to be earnest and conscientious of the importance of maintaining rigorous standards
in the fields of proper harvesting techniques which ensures safe and environmentally friendly practices.
Ensar, Feel Oud , Agar Aura .
There are You Tube videos from each of these produces that show us the devastation improper foresting can have.
Here's a video from Agar Aura talking about wild , and some of the improper harvesting techniques of the aquilaria malaccensis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ4_C-5naGQ
I haven't sampled any ouds from Rising Phoenix, but I have purchased some frankincense along with an attar.
I also will be looking at a maker of ouds called Oud Base .
I got this maker of oud oils from Tom from Questioning Scents of You Tube.
Oud Base does respond to you comments or inquires , and as all of my questions line up correctly ,
I will make some purchases.
Is there a point to this comments , hopefully.
Let's protect what we have now , so those after us have something they can enjoy.
 

floraopia

Basenotes Member
Jun 21, 2012
Per Ensar - he was the first to introduce oud to western markets. I doubt Tom Ford had any influence :p

Actually you will find that other companies were around before him such as Oudimentary, Silk Roads End and many other sellers.
 

Castiglione

New member
Oct 8, 2020
Ford and more to the point Morillas really kick off the Oud trend with M7 - I mean in the West obviously. Oud was not in the vocabulary of Western perfumers until maybe the last decade for various reasons, continuity of quality being a key one, hence western perfumers never trained to work with oud at perfume school. Alberto had to recreate the smell of Oud in the lab as they could not find any at the time, I believe the later rerelease had natural oud - could be wrong - and natural oud certainly can be found in niche or luxury perfumery but you need due diligence to find it. A lot of people sadly smell cypriol or saffron and think they are smelling oud, because these ingredients are often used to either extend or give the impression that there is oud in the perfume, anyone unsure of the real smell have a sniff of Ropion's the Night in the Editions de Parfums range, the price tag explains a lot, or go down the glorious rabbit hole of the ancient Oud traditions.
 

Per Axel

New member
Apr 26, 2021
I have been wearing Oud for over 30 years. I started with a friend giving me some oud oil. It was shockingly expensive then, and the prices for premium oud oils are even more shocking today. There are 1 or 2 places in Paris France that carry oud for their arab clients. My friend is from Qatar and that is where he gets his oud as he lives there. There are many types of oud, they can smell different from each other. One I wear frequently is Montale Black Oud. It is an atomic powered rose and oud. It is NOT for the faint of heart and it's sillage is tremendous. It can last several days on your skin, and on your clothes till they get laundered or longer. Rose and Oud are 2 fragrances many arab men will wear, not so much here. If you ever have the opportunity to try an oud oil, please do. But be very gentle with it and use it very sparingly.
 
Jun 13, 2020
Interesting article, thank you. I love Oud, myself, and own a bottle of the YSL M7 (Original) and today, I received a bottle of Balenciaga Pour Homme and...wow. This is a magnificent fragrance. I get the Oud and while I am not an expert, believe strongly that there is real oud in the formula. Beautiful fragrance. Powerful. Makes my original Kouros seem tame. ;-)
 

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