I Want To Know What Oud Is
I wanna know what oud is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what oud is
I know you can show me
I took these few lines from the lyrics of the Foreigner song, in which I replaced the word love with oud. Why? Because the note of oud is hardly hinted at here. Perhaps the rationale behind this is because Oud Malaki means “Royal Oud” in Arabic, which implies that we face a more refined, structured, and complex sensuality than traditional oud fragrances. The perfect balance between its components means that no note stands out more than the others, but that all are essential to get this delicious aroma. We are talking about a very purified Oud, quite docile compared to most Middle Eastern offerings.
The scent is a spicy woody oud-based, which immediately gives me an explosion of citrus and creamy accord. Clean, almost soapy lavender blends beautifully with sweet and sour grapefruit. The result is milky, with a pleasant barber touch. Mugwort soon takes over, and a sort of herbal and mentholated flavor blends with the persistent creaminess. That initial goodness lasts a few minutes.
The heart is all about the spicy undertones. No roses or other syrupy stuff are present to sweeten the heart, but it’s unnecessary. Among the parched spices, I can pick up non-annoying sweaty cumin, some caraway seeds with a hint of fresh rye bread, definitely a freshly ground black pepper that pinches the nose, and also an earthy and penetrating note of celery seeds. The strong, dense, and decisive spiciness is a recognizable sign of Ropion’s hand. But the spices are just one side of the heart. Not outstanding, I get a sweet touch of mature and wet tobacco leaves, as if you were sitting in a Shisha bar, with leather undertones palpable yet not outrageous. Oud Malaki is not an in-your-face oud scent. Nor is it a rich tobacco scent.
Slightly salty ambergris emerges in the drying, mixed with cedarwood with its characteristic pencil sharpener feel and clean, non-medicinal, or animal oud. Tobacco, spices, and leather give the oud a slightly dusty profile than the infamous skunky smell that upsets many people. What a beautiful deep and sensual trail it becomes, which is more about ambergris as it is quite present, the spiciness is still there at the end and the leather is almost out of reach, just a slight puff, it is more amber than woody at the end.
Not linear at all, the scent passes from an initial creamy stage to a warmer and more spicy central one and finally to amber and salty trail. Powerful, seductive, and passionately masculine, this connoisseur blend expresses the sensual personality of the wearer of the Oud Malaki. It’s mild in projection and not the longest-lasting oud-based fragrance I know of. Recommended in the evening or for a casual night out in the colder strong fall and winter months, I find it a great candidate for the office when applied sparingly. If you are an oriental perfume fanatic who loves oud and tobacco or wants to try an oud-based fragrance and don’t want to be too offensive, try this. It is a very underrated and overlooked fragrance, in my opinion.
This review is based upon a decant I own since February 2021.