Alma - Misterious Oud by La Martina

Alma - Misterious Oud 2014

25.10.2021 - 07:45 PM

Wet and Peppery Sauna Wood

Misterious Oud is genuinely mysterious, like an old library book that transforms into a warm and inviting new world once you open it and start reading one of those beautiful stories. Compared to its predecessor, "Alma Colección Privada - Black Rose | La Martina", here the perfumer has tried to reproduce the atmosphere of oud by mixing some dark notes, a note of oud that is so perfectly integrated that it confuses many into believing it is not there. I can pick up tons of spicy, woody, dry, and resinous undertones, but not the pungent smell of oud, that synthetic oud aroma I’m used to. There is no real oud in there or the slightest hints, if there are any. Hence, the oud does not overwhelm but adds intoxicating warmth and depth to an exciting bouquet. I am thrilled by the way Maurizio Cerizza has taken the oud well and masterfully blended it with woody and musky notes. The result is a terribly pleasant and wearable fragrance. Not a clone similar to Santal 33 Eau de Parfum, while sharing the same woody and smoky nuances typical of cedar and sandalwood woods.

It is classified as woody, spicy, and leathery and opens with a good quality sparkling pepper, very pungent, refreshed by citrus notes. The botanical notes of dense galbanum give a slightly medicinal and incensed scent. Many burnt and resinous accords in the initial phase, supported by a dry, somewhat peaty touch, and pencil shavings coming from cedar wood, are not mentioned. There is good incense that spreads when the scent dries but never gets too smoky.

The perfume, once it matures and develops, smells precise as its name suggests, mysterious. Let the initial incense burst calm down a bit, and an almost leathery heart unfold. Spices hold their soil well but in the background. The green and thick galbanum have smoothed the paved road to allow the cistus to kick in the middle. Imagine the wisdom, the dust, the Middle Ages, and their ways.

There is a significant amount of spice and musk at the whole base, and it smells like cardamom. As it dries, the citrus clarity fades as the hot sauces settle and what remains is a friendly embrace of warm, delicately spiced woods. It sinks in a warm and seductive cashmere wood, with the Amyris offering a sandal-like creaminess. The guaiac smell is very fresh and woody and goes with dry vetiver. It is so dry, and it reminds me of the feeling you get when you breathe in a warm, wooden sauna. Hence, the guaiac base is perfect for wood lovers, and the pepper and green notes mix in a smell that reminds me of herbs and straw. It is superb and unapologetically masculine yet refined. There are even woody notes, amber, vanilla, and musk. Ultimately, a very light oud, far from the idea I have of oud, which becomes more of a side dish for a splendid combination of dry and creamy woods.

To me, it’s spotless, but it doesn’t look at all like a clean garment straight out of the dryer; it’s more like an old book. Only totally ineffable. It is magical, of course. Quite linear, it doesn’t evolve much and projects moderately. The yield is discreet on the skin but persistent on clothes. I feel this smell on my shirts the day after application. The most magical thing about this fragrance is the scent that remains in the air when you walk, like a small cloud of perfume that stays there for some time, sublime and mysterious, reminiscent of ancient palaces or historic buildings. It smells like a businessman, but it needs freezing weather to bring out its signature fragrance. It is unsuitable for those who want the strong smell of oud favored by the Middle East; here, we find only slight fouling. Misterious Oud is a glorious scent for evening events, dinners, or formal occasions and will remain clear as a skin scent the following day. I really like this perfume for this season, autumn. What can I say? An unexpected oud. I see it as a fragrance dedicated to an audience who loves refinement and uniqueness without forgetting the grace of simplicity.

And you, did you already know this fragrance? What do you think?

I base the review on a 50ml bottle I have owned since October 2021.


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