Oud with a natural appeal
Nowadays, every brand simply has to have its own oud perfume in the product lineup – and Slumberhouse is no exception. The results are quite different. Sometimes the classic Arabic rose-oud style as we know it from Montale is copied and presented to the audience in a rather harmless variation (i.e. Dark Rose by Czeck & Speake). Or you find strange scent constructions if the perfumers creativity was let loose. Only in rare cases you get the impression of a real understanding for the natural material.
With Vikt by Slumberhouse, this is different. They present a version of oud that surely will disappoint all those whose tastes were determined by Montale and the like.
By now I find it unlikely that whatever is sold to us by Montale can be found in nature. I was taken aback by a sniff of a natural oud oil that I was allowed at a perfume shop, as well as by one experience at the arab shop in my hometown. There, they sell inexpensive perfumes from those countries mainly to the arab immigrants. As a speciality, I was offered a bit more expensive “Oud Combodi” of slightly unknown origin. And there I can find hardly a trace of any strong fungus-infected mustiness. Instead, that gooey oil has a rather general woodiness and an ethereal appeal.
And so we come back to Vikt which is closer to that kind of original woodiness rather than the Montale ouds and their plagiarisms. Vikt does without rose, there are no florals at all. Oud perfumes without florals can also be found in arab perfumery if you look closely enough. And they can be really good, i.e. Arooq Al Oud by Al Rehab.
Instead of flowers, Slumberhouse presents us a rare spicy herb: Ravensara Aromatica is a plant from the laurel family and comes from Madagascar, according to Wikipedia. Its English name is clove nutmeg. The oil is described as campherous and with a reminiscence to eucalyptus. This is exciting since Vikt so far is the only perfume in the Parfumo database with that note. It has a certain laurel or bay leaf appeal that is even dominating the fragrance. Besides this, there is a piquante and savoury style that strongly reminds me of Itasca by Lubin, Mister by Jasper Conran and also Jewel for Him by Micallef. Vikt is robust and medicinal, but a comparison to cough syrup would not be fair.
Vikt indeed has some development – from a spectacular head note to a still attractive base note. This was the case also with Grev: Slumberhouse seem to develop their fragrances top down from the head note. This I do not like that much. I expect a first class perfume to be able to keep the suspense or the thrill through its complete development and even increase it. I appreciate Chypres because they usuall start with a rather unspecific citrus note and then slowly become better minute by minute as everything else is revealed. With the Slumberhouse fragrances it seems to be the other way round: they start with a big bang that slowly fades away.
Okay, live is full of compromises, and in case of Vikt I would accept it.