Over the years, as I gradually developed into a true perfume enthusiast, I inevitably came across the ingredient "Oud", which can be found at least once in almost every perfume portfolio of every perfume-producing brand today More and more I was concerned with that ingredient that is loved by some and hated by others; to me it seemed worthy of a glance or a snoop. As a result, I didn't have the "courage" to buy a (designer) fragrance with "Oud" in its name, and certainly not an expensive one from any niche perfumer.
So I made my way to the nearest department store, and what did I see?
The designer scent "Versace pour Homme Oud Noir", which I sprayed directly onto a test strip and which I liked more than the first time I sniffed it and also later on - but for the UVP of 120€. I was not willing to pay this price, so I went home disappointed about the "not buying", but then I bought it with all the more joy and enthusiasm for less than half (under 60€ as a rule) from the biggest online perfume dealer in Europe.
But now from the background story to the fragrance itself:
I perceive the opening as one marked by a spicy and peppery bitter orange. The neroli also contributes to this and gives the opening some freshness, whereby I especially smell the pepper and the bitter orange. Within about 5 minutes the top note disappears and merges - in my opinion a bit too choppy - into the heart note; the moment of transition is very short.
The heart is first of all shaped by saffron and then especially by a sweet incense - I love it (!) - I do not perceive cardamom personally. In my experience, incense is more likely to be perceived at a distance, and saffron is more likely to be perceived at close proximity to the skin. Through the present male sweetness (of the incense) this Versace fragrance slowly but steadily becomes warmer and more oriental, the incense, which I perceive until the end, makes him by its mysterious, smoky resinous, but also slightly sweet, effect to a "noir".
And the oud? This is present from the beginning, but only slightly at first, and becomes stronger in the heart in combination with the incense. But it only really unfolds in the drydown. It gives the "Oud Noir" something mysterious, and together with patchouli and the Tasmanian false elm, also known as "Leatherwood", it forms a base that gives the perfume depth all around and a pleasant warmth and mystique to the skin even after hours.
In my opinion a very successful, woody and smoky oriental, in which the sweet incense interacts very well with the oud - here suitable for the masses - and thanks to the saffron also gets a certain spice.
For this reason, I give the fragrance 9 points, half a point because of the choppy / disharmonious transition between the head and heart notes, and another half point because of the oud, which could have been a little bit, but not much, stronger.
The oud itself I do not feel as animalistic or faecal, it rather goes into the medical direction and appears "noir" and woody and smoky, although it is also not, as mentioned, THE main theme of the fragrance.
For this reason, I recommend "Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir" at this point especially to those who are looking for a mass produced and not too extravagant oud fragrance and to those who want to enter the "world of oud" and are looking for a very good and more than affordable oud entry fragrance.
The durability and the silage get 7 points each from me, because the scent projects on my skin 1 and on the clothing 2 hours over one meter and lasts / is perceptible on my skin 7 and on the clothing 10 hours. This could be a bit stronger in my eyes, because I usually spray three times and it is still an eau de parfum and not an eau de toilette. The performance could be stronger, while still being (more than) good.
While I'm already spraying: the bottle gets a smooth 10 from me! The bottle is heavy and the glass is thick and beautifully shaped. The glass is also beautifully colored in one transition: black at the bottom and transparent at the top, with the golden Versace logo in the middle. The typical Versace Medusa is also engraved on the cap and on the sprayer. All in all, a (high-quality) black flacon with golden accents and lots of details, what more could you want?!
In summary, a masculine, mysterious, seductive and all around harmonious oud scent, which can and will satisfy both the beginner and the experienced!
The oud is rather subdued, but is still perceptible and characterizes the fragrance especially with the - in my case 3-4 hours lasting - heart note of strong, sweet incense and rather weaker, spicy saffron.
This Oriental should be worn preferably in autumn and winter because of its warmth, heaviness and sweetness and is suitable for every occasion, but especially for going out and cold evenings and nights.
I received compliments from both sexes, but more from the women - and plenty of them, as long as I did not overdo it with the dosage; 3 shots are quite sufficient.
The price or the price-performance ratio is, I think, more than given and for about 60€/100 ml also affordable for everyone. And to briefly mention the many comparisons with Tom Ford's Oud Wood: a certain similarity between the two fragrances is not to be denied, but I don't consider the Oud Noir to be a twin fragrance, let alone a (cheap) copy! They go the same oriental way, but the Versace is more masculine and, due to the incense and saffron, more smoky and slightly spicy, whereas the Oud Wood takes the woody way and smells more complex and expensive in itself - but whether it's worth the extra price is up to everyone, for me Oud Noir is a more than worthy Oud Wood "substitute" that "does its own thing" and, for the reasons mentioned above, is in my eyes one of the best affordable designerouds, if not the best!