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For those who do not want mainstream leather/ud
If you read through the notes, there doesn't seem to be anything extraordinary here at all. EnsarOud's No.1 isn't that popular either, especially when you consider the perfume statistics. And in terms of price, it's in the upper echelons of what's now called the "niche" and "luxury". Now the question is, of course, "Is it worth the investment?" You might as well buy something from Roja or Creed. You know them; many seem to like them at least; and for some it has even become a status symbol. To each his own! Subjective opinions about the price-quality ratio are a matter of debate. But not all oud is the same. We are not talking about the oud à la TF Oud Wood here. The same goes for the other raw materials. Also, you don't know how much of one or the other raw material was used and of what quality it was. With this in mind I decided to go for a little fragrance adventurism.
And now for the description:
In the prelude one is welcomed by a very bearable animalism, for which Castoreum (not mentioned here) probably provides, and sweetish resin. It is very inviting and warm, but dark at the same time. One could imagine a piece of coarse, brown leather. Slowly the fragrance moves into the next phase, which makes it a little softer and more noble. This effect could be due to the floral notes and the civet (Absolute?). But it's not a floral fragrance in that sense (those who like Bortnikoff's Mysterious Oud will survive this phase quite well). It remains dark and attractive. You can see the interaction of animalism, resins and tame flowers. The fragile heart of the fragrance is enveloped by the oud. And (after several hours) one reaches the long awaited base. The leather recedes into the background as the fine, sweet incense takes its place. The woods and mossy notes are here just for support. The base in itself could become a fragrance in its own right!
Of course it is a great simplification of the experience. Nevertheless, for me my rhetorical question above is answered, because it is not always: "you get what you pay for." (in the literal sense)