OdysseusOdysseus' Perfume Reviews

Mr. Meleg describes this best on his own product page. Rather than try to come up with a partial explanation that falls short of this perfume's glory, I'd like to share his thoughts and vision directly:

"Because it (No 40) is so thick and so rich and complex it is something like an Indian Attar. It takes effort on the part of the wearer to unravel it`s complexity and mystery. Because there are so many natural balsams and resins in this perfume, filtering Oakmoss & Forest Florals takes me nearly an entire day!

I had a fantasy landscape in mind when crafting my "Oakmoss & Forest Florals, No 40"

I see a large pacific northwest rainforest. Like the one I live next to. Stanley Park.
Think if the forests of Oregon, of Washington and British Columbia, Canada.
A very dark, wet and foggy rainforest with giant evergreens cedars and redwoods.

The forest smells of mosses and cedar. There are hills and mountains along the horizon, mist and fog everywhere and not too far off you can smell the ocean. You can smell the salt water, the cold wet rocks and the seaweed.

Looking down, the floor is dark and covered with mushrooms, ferns and moss is everywhere! Everywhere!
Every surface is wet, the rocks are wet, the ground is moist and the air is cold - super clean and fresh and it`s foggy. The sky is dark, and what light that does get through if filtered through the trees. Dark yellow and green.

And in this misty place, there is of all things, an abandoned citrus orchard.
The farmer died years ago, his kids never took it over. 50 years of neglect, the lemon trees hanging on for dear life.

The orchard is flooded in dark brackish waters. Cold mineral waters turned black from all of the rotting leaves. The air bright and fresh with lemon as they blow in the cool ocean wind. You can smell the fruit, you can smell jasmine vines and a wild rose bush not too far off either!

This is exactly what my Oakmoss & Forest Florals smells like. It is woody, and it is very much dark oak moss. It is also very earthy and salty and nearly aquatic. Damp. At the same time this dark salty earth accord blends SO WELL with the bright citrus notes. Think about salted lemon ice tea. Refreshing and bright. Roses and jasmine appears as my Oakmoss & Forest Florals dries down."

This natural chypre is a proud addition to my collection and of the 3 perfumes from this house that I've worn, I would say this is so far my personal favourite.

Keep sniffing!

The first time I tried this, I thought it was magnificent. The second time it seemed too "chemical" or synthetic and induced a headache. What was I thinking? I decided to give it a third chance because I know that fragrances can smell different depending on our mood. I liked it again...

There's only one other compelling perfume that can give me a headache, at times, smell like a chemical mess and at other times be completely irresistible: Xerjoff's Alexandria II! That's when I realized these two scents are VERY similar because they share so many notes throughout their composition: Top Notes - lavender, rosewood, Heart Notes - rose, Base Notes - oud, sandalwood.

I love/hate both of these, depending on who shows up: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

3 Awards
Aranyaka is not a perfume, but a magical green hypnotic potion. This perfume is truly art! I get a strong wet, damp soil note at the very beginning. As the perfume evolves, the luscious green forest accords become prominent. The resins root the wearer in a meditative state, with the soft animalic notes offering the warm comfort of spirit guides offering their protection on a spiritual journey.

This is not a "crowd pleaser" type of scent and if you've only experienced designer fragrances you may not appreciate its beauty. However, it is still very wearable. Although this is an Extrait de Parfum, it doesn't last for enless hours on my skin (on clothes is a different story). I get about 6-8 hours with good sillage, which is more than enough for what it accomplishes with me.

The ingredients are top quality and blended masterfully together, transporting the wearer to another world or realm. I thank Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan for sending me a sample of this intoxicating fragrance and for allowing me to experience its beauty. His collaboration with Pryn Parfum has produced a wonderful olfactory experience!

A note from the brand - "Aranyakas is a term that refers to the philosophy behind ritual sacrifice of the ancient Indian sacred texts, the Vedas. Aranyakas describe and discuss rituals from various perspectives, but some include philosophical speculations. Aranyaka literally means “produced, born, relating to a forest” or “belonging to the wilderness”. It is derived from the root Aranya, which means “forest, wilderness”. This perfume, created as a Bespoke Signature Perfume by Prin Lomros of PRYN PARFUM for Rajesh Balkrishnan, represents the essence of the vibes derived from both Indian forests and the Vedic texts. Containing a high percentage of natural plant extracts with woods, incense, earthy and animals accords, this bold, dense, and spiritually radiant Indian Vedic period vibe hitherto unseen in modern perfumery. The perfume evokes the natural forest vibe of the Vedic period (c. 1500 - c. 500 B.C.) where the ancient Hindu texts such as the Vedas and Upanishads as well as mythological treatises such as Ramayana and Mahabharata were written. The greenish resinous and earthy scent contains a very high percentage of natural cypress absolute with more than 60% of natural absolute and resin. The perfume concentration is of 35% perfume oil (considered pure perfume concentration. The imagery evoked is that of a forest with trees and wet soil and animals lurking in the background with incense emanating from Vedic sacrificial fires."

2 Awards
I am rarely moved enough by a perfume to write a review about it. Extreme Oud by Kilian is one of those rare fragrances that makes me believe, even if it's only for a while, that my quest for that "one" perfect scent is finally over! Although we all know such a thing doesn't exist, we still hope that some day we will find it. Refined noses can't settle on a signature scent: there are different seasons, various times in a day, diverse moods and many distinct life occasions to limit ourselves to JUST one perfume.

Calice Becker has delivered an oud fragrance that is very reminiscent of ASAQ's Kings Blend. I'm surprised this has received low ratings by some fellow members, but then again I need to remind myself that I have spent the last five years sniffing hundreds of ouds, natural and synthetic, to develop an acquired taste and to appreciate its endless nuances.

Extreme Oud is made of rich, dark Cambodian oud. Cambodian agarwood is highly sought after, for its hypnotic and tranquilizing aroma. It is ideal for scenting oneself and for those times when you just want to relax. The first wisps of smoke are intensely sweet, narcotic, cinammony, with some nutmeg, and a healthy dose of berries and figs. As the chip continues to burn, the scent becomes more woody and earthy. Finally, like Kings Blend, the whole composition is permeated with majestic wild flowers and first rate ta'if rose. However, this is NOT your typical oud/rose combo: it's lush, deep, intense and dark and smells natural, yet otherworldly. Extreme Oud is one of the few fragrances that seduces the primal reptilian part of my brain, as I unwillingly (or willingly?) surrender to my vices...

This is an oud lover's dream journey! For an authentic Middle-Eastern feeling, which is the target audience of this Middle East Exclusives line, and if you are really, really into morphing, undulating, sensuous ouds, you must have this. I am so grateful to have found this masterpiece!

7 Awards
I know many will disagree with my views, but here it goes:
I own over 80 genuine niche perfumes that have cost me thousands of $$$. I'm not stating this to brag... it's more like a confession and admission of guilt in an AA meeting: "My name is Steven and I'm a perfumaholic!"

Even though I've always tried to find the best deals online and have made purchases during sales, it's still VERY expensive to buy these fragrances. I have to admit that it's nice to have the fancy bottles and cool packaging, but at what cost? I'm not wealthy and I'm spending money that could be used for other things by my family. However, what is the most important part of this hobby? To me, getting to smell something magnificent and the "juice" itself. Do I walk around with the presentation to show people if they ask me what I'm wearing? No. Do I even dare to tell them I paid hundreds of dollars on a fragrance? Not a chance! I would be too embarrassed to admit that.

So what have I realized after spending all this time and money on supporting niche and designer fragrance houses? That most of their price charged is not for the scent itself, but rather for the packaging, marketing and branding. All of these things are irrelevant when it comes to how I smell. How many times have we been ripped off by fragrance companies with reformulations where they try to pass off some garbage for their original creation? Less longevity, different ingredients, different smell...

I appreciate the fact that they hire the best "noses" to develop something new, and in some cases unique, along with the money that is invested to create something original. However, I've come to the realization that there is nothing wrong with buying an "inspired expression" either. Especially if it is 90-95% close to the original scent. I got into this hobby because of the scents and to me that is the most important factor. Is there any reason why only the wealthy should be able to afford a Roja Dove perfume? Thank God for Dua Fragrances and Alpha Aoud! To me, it smells 95% similar to H - The Exclusive Aoud.

I've heard all the arguments on YouTube and Basenotes about why these kind of companies are bad for the industry. Thanks to these generic scents, these perfumes are available to the masses for a fraction of the cost. How is this any different than the pharmaceutical industry? If it wasn't for generic drugs, many people wouldn't be able to afford their medication. Do I care that I am getting my Sertraline instead of Zoloft? Not the least bit! Do I care that I'm getting a Dua instead of a Roja? Not as long as they smell close enough!

2 Awards
The TWIS website describes it best:
"Al Molouk Blend is ASQ perfumery at its absolute finest. The ultimate pure Ta'if rose is a perfect opening to an abyss of ever-changing aged ouds, dense woods and grumbling spices. You get whiffs of patchouli and vetiver, but these seem to dance about the edge of the forest from time to time and are never fully in view. You may think you detect a flowery note which ASQ lists as geranium, but this fragrance is so well-blended and smooth that you are never consciously aware of its presence.

In the end, incredibly smooth aged oud that is the star here, and this is simply an oud lover's dream journey. If you are really, really into morphing, undulating, sensuous ouds, you must have this. You really have no choice.

Sexy, sophisticated and alluring, but also playful and bashful. You simply need to try this for yourself." If you enjoy Oriental / Middle Eastern fragrances, then this is a dream come true...

Perfumery at its finest!