Often referred to as ‘liquid gold’, oud is one of the world’s most coveted scents. Once worn by sultans and pharaohs, oud is renowned for its rich, woody notes that hint of honey and cool woods. Its intoxicating muskiness can be quite potent, and it’s been used for centuries in India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
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If you don’t have a favorite oud fragrance yet, you’re missing out!
What Is Oud?
Oud is made from the wood of the tropical Agar tree, which grows in India and much of Southeast Asia. Although it sounds bizarre, it’s actually parasitic mold that causes the tree to produce a dark, fragrant resin. This is the oud.
And, because the tree has to be infected by the parasite to create the resin, it’s very rare: only about 2 percent of trees produce it. This makes the Agarwood among the most expensive on the market.
Not surprisingly, the rarity of the oud and the difficulty of harvesting it means oud oil is thought to be the most expensive in the world.
More recently, oud perfumes are a hit with both designer and niche brands catering for those who prefer a more exotic scent.
Many perfumers in the West are now using it as a base to create incredible fragrances for men and women. The base notes of oud tend to linger on the skin long after the others dissipate. In fact, a perfume with an oud base will likely last for hours after application.
Oud is also widely considered a unisex scent and most oud perfumes can be worn by men or women.
Our Top 8 Oud Perfume Picks
1. Gucci Intense Oud
This powerful fragrance showcases woody notes over a rich, leathery base while hinting of sweet amber and olibanum. The rich, balsamic character of this fragrance makes it perfect for both men and women, particularly in fall.
The heavy sillage will linger for hours, leaving a dry, smokey oud that harbors notes of cumin. Divine in the air: a little goes a long way.
A smooth contributor to a blissful blend of incense and oud. Presented in a stunning square black bottle with a door-knocker cap.
2. Versace Oud Noir
This masculine scent will stop you in your tracks. Exquisitely seductive, this fragrance harnesses the beauty of agarwood alongside rich leather, creating a heady and mysterious musk.
There’s a big dose of herb-like spices in the opening that is somewhat green and earthy.
With spicy, woody notes balancing out a subtle sweetness, this scent will make any evening one to remember.
The moderate sillage helps to keep the mood just right. The exquisite black and gold bottle will certainly stand out in your collection!
3. Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud
The intense, vigorous flavors of this precious fragrance will turn heads! With vivid citrus notes and warm agarwood, Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud speaks of purity and mystique.
Feel the richness of the Aquilaria tree along with Russian coriander and Haitian Amyris. If you love leathery, citrus notes, this is your match.
Wear it on a date night and you’ll turn heads.
4. Polo Ralph Lauren Supreme Oud
Confident and proud, the lavish Ralph Lauren Polo Supreme Oud makes its mark as a gentlemen’s scent – especially the adventurous kind!
Bursting with luxury, every drop evokes sophistication. It opens with alluring spices, conjuring up images of dark woods. The deep base yields a traditional oud character, that’s both stirring and addictive.
Almost edible on the skin; somewhat akin to a dark spicy toffee. Presented in a gorgeous vintage-style Ralph Lauren bottle.
5. Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud
Whether you’re ramping it up or winding it down, Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud adds a perfect touch of luxury. Damask rose offers up a dark and captivating vibe, while smoky wood balances out the oud.
There’s a suggestion of clove entwined with praline. Deep, enigmatic and unforgettable. So glamorous, you’ll be reaching for this fragrance next time you’re invited to a red carpet ball or the Oscars. A wonderful choice for a sultry night out – or in!
6. Boss Bottled Oud by Hugo Boss
A limited-edition of Boss Bottled from 1998, this oud is rich in masculine character – and comes in a sexy embossed bottle! Simultaneously intense and refined, it opens with citrusy, apple notes.
A heart of saffron, cinnamon, clove, and labdanum follows, surrounded by the woody features of a true oud. Sandalwood and cypriola come into play as the scent deepens.
A classy fragrance that lives up to its name. Strong, pleasant and elegant. If you’re a fan of the original, this is a fantastic addition to your collection.
7. Al Oudh by L’Artisan Parfumeur
If you’re not a fan of rose, this could be the oud for you. With plenty of wood and spice, it’s a perfectly traditional fragrance.
With hints of pink pepper, orange blossom and saffron, Al Oudh will take you back to a time of kings and sultans.
An underlying smokiness rich in old balsamic wood finishes this beautiful perfume. It dries down slightly powdery with fiery spices.
The cumin notes are wonderfully animalistic and greatly enhance the sensual properties of the fragrance.
8. Montale Original Aoud
Montale’s Original Aoud is a unisex fragrance perfect for both women and men. Created by Pierre Montale, best known as the first French perfumer to base a line on Aouds, this fragrance is a soliflore deep dive into oud.
If you’re looking for a pure, uninterrupted oud experience this is as austere and authentic as you’ll find. It starts off light and ethereal but drys down into a creamy, spicy woody scent.