WIZARD OF OUD

Currently it’s one of the most coveted (and expensive) ingredients in the perfume industry and naturally, most fragrance houses are dabbling with it. Here’s the one that I like the most.

A few years back when I had interviewed Christopher Bailey during the launch of the fragrance Burberry Body, I had asked him what the inspiration for the scent was. And his answer has been the Burberry trench coat. Had I not already worn the gorgeous fragrance, I would have perhaps thought – errrr… do I want to smell like a trench coat? Hence, my reaction was, well if this is how a trench coat is supposed to smell, then YESSSSS! I want to smell like one EVERY SINGLE DAY! Lesson learnt: Smell before you judge.

So when I visited the Dior beauty boutique in Select Citywalk, Delhi, a couple of days back, I didn’t balk when the store in-charge led me to a distinctive bottle labeled Leather Oud and said that it smells like a Dior leather handbag. I was instinctively prepared to encounter a masterpiece. And my instinct was not wrong. This perfume was indeed stunning.

Over the last couple of years I have encountered several perfumes that have dabbled with Oud. Recently I have also smelled and experimented quite a bit with Oud essential oil. Having experienced this ingredient in so many forms, I have begun to understand Oud a lot better. First of all embracing Oud takes a while. Let’s put it this way, that it requires an acquired taste. Further, it’s a tricky note to play with. With too many components, it can lose its identity and in a clean, simple formulation it may not be too pleasing. It’s exquisite perfumery and a sheer wizard of a perfumer that in combination can create a couture fragrance that has subtle nuances of luxe perfumery and yet is able to uphold the identity of this unique ingredient. In this creation of Dior, the note of Oud takes center stage while creating a symphony with the other notes.

To sum it up, I haven’t been wearing commercial fragrances for some months now. Instead I  have been making and using my own blends of essential oils. However, if I were to pick a perfume off the shelf, then this one would definitely be it. So if you are an Oud aficionado, look no further. Just reach out for Dior La Collection Privee* in Leather Oud. By the way I have also created a very humble cocktail with Oud essential oil. If any of you are interested in catching a whiff of it come over and meet me.

*PS: Dior La Collection Privee is the brand’s premium collection which is available at a few select places in the world and is available in India at Dior Beauty Boutique in Select Citywalk.

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