It’s strange. I had decided to sample Winter Spices, DHS Perfume’s sweet, resinous spicefest that was reminding me for some reason of being a fourteen year old tipsy on Chinzano Bianco with my friends back home; one of those delicately delinquent evenings with us eventually plastered on the streets thinking we were cool ( probably the davana oil note here, the tolu, rose jasmine benzoin heart reacting with the pungent pepper and clove notes of the top, all medicinal amber, and if I am right that liqueur had something a bit medical or herbal about it – I used to love it with lemonade )
– when unexpectedly in the post there arrived some samples of the new Chiaroscuro Collection by the same perfumer : shadows and light in two contrasting perfumes based on oud.
Much as I enjoy receiving any packages in the post – though I will admit to still feeling slight fatigue after the frenzy of the last few months – I will also confess to being a bit disappointed when the samples or bottles are based on agarwood. Oud. Schmoudh- I just can’t. I did, about ten years ago when Montale was initially groovy and it felt new to me, but now, my oud receptors are virtually dead. Incinerated. I have just been over-aggressed by them to the point of non-acceptance.
Smoother, more natural smelling oud blends I can tolerate more ( if really pushed); Aoud Noir strikes me as very straight; woody, taut; indeed dark – quite nice, but predictably overshadowed for me by the more powdery, floral soothing oudh scent that is Aoud Blanc. I tend to prefer suede notes over leather – say, in the original Daim Blond pre-reconstruction by Serge Lutens. I love the suede note in Histoires de Parfums’ Tubereuse Capricieuse, and the gorgeously soft tactility of that material is very present here, flushing the floral notes and the oud note with strokable tenderness. The two scents do indeed complement each other, and worn in tandem by a couple, say, as evening perfumes, I can imagine these working quite nicely.