a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
LES NOMBRES D’OR OUD – 2011 – ♂♀
Top: Elemi Philippines, Green Mandarin from Calabre, Petitgrain Paraguay
Heart: Patchouli Indonesia, Absolute Osmanthus China, Nagarmotha India
Base: Cedarwood from Atlas, Essential Oil Oudh Laos, Musk, Amber Gris
Perfumer: Mona di Orio
Price: $520 for 100ml bottle
Oud scents are very popular in the fragrance industry these days. Just about everyone is releasing their take on this resinous note. After sampling many of them, I’ve concluded that most are poor synthetic reproductions and more importantly, uninteresting. The high cost of quality oud usually has perfumers turning to the less expensive process of synthesis. By using rich essential oils from Laotian oud, Mona di Orio tries her hand at creating a masterpiece based on a single note.
Les Nombres d’Or Oud opens with a burst of refreshing citrus. The blending of sweet green mandarin, woody petitgrain, and elemi, with its citrus-like scent and spicy nature, gives an unexpected pungency to the opening. The Laotian oud is present from the beginning, but like a true gentleman, it is quiet and reserved. The citrus opening alludes to the likelihood that this oud fragrance will be something fresh and completely different. Les Nombres d’Or Oud is different, but not as anticipated. Your senses are redirected from a citrus accord to the main star in this fragrance, oud. The oud takes on a smoky attitude, like a warm smoldering bonfire. A very subtle patchouli intervenes, adding an earthiness to this ever-evolving oud. As the heart notes progress, a dry smoky oud becomes more and more obvious and it get increasingly complex with masculine spicy undertone. The heart notes develop further with the addition of an interesting floral companion. Chinese osmanthus brings a beautiful fragrant fullness and a gourmand element to the heart. I was happy to see that Mona di Orio avoided the use of some more typical florals, which adds to the uniqueness of Les Nombres d’Or Oud. The fragrance moves towards the development of a woody and amber base. You will not find the medicinal overtones more commonly associated with some synthetic oud fragrances. The base in Les Nombres d’Or Oud is focused on an interesting combination of earthy, dry, woody and sweet. Nagarmotha has some these properties naturally with the added benefit of being a little spicy. Atlas cedar again supports the woody note but adds a sticky sweet, camphoric leatheriness to the mix. The ambergris structurally supports the already present earthy and sweet qualities of Les Nombres d’Or Oud. All of these base elements harmonize and make Les Nombres d’Or Oud quite masculine in its approach.
Oud can sometimes be reminiscent of the scent of a bustling barnyard. This is a pretty common reaction to some less expensive oud based fragrances. I have experience this reaction myself and found it disconcerting. You will not find references to barnyard animals present in Les Nombres d’Or Oud. Mona di Orio creates a sophisticated oud fragrance with slightly linear elements. The changes are very subtle and few, giving the wearer the opportunity to get to know Les Nombres d’Or Oud.
Longevity is great with Les Nombres d’Or Oud and its scent can even be detected 24 hours later. The blending of sharp citruses, woody hints and a dollop of sweet spiciness, give Les Nombres d’Or Oud plenty of attitude but even more important, sophistication. Les Nombres d’Or Oud is oud done Mona di Orio style.