Perhaps the least controversial dispatch from the Middle East in decades is about oud fragrance, the warm, musky bouquet that is making its way west.
Excerpts from a fragrance editorial by Danielle Pergament, Old Spice.
A clutch if new scents, including Dior Leather Oud, By Kilian's Arabian Nights collection, Bond No. 9 New York Perfume Oud, and Michael Boadi's Boadicea the Victorious collection, all incorporate the subtly spicy note.
Although it is novel in the U.S., oud - a tree resin indigenous to India and Southeast Asia - has been used for centuries in the Gulf region, says perfumer Kilian Hennessy of By Kilian Fragrances. "Usually, it's combined with incense or an essential oil, like rose, because one vial of pure oud costs well over $500."
In its countries of origin, people have been known to rub the resin on their earlobes and neck, or burn incense in their closets so clothes pick up the scent, but we're happy to report that ouds also merge harmoniously with traditional perfume notes.
(Pergament, Danielle. "Old Spice." Allure Feb. 2011: 107.)