Scented Advent, December 8

Scented Advent, December 8

Today’s post about the SOTD from my Advent calendar will be brief, because it’s a scent I don’t like very much, and I don’t like to write a lot about scents I don’t like. It is Amber Aoud, from Roja Dove. First, I don’t much care for oud except in very small doses, and I’m tired of how omnipresent it seems to be, both as an ingredient and in the names of fragrances. Sadly, I suspect that the reason it is omnipresent and the reason I don’t like most of what I’ve encountered are the same: chemists have come up with some cheap synthetic molecules meant to imitate the real, expensive substance, which probably smells much better and more interesting.

Second, I react to Roja Dove’s fragrances much as I do to Tom Ford‘s: there are some very nice scents among them, but the hype and the prices are too much. I’ve enjoyed visiting a Roja Dove boutique in London, in the Burlington Arcade, and I’ve occasionally stopped by the counter in Neiman Marcus to test, but I’ve never been tempted to buy one of his fragrances. There are just so many other, equally (if not more) appealing, less expensive options.

But, to briefly address Amber Aoud, the first note that hits my nose is in fact “oud” that smells very chemical and synthetic to me. It smells smoky but not in a way that I enjoy; I’m sure that more sensitive noses would experience it as “burning.” It does turn into something sweeter and more pleasant, but for the life of me I can’t detect the rose it is supposed to contain as a major note, or any fig. It doesn’t smell particularly like “amber” either, or at least any of the accords I’ve learned to identify with “amber.” The full list of notes on Fragrantica is: Top notes of Bergamot, Lime and Lemon; middle notes of Rose, Fig, Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine; base notes of Agarwood (Oud), Ambergris, Saffron, Cinnamon, Birch, Civet, Orris Root, Musk, Oakmoss, Sandalwood and Patchouli. I don’t smell any of the citrus top notes at all (but this may be an older sample where they’ve evaporated). The sweetness I sense after the initial smoke may be coming from ylang-ylang, but it’s very hard to tell. As to the base notes, I smell “oud” and birch tar, and maybe a hint of the orris root.

So that’s me and Amber Aoud. Sorry to disappoint any fans — your mileage may vary! If you know and like this one, please share your thoughts in the comments. I’m looking forward to something different in tomorrow’s Advent calendar surprise! Which is one of the fun aspects of Advent calendars — a little surprise every day.

Refillable wooden Advent calendar
My fragrance Advent calendar