Grandawood Cultivated Oud Sampler Review

Discussion in 'Oud Reviews' started by GalileoFigaroMagnifico, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. GalileoFigaroMagnifico

    GalileoFigaroMagnifico Oud vibrations

    :(What is it? Grandawood Cultivated Oud Sampler, AU$50 for five 0.1ml sample vials. See my previous review of the Wild Sampler for information about Grandawood's website and service, all of which still apply.

    The Middle Easterner
    Origin: "the border of Thai and Laos"
    1 minute: Instant barnyard but it's (gasp) a good barnyard, heavy on the wood and lighter on the manure.
    5 minutes: Complexity is increasing but so is the smoothness, with a slightly sweet cocoa note that has my mouth watering.
    20 minutes: Animalic notes (I recognize them as animalic, but I'm not sure whether they are civet or castoreum or what) are making this oud a little sweaty, and not in a bad way. This is not outdoor-friendly yet, but for different reasons: it smells like hot flushed skin. Human? Bovine? Porcine? Equine? Maybe a bit of each.
    40 minutes: Still major sexytime aroma. If you wear conventional eaux de parfum or toilette, an infinitesimal dab of TME underneath would boost the va-va-voom factor quite a bit, I reckon.
    80 minutes: The afterglow: light fruity chypre notes. Patchouli, moss, and a fruit I can't quite identify. Finally presentable Lovers of chypre and vetiver scents are going gaga right now.
    110 minutes: Still detectable and delectable. Feels (can I say this about an oil called "The Middle Easterner"?) very old-school French :D in a Mitsouko/Dioressence sort of way. Remains that way until fade-out.

    Super Smooth Thai Floral
    Origin: Thailand, I guess
    1 minute: Glorious tuberose and jasmine. WOW this is a floral topnote mainstream perfumes can only dream of.
    5 minutes: Honey sweetness and a curious salinity. It's kettle corn, but in oud oil form!
    25 minutes: That dried up quickly: both the swoonworthy flowers and the salty honey are suddenly replaced by a bone-dry camphor/eucalyptus/liniment note.
    40 minutes: The wood is peeking out but the camphor still dominates. It's really nice, though. It's the liniment of the gods. If Hercules had been laboring a bit too hard and hurt himself, this is what he'd rub on his sore shoulder.
    80 minutes: Some of the florals have come back to join the camphoraceous party. Just like it says on the vial, this is super super smooth. The camphor "lifts" the florals so it feels almost like it's floating above my skin.
    100 minutes: Soft clean skin scent until fade out.

    Evergreen Superior
    Origin: Vietnam
    1 minute: Dirty leather and pine tree with chargrilled meat accents. I think Santa brought me a medium-rare porterhouse and left it under the Christmas tree.
    5 minutes: The Christmas tree not only has a steak under it, but a cow and some cow dung as well. The main accord has taken on a dusty, antique feel, which is an interesting effect.
    20 minutes: Dusty barnyard has become a little less dusty and has acquired a powdery floral tinge. Heliotrope, maybe? Not enough to make it presentable, although it is an interesting effect
    50 minutes: Tea tree antiseptic joins the heliotrope, which is an interesting effect.
    80 minutes: Am contemplating the tea tree/woody dry down and am considering my final verdict. It's thumbs leaning down because I didn't find it a particularly pleasing oud. Then I re-read my review above. Every sniff of this oud surprised me with something interesting. It really was an olfactory journey to parts unknown. So, thumbs up out of respect for an oud that, odd as it seems to say, feels very smart.

    The Misty Forest
    Origin: unknown
    1 minute: Mint, tree leaves, and--weirdly, iris. Iridescent, faintly sweet, and thoroughly surprising. If you like iris notes in perfumery, you will love this. I do not like iris notes in perfumery, and therefore I do not love this.
    5 minutes: The pale iridescence of the opening notes has had its purple turned way up: there's violet, heliotrope and sharp lavender. I can't honestly say I like this yet, but it sure is interesting.
    20 minutes: And now we have green tea joining the party. I haven't yet mentioned it but this was publicly wearable from the moment of application and is even more so now. Complex and fascinating.
    50 minutes: Still tea but with more depth as the woody notes come out. I'm really digging this now.
    70 minutes: The mint is back, and now we have a dead ringer for Adore's Moroccan Mint green tea, served just the way I like it--with honey. I should add that leafy, grassy green scents aren't really my bag, and this isn't that except at the very beginning. I'd gladly wear this as an everyday scent: it's both refreshing and calming and remains that way until fade out.

    Floral Superior
    Origin: unknown
    1 minute: Black pine pitch and road tar.
    5 minutes: Whoa nelly, that's some serious barnyard. Plenty of manure along with hay and moldy wood.
    20 minutes: I feel sorry for all the Grandawood customers who saw "floral" in this oil's name and bought it expecting something like Fracas. The manure note is projecting more and more. Needless to say, this is not outdoor-friendly in the least.
    30 minutes: At this point I'd like to define some terms I've seen used in other, more learned reviews. Some may find them interchangeable, and by all means feel free to disagree. but I'd like to clarify the difference as I see it.
    Barnyard: There's a barn, and straw, and animals plus their collected excreta, fur, leather, and wood. Maybe some grass and grains too.
    Fecal: Someone just took a sh*t on the rug.​
    Here we have fecal. Oh boy, do we ever.
    40 minutes: There's some leather intermittently peeking through but this is still extremely fecal and terribly rude. Only my solemn duty as a reviewer is keeping me from washing this off. Be grateful, Ouddicts.
    55 minutes: I didn't wash, but I did vigorously rub the spot on my arm with a paper towel. The poop is receding a little to reveal a more conventionally oudy wood scent. There's still plenty of poop though. Plenty. Sigh.
    75 minutes: Even though it's 34 degrees out and the air conditioner is running, I have just put on a long-sleeved shirt to cover up the stench. If that doesn't work (this is pungent, if you hadn't guessed) I might spray some Musc Koublai Khan on top to lighten the mood.:eek:
    90 minutes: I think this oud has said just about all it has to say. I've smelt the ways "barnyardy" oud" can still be complex and interesting (see The Middle Easterner, above, or The Forbidden Scent from Grandawood's Wild Sampler, reviewed earlier) but the entire olfactory drama of Floral Superior is really a trial to tolerate. Like Voltaire's Holy Roman Empire, Floral Superior is neither floral nor superior.

    Which would I personally consider full-bottle worthy?The Misty Forest for sure. Super Smooth Thai Floral but mostly for that heavenly tropical-flower opening. The Middle Easterner in theory but maybe not in practice. Evergreen Superior is admirable but not really likeable, if that makes sense.

    Thanks for reading.

    : Literally seconds after posting this, when I edited to add the hyperlink to the Grandawood site, I see that the Cultivated Sampler is sold out.:( The Wild Sampler seems to still be available, though.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Habz786, Ouddict and Rai Munir like this.
  2. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi Oud Fan

    great impressions. the super smooth thai floral and misty forest read as winners.

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