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A Beginner's Journey Into The World Of Oud And Attars.

Discussion in 'Oud Reviews' started by Stanley, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    Hello all, I am fairly new here but wanted to start a thread to document my journey and discovery into the world of ouds/attars. Although I have enjoyed fragrances for close to 25 years (and was even exposed to oud here and there), I still consider myself very much a beginner with an untrained nose. Please bear with me as I share my experiences.

    I became interested in attars 2-3 years ago when I "accidentally" stumbled across some Sultan Pasha reviews. I was intrigued and ordered a small sample kit of 5 attars (he still had smaller kits back then). His compositions blew me away and I was hooked.

    I've always enjoyed musky fragrances. In fact, I would say my favourite category of fragrances are musk-based and I've sample many fragrances that contained "musk" (unspecified), civet, castoreum, hyraceum, etc. Whether they were natural or not were always somewhat unknown to me. In my search for the muskiness Sultan Pasha attar, @Joshua Riding reached out to me and it was through his instagram that I became exposed to this world of oud, attars, and other artisans.

    To date, I still have not smelled a pure oud oil on its own, and I JUST smelled real deer musk for the first time the other day when I sampled Turath II.

    Continued below...
     
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  2. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    This was posted in the Anticipation thread but I will transcribe it here as it documents my first experience with Al Shareef Oudh's Turath II:

    My ASO package arrived last night. @Al Shareef Oudh was gracious enough to include samples of Ward and Yasameen as well! Thank you sir
    IMG_20200421_173437.jpg

    I am wearing 2 drops of Turath II on my wrists today and it is definitely kicking my @ss. This is the most challenging attar in my collection by far and is showing me how much of an oud beginner I am.

    The opening is incredibly intense with an in-your-face smokey/incense/camphorous punch. It eventually settles a bit and soft woods, light spices, and a warm amber peeks through. If I sniff my wrists too closely, my untrained nose interprets the oud as a strong turpentine note so I'm enjoying it from a short distance. I cannot pick apart the deer musk, even though the bottom 1/5 of the bottle looks to be all deer musk grains. I've only smelled synthetic musks up to this point so I need to learn how to appreciate the real stuff. It's possible I'm simply unable to differentiate the oud and musk at this point.

    I can already tell how addictive this oil is and am glad it is still cool enough outside to wear it. It smelled absolutely amazing when I stepped out of the house this morning into -2C weather. The cool air outside tamed the fragrance a little bit and made it much easier to enjoy. I don't know if I would wear this in the summer or to work. Luckily I'm the only one in the office today because I'm worried it might be offensive to some people. For reference, someone commented on SP Cheval d'Arabie as "smoky and weird", even though I find that attar very easy to enjoy.
     
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  3. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    its interesting that you started out with attars...i suppose I could see how that might be. Can I suggest you pick up a sampler pack from someone that includes the more ethereal bornoes,the sweet thais, sweet and sometimes leathery malays, a walla patta, meroke, etc.....all of which while unusual are a little less challenging then say hindi or koh kong cambodis....though a nice pursat or if you can find it filipino oil might be up your alley. Also since your not too far from the states you might want to reach out to JK at riseing phonix and ask him to customize a beginning sample set for you....he is very good at what he does and known to tailor fit his services...not trying to take a ASO review and turn it into a shill for JK lol! Just saying that its good as a beginner to have as much variety as possible to increase your Olefactory roledex , your scent library in your brain.
     
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  4. Andrew Salkin

    Andrew Salkin it's aboud time!

    Just got a turath 2 sample last night in my pack!

    So I totally can see why this might be deemed challenging for a newcomer. That said, for me I think it's amazing. An absolutely hot and heavy musk forward attar with legs for days!

    My guess is that it's the musk that is making your confused or go nuts, not the Oud. The oud is there but it's actually the more mellow profile of notes compared to the musk.

    For those who like more traditional ouds and attars but are either overwhelmed with vendor options or b. Looking for traditional attars and oils done with artisinal quality, then ASO is your best bet! RBO too I think hits on this kind of niche as well - but ASO has more on the higher end and some really unique offerings for a traditional/artisinal quality. Trying Layth today! Off the cap it's a cambodi - that's clear. But the first thing I can smell is this bitter PEAR thing going on. Almost like a can of halved pears! Love it. Will report back in oud of the day later on it!
     
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  5. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    Today, I am wearing @Al Shareef Oudh's new release Kaashef.
    I definitely want to sample an array of ouds from different regions to learn about the differences. I'll look into both RP and RBO - thank you for the suggestions! There are so many options out there that it's easy to become overwhelmed as a beginner.
     
    Taesik Yun and Oudamberlove like this.
  6. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    Ah so maybe it is the musk? This was my first experience with natural deer musk so it could be throwing me off. By the way, there seems to be quite a significant amount of musk in the bottle as there appears to be a thick layer of musk grains at the bottom :eek:. I actually tried to shake the bottle to mix the grains before applying yesterday; probably not necessary but I'm having fun with it.

    Now that the grains have settled, it appears to take up about 1/8th of the bottle? When I first received it, the grains were more mixed up and looked like it took up 1/4 of the bottle!
    IMG_20200423_100952.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  7. Grega

    Grega True Ouddict

    Turath is powerful stuff. You should be careful with the bottles' applicator as it is so easy to put too much oil on the wrists. Even with my thin vial applicator I put a tiny tiny dot of Turath on which makes the scent perfect, a little too much and it is overwhelming. And yes the musk is very noticeable, the ouds not nearly as much. Wonderful attar, it makes me appreciate it more and more with each wear. Kaashef is wonderful as well. Much more oud scent in that one.
     
    Taesik Yun, Oudamberlove and Stanley like this.
  8. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    I definitely went WAY too heavy yesterday with 2 drops and it overwhelmed my senses. Sniffing the bottle today is like a completely different experience - it is probably what T2 is SUPPOSED to smell like if you don't apply like crazy :p

    I am sampling Kaashef today and will report back later but am really, really, really enjoying it so far. I can see myself wearing this over T2 as it's a little easier to take in. I only used the smallest dab today to not overwhelm my nose.

    Also, I'm starting to learn to identify the musk. What I thought was oud yesterday was most likely musk.
     
    Taesik Yun, Oudamberlove and Grega like this.
  9. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    After overwhelming my nose with 2 drops of Turath II, I was much more careful with my application of Kaashef and applied a very light dot to the back of my wrist. From there, I rubbed the dot onto the back of my other wrist. I like sampling oils this way as it creates 2 zones of concentration, where the first wrist is much stronger than the other. I find this allows me to experience the scent from afar (first wrist) and from up close (2nd wrist) without overwhelming my nose. I obviously didn't do this with Turath II as I applied 1 dot to each wrist so both wrists were equally strong :eek:

    Here are my thoughts... sorry if I'm a little scatter-brained. I am not the best at describing scents from top to bottom but will try my best.
    IMG_20200424_083327.jpg

    Kaashef opens with a bright, sparkling rose. ASO describes the opening as powdery but I actually found it more bubbly and fizzy, like a champagne. Could it be aldehydes? I'm not sure but it wouldn't surprise me because aldehydes can be described as both powdery and fizzy, depending on the nose. To me, it was a bubbly and bright rose that was also deep - if that makes any sense. (By the way, I am not implying that ASO added synthetic aldehydes but maybe they exist naturally in rose oil?) Along with the rose was the prominent scent of musk. The musk in Kaashef seemed gentler than the musk in Turath II and was much easier to approach. It was soft, warm, and animalic with a slight dirtiness to it. Beneath the rose and musk was a base of sweet smoke (incense?) and woods. Perhaps this was from the oud? Either way, it was very nice and quiet and did not scream at me. If anything, the sweet smoky/woody/oud was the foundation that carried the rose and musk. Over the next half hour, soft spices joined the rose/musk/smoke/woods but was never super strong. I also caught the occasional hint of ambergris but only when I really focused on the scent. Eventually, maybe 2-3 hours after application, the rose, woods, and spices slowly faded and the musk came forward as the dominant note and remained at the forefront for the rest of the day. The scent lasted around 8 hours on my skin. I'm sure it would've lasted longer if I applied more heavily but I was quite happy with the amount I used.

    Although I've only sampled it once, I already really liked this attar and wish I ordered a full bottle. In fact, I messaged ASO almost right away to tell him how much I liked the opening! This is something I can see myself wearing a lot, even in the warmer months. So far, I would say Kaashef is definitely more approachable than Turath II. Chatting with ASO about it, he agreed that Kaashef is the lighter scent while Turath II is deep and dark.

    I would describe Kaashef primarily as a MUSK/rose/oud scent. If you are familiar with Sultan Pasha's Juriah (rose/oud), Kaashef can be described as the deeper, darker older brother. I hope I don't offend either artisan but I would even consider layering the two together (as Juriah is VERY bright compared to Kaashef).

    Oh, I forgot to mention. Wearing Kaashef triggered memories of being at a specific summer cottage we rented over 15 years ago. I am guessing the sweet/smokey/woody base reminded me of wooden cabins, campfires, and toasted marshmallows while the brighter opening reminded me of the late afternoon sun. It's funny how different scents trigger different memories.
     
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  10. Stanley

    Stanley Whats this Oud About?

    One more for today!

    Since Kaashef faded from my wrists by the early evening, I allowed myself a small sampling of Ward before going to bed. I did not get to smell this to the very finish as I fell asleep so this is just a preliminary review of the opening and middle.
    IMG_20200424_083620.jpg

    Ward opened with a pure bright rose note that was completely different from the rose in Kaashef. Missing from Ward was the musk and smoke. There wasn't much deepness to the rose either. Instead, the rose was very much bright with a base of sandalwood in the background. Within half an hour, the rose turned very green. I don't know how to describe it. It wasn't grassy or vegetal. It smelled green as if you just cut the rose flowers off the bush and you got a hint of the freshly cut stems? Maybe that's the best way I can describe it. Someone with more experience can probably describe it better.

    The middle was still very much rose rose and more rose but with deeper woods and and an obvious patchouli note. Like Kaashef, there were quiet spices that added complexity but never became the focus of the scent.

    After 1.5 hours, the scent turned purple on me. The impression I got was the smell of purple popsicles that you break in two (the kind with 2 wooden sticks). It didn't smell like that exactly but more like the immediate smell when you open the wrapper. The only way I can describe that smell is bright, fruity, floral, and COLD with a hint of woodiness.

    I fell asleep soon afterwards. I will have to sample this again some other time.

    Today, I am wearing Sultan Pasha Juriah. After 2 days of deeper fragrances, I need the super bright rose that shines in Juriah.
     
    Oudamberlove and Taesik Yun like this.
  11. Joshua Riding

    Joshua Riding Utter Gentleman

    Glad you love them bro ❤️
     
  12. DubOudh

    DubOudh Whats this Oud About?

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your journey thus far Stanley. I understand your timidness about explaining scents...but rest assured, you need not. You did a great job interpreting the scent notes....something I have not arrived at......
    Thank you for your posts.
     
    Sproaty likes this.

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