Exotic, sweet perfumes rich in precious woods, tonka, vanilla, balsams and spices, these scents are tenacious and long lasting. Their heady penetrating base notes are often enhanced with (synthesised) animalic accords such as ambergris, civet, castoreum and musk to create a compelling depth of fragrance.
It is said that modern oriental fragrances began with Guerlain's Shalimar (1925) with its classic structure of a sparkling citrus top accord which develops into a floral heart and an intense vanilla base. Nowadays oriental scents are free-wheeling, complex combinations crossing over with many other fragrance families such as chypres, florals, tobacco and leathers.
This freedom of expression has also translated into a range of oriental oud creations, that most powerful and dramatic of natural oils.
Often misunderstood, oud is specifically a gum from a certain species of Asian agar tree exuded when the dying tree is infected by a certain type of mould. This dark and smoky ingredient is readily used in woody, tobacco or leather perfumes, adding a weight and strength to the scent. Traditionally strong of voice, there is a new oud movement in town where the complex ingredients are distilled and partnered to create a much lighter scent without sacrificing its tenacity.
Orientals are not for the shy, the reserved, the prudent. They are highly-coloured, elaborate and warm in mood with an inviting sillage. Usually attributed with powerful aphrodisiac qualities and sensual tones this fragrance family is ideal for the big nights out, the occasions to remember, the memories to make.