Perfume: Step into the Ultimate World of Luxury

Perfume: Step into the Ultimate World of Luxury

A fragrance expert reveals why the rare ingredient 'oud' is so prized in the Middle East -- and why it's heading to a perfume counter near you. (The Guardian)

Oud is the aged bark of the rare agarwood tree that is the basis of many perfumes that are highly prized in Middle Eastern culture — yet the scent is unfamiliar to most Westerners. When the bark is burned, oud smoke has an odor that is described as both exotic and as light as the wind. The scent clings to clothes, hair and other objects, and is considered so important that, even in a recession, it is this last thing a wealthy Arab would give up. As described by fragrance expert Roja Dove in this video by The Guardian UK, oud is a luxury item that is, next to Ambergris, the most expensive raw material in the world.

Although the smooth-talking presenter may come across as a bit over the top, the video is an interesting lesson in basic perfumery and provides a window into the world of Middle Eastern wealth. Dove explains that this precious scent has recently made its way into the perfumes of fashion designer Tom Ford, thus bringing it to the Western nose. When distilled into an oil, oud can be used alone, or as an additive to another scent where it “captures” the other fragrance and makes it last longer. One wishes that there were such a thing as scratch-and-sniff video so that the viewer could experience first hand what all the fuss is about.


Length: 5:37

By Amal Ahmed

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