A Jewel of a Scent


Oud, that rich and resinous substance that lends itself to some of the most exquisite fragrances in the world, has almost run into overexposed territory. A couple of years ago Tom Ford released a trio of Oud frags – Oud Wood, Tobacco Oud, and Oud Fleur – that were all delicious, and in the ensuing years we’ve gone into oud overload. Not that I’m complaining – we have yet to reach any sort of oversaturation point – and when something like Atelier’s recent ‘Oud Safir’ came along, my fragrance expert at Neiman Marcus gave me an unsolicited sample knowing I would fall in love instantly, and she was absolutely correct.

For me, this is oddly reminiscent of Byredo’s ‘Black Saffron’ and is just as potent. It’s a banger of a fragrance that softens as the day goes on, beginning in brash and sparkling form before veering into something rich and decadent. It’s like a jewel that has been transformed into a scent – hard and sleek, simultaneously opaque and transparent. It bites and soothes, and is warm enough for the fall and winter. Along with the agar wood, there is suede, pink pepper, and birch to resonate long beyond the top bergamot notes.

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