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What is Oud & What Does Oud Perfume Smell Like?

What is Oud & What Does Oud Perfume Smell Like?

Oud is one of the most desired, complex and arguably delicious smelling ingredients in the world. Its unique and long-lasting scent sets it apart from other choices. Additionally, the origins of oud are extremely interesting! To find out about the history, popularity, scent profile and more - continue to read this blog post about ‘what is oud?’

What is oud (Oudh)?

Oud, also known as agarwood or aloeswood, is a resinous wood. It is derived from a tropical agar tree, and when it is infected by mould (phialophora parasitica) it protects itself by producing a dark scent. So, the resin in the tree is what we know as oud, which is then harvested to create a variety of products - most famously, perfume. Chips from the tree are also widely burned as incense.

A brief history: where does oud come from?

The origins of oud goes back to Assam, India. The use of oud can be traced back to ancient cultures, and it is still used in many religious settings including Muslim and Christian ceremonies. The process in which oud is obtained is considered symbolic, as it represents resurrection - that once the tree has been corrupted, it is reborn as a stunning scent.

It can now also be found growing in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where it is most sought after. Due to the rarity of the product, it is grown all around the world, so there are many variations of the scent on the market.

Only in recent years has the popularity of oud spread to the UK and the USA, and this is down to social media (particularly TikTok).

Why is oud so popular?

Oud is extremely popular for a variety of reasons.

The primary reason why oud is so popular is due to its unique, complex smell. It is widely used in the fragrance industry, as it is in high-demand from customers around the world. The scent profile makes it simply smell expensive, therefore is beloved.

Another reason why oud is so popular is for its sensitive qualities. As it is used in traditional medical rituals, it is kind to the skin, hence people react well with it when it is used in perfumes.

What does oud smell like?

The desirability of oud comes from its complex and irresistible smell. Here are a few of the notes you can pick up from it. 

  • Smokey
  • Spicy
  • Musk
  • Woody
  • Vanilla
  • Tobacco

If you are interested in adding this scent to your collection, then you should check out Sunnamusk’s extensive range of premium perfumes. Or, you can create your own bespoke fragrance with us, book in for your session today.

Why are oud perfumes so expensive?

Oud can go for as much as $100,000 per kilogram! As a result, perfumes, aftershaves and room scents including it can be very expensive.

The main reason why oud perfumes are so expensive is because of how difficult it is to obtain the fragrance. The resin is only created when the tree is infected with mould, which is extremely rare. Only 2% of the trees actually produce it! This is also a lengthy process, adding to the delicacy of the product.

Another reason is that the agar tree is considered one of the most costly timbers in the world, and the market is worth £5 billion. As it is highly sought after, it is considered to be an endangered species. The rarity of the timber adds to the cost.

What sets oud apart from other scents?

Oud is complex. Not only does it smell wonderful, but when it interacts with an individual's skin, it creates a one-of-a-kind aroma. This mysterious aspect is extremely enticing, and sets it apart from other options on the market.

Oud is an interesting, incomparable fragrance. If you are looking out for your signature oud scent, check out some of Sunnamusk’s most iconic choices:

  • Oud Splendor: the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.
  • Afgan Oud: a mysterious blend of vanilla and wood hints.
  • Oud Sheikha: an enchanting, oriental mix of smells.

Can’t make up your mind? Why not try out our classic combination, which includes Oud Splendor and Alluring Empress.

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