Scent Spotlight: Oud

Scent Spotlight: Oud

On the fragrance wheel, scent families create an identity for constellations of comparable aroma that are orphaned by the slight differences in their fragrance DNA. Depending on which wheel you reference, the foundation generally consists of four prominent fragrance families: wood, spice, floral, and fresh scents. 

Wander the perimeter between spice and wood fragrances and you’re bound to cross paths with the sublime sensation of a scent that holds you hostage with her hypnotizing opulence and seduction. If you meet her, you’ll know; she stops you dead in your tracks.


She’s Oud.

A fierce blend of rich wood and leather fragrances, Oud surprises with its footnotes of cinnamon, pepper, and cardamom. Read below to learn more about this enchanting mystery of a scent.

More expensive than gold 

When attacked with certain parasites, the Aquilaria tree produces a very dense dark resin embedded in agarwood. The resin extracted from agarwood is called oud, which, when burned or distilled, creates an intense earthy fragrance. Teetering on the brink of extinction, aged Aquilaria trees hoard a highly coveted commodity revealed only by self-destruction. 

While at first, this process may seem to fall short of a fairytale, the chance nature of its formation combined with the endangered status of the Aquilaria tree produces a very high demand for a product in short supply. It is reported that less than 2% of all agarwood trees even produce the oud resin. 

Oud is in such high demand that at a reported $1,300 per ounce, oud is “the most expensive oil in perfumery,” according to American perfumer Mandy Aftel. This makes oud one of the highest valued raw materials in the fragrance world. 

Meditation & Relaxation

Oud has long been used as a tool to help promote meditation and relaxation. The intoxicating effect of the rich wood fragrances invites pause to a bustling day and beckon us to recenter our mind, body, and soul. Agarwood itself even has a history of being used in non-traditional forms of medicine to combat stress, inflammation, and abdominal issues. Chinese medicine uses it as a natural sedative, while Ayurvedic medicine uses it as a cardioprotective agent and a sedative. The burning of oud incense is also often associated with religious ceremonies, including Islamic purification and Tibetian monks, who use it to calm their minds. With the power of both religion and eastern medicine on its side, it's clear that oud's power is a force to be reckoned with. 

Adopting Oud

When looking to introduce oud into your fragrance portfolio, try blending the fragrance with a complimentary scent. This will help enhance some of ouds' natural fragrance profiles and allow you to ease into the bold introduction that is oud. Modern-day adaptions often combine oud with fragrances like patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla, and sandalwood, which compliment oud’s complex fragrance profile. We recommend shopping for a premixed fragrance that takes the guesswork out of it for you! See some of our fragrance recommendations below.

Recommended products 

Bourbon & Wood Wax Melt

If you're looking for ouds top hits, these Bourbon & Wood wax melts yield the aged leather fragrances that bring it to life. A rich fragrance medley of bourbon-infused woods combines with sweet spiced vanilla over aged leather and enduring musk notes. 

Soothe Wax Melts

Signature to oud’s fragrance profile, enticing musk adds just enough depth to make any fragrance a fall fragrance. A combination of vanilla and patchouli fragrances hinted with musk, these Soothe wax melts make the best of both worlds. A hint of oud marries two classically comforting fragrances. We can’t help but think this will also be a hit for fall! 

Bonfire Wax Melts

Reminiscent of smouldering wood scents found in oud, these Bonfire wax melts are sure to captivate your senses! Fragrances of captivating smoked wood intermingled with crushed cedar and weathered driftwood brushed against hints of warmed leather and salted breezes.  

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