Over the last few days I’ve managed to try the remaining samples of the Oud Stars Collection by Xerjoff, and I was not disappointed. I liked a few, didn’t like a few others, but was never bored.
“Gao” might be the strangest fragrance I have ever tried because it had two unusual ingredients–Oud, of course, which is the resin of an agarwood tree being attacked by fungus; and saffron. Yes, saffron. Ever make a Spanish dish like paella and throw some saffron in there? It has a very distinct odor, and it comes up in spades in Gao. Once the perfume settled and my nose was able to get past the saffron, another woody scent came to the fore, but it wasn’t like pine or balsam, but rather similar to turpentine. I’m sure this doesn’t sound very appealing and, in the first 10 minutes of wearing this scent I was thinking it was a definite thumbs down. But it did start to grow on me and after an hour or so, I was really enjoying it.
“Najaf” was similar to Gao – it was very intense going on, but then mellowed to something bewitching. Yes, this scent bewitched me. Normally I don’t like the strong stuff, but for some reason I wanted to keep sniffing this one. It was very smoky and oriental, almost like smelling those puffs of cloud incense they use in church.
“Mamluk” was like liquid honey. It was very warm and fruity–absolutely my kind of scent.
“Zafar,” on the other hand, had a strong oud smell that was barely masked with a floral scent. Beneath it all was something resinous. I didn’t think the three types of scents worked together very well.
So there you have it – a rundown on all of the Oud Stars scents. If I were to pick a favorite, it would be Al Khatt. Least favorite? Zafar.