This sample was part of my minor oud exploration, I will do a much more in depth one shortly, I need an oud!
This is also the first Le Labo sample I’ve ordered, I took a brief sniff over at the counter in Liberty on my last visit to London, relatively impressed, but Le Labo wasn’t my mission for the day then :P
I’ve heard very mixed things about Le Labo, I don’t personally see the appeal in the labels printed when you go and buy your juice, and it filled infront of you, not really even a novelty for me unfortunately.
I do however quite like the bottles, very formal, like science equiptment, that’s more novel.
Oud 27 opens with a sour, medicinal oud and a bunch of lovely animalic notes. I say lovely becuase they are filthy and grubby, not really because they smell lovely. It is musty, dirty and intense, with some beautiful saffron glowing upfront. I love this opening becuase I love oud, animalics - and saffron is an awesomely under used spice in perfumery.
These notes slop around each other messily for a short while before settling into a neat order. The oud is still barnyard-y and some dark woods creep in from underneath. It smells somewhat familiar, and kind of reminds me of a dirtier/oud-y version of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzing – without the vanilla.
I find it a really easy wear, even though it is described by pretty much everyone as challenging. I’ve heard “unwashed hair” and “fecal” just as some of the descriptions – to be honest, they’re kind of true, but not as unpleasant as the literal smell. Also Turin describes Oud 27 as “inky” which I kind of understand, but there’s some much else going on, ink is the last thing I think of.
Once the sour aspects die down significantly, what’s left is a very pleasant, dirty oud wood (not that designer band-aid style) along with a group of other murky woods, still the faintest whisp of saffron or at least the feel of it from the start, and some much more subtle animalics. It retains the original shocking skank of the beginning but now more wearable and woodsy. It’s a fun fragrance, and I would like to try out some more Le Labo’s. There’s just something about the brand that I don’t find appealing, then again, I made that mistake with Parfum D’Empire, and now have discovered some utterly wonderful fragrances and some of my favourites.
All in all, worth a sniff! A really “cool” take on an oud fragrance in a time where a standout is much needed within it’s category – not “my” oud though unfortunately. The hunt continues…
Le Labo Oud 27 - 50 ml – £90 RRP available from lelabofragrances.com