This Intense Perfume Note Is Sure to Turn Heads—If You're Into That

If bold, sensual fragrances are your bread and butter, it's high time you reached for a fragrance containing oud. In the Middle East, oud is also known as "black gold," and for good reason—it's an absolutely magnetic scent

Oud is made from agarwood, which is the dark and resinous heartwood of aquaria trees when they're infected with a certain type of mold. Intrigued yet? So are many perfumers, as the ingredient has cropped up in fragrance houses like Dior, Tom Ford, Kilian, and more.



What Kind of Scent Is Oud?

Oud is an incredibly luxurious scent that fits into the woody fragrance family. It’s sweet and woodsy, but it also has spicy and leathery notes. It has tons of complexity, making it perfect for fragrances. An oud fragrance is right for you if you typically like woodsy, warm scents. Below, find our favorite oud-forward fragrances. 

Key notes: Damascus rose, oud

Rose and oud are a match made in heaven. This luxe fragrance marries the two perfectly—it's filled with warmth and strikes the perfect balance between woodiness and floral. 

Key notes: saffron, camphor, white galbanum, Indonesian oud, bulgar rose, lavender absolute, civet, cetalox, papyrus

Oud is the star of the show in this fragrance, but it's supplemented by unexpected notes like saffron and papyrus. The overall effect is warm and inviting. 

Key notes: oud, musk

Leave it to Cartier to create the boldest oud perfume. It's bitingly powerful, driven by oud and musk—this isn't a scent for the faint of heart. 

Key notes: bergamot, raspberry, rose, cinnamon, pink pepper, cloves, agarwood oil, patchouli, cisto labdanum

Oud gets a spicy treatment in this fragrance, which is filled with cinnamon, pink pepper, and cloves to give it a kick. Bergamot adds some brightness while raspberry mellows it all out with a hint of sweetness. 

Key notes: bergamot, mandarin, water accord, grapefruit, rose, geranium, waterlily, gardenia, agarlos, wood, cardamom, sandalwood, guaiacwood, amber, pink pepper, vanilla, coffee, musk

There are so many competing notes in this perfume that at first, it seems like they wouldn't all work together. The finished product, however, is intense, unique, and mysterious—guaranteed a heap of compliments. 

Key notes: clove, Damask rose, oud 

Jo Malone London takes the classic combination of oud and rose and gives it an extra boost with the addition of clove. 

Key notes: oud, sandalwood, Chinese pepper

Tom Ford's Oud Wood has become a go-to for those seeking an oud fragrance. It's the perfect combination of smokiness, woodiness, and spice. 

Key notes: incense, cardamom, rosewood, papyrus, patchouli, moss, tobacco leaves, oud

Byredo pays hommage to oud in this unique fragrance. It's an intense scent, with oud being the star of the show while notes like cardamom and tobacco leave act as supporting characters. 

Key notes: oud, rose, vanilla

This perfume knows that if you have a good thing, you shouldn't mess with it. It sticks with the tried and true rose and oud pairing, adding vanilla for depth. 



Key notes: bergamot, thyme, rosemary, hyssop, geranium, ylang-ylang, cedar, patchouli, cyste, olibanum, leather, agarwood smoke, sandalwood

Chantecaille normally sticks to skincare and makeup, but one whiff of this will make you wish the brand did more fragrances. It's woody and spicy with just the right amount of brightness. 

Key notes: rose oil, violet accord, styrax oil, rose absolute, oud, benzoin, vanilla 

As the name might imply, this feels like wrapping yourself in ultra-luxe fabric. It's floral and woody, with just the right hint of sweetness to round it out. 

Key notes: rose, geranium, musk, patchouli, oud, rum

This perfume strikes the perfect balance between floral, woodsy, and sweet. It's a fantastic interpretation of oud, and is unexpected in all the right ways. 

Other Woody Perfumes We Love

Key notes: juniper berries, bourbon, cedar