Wearing This Fragrance Always Makes Me Feel Rich—13 Perfumes I Recommend

Testing and trying perfumes for a living means that it becomes easy to jump to conclusions based off of a fragrance's name, notes, and even its packaging. Spot vetiver and you know the scent is going to be woody, whereas if vanilla features then it's likely to be sweet. Likewise, it's possible to tell if a fragrance will veer fresh or floral based on its balance of citrus and flower notes. So what I really love is when a perfume unexpectedly and pleasantly surprises me.

There are certain notes in fragrance that I tend to avoid—and so until recently, I had written oud perfumes totally off. What is oud, I hear you ask? Oud is a fragrance oil typically featured as a base note because it's rich and woody, and it tends to be used in perfumes that are quite loud and decadent—the type that are best worn at night time. Since I gravitate towards fresh, green fragrances, oud isn't a note that features in a lot of my favourite scents, and my prior experience with the note led me to believe that it overpowered perfumes and would leave me with a pounding headache

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(Image credit: @JORDANRISA)

The thing about the fragrance industry however is that it's full of innovation, and perfumers love a challenge. Attempting to modernise a classic or reinvent an underrated fragrance note is a big trend in perfume right now, which means that oud is seeing a bit of a renaissance. I recently had a fragrance consultation with the perfume experts at Guerlain, and was passed a tester of Guerlain Oud Nude to try. Of course, I wasn't expecting to like it, which made it all the more interesting when I found that for the first time, I wasn't put off at first sniff. With notes of almond, raspberry, vanilla, and sandalwood—and just a touch of smoky, leathery oud, it's sweet, soft, and surprisingly subtle. On skin, it smells even better, and the oud really does take a backseat, while still giving the fragrance the rich warmth for which the note is so famous. It's undoubtedly one of the best oud perfumes I've ever smelled, and immediately inspired me to find more.

If, like me, you'd previously written off oud, here are the 13 best oud perfumes that aren't at all overpowering or headache-inducing—I promise.

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(Image credit: @MOBINAPEIMAN)

The Best Oud Perfumes:

1. Maison Crivelli Oud Maracuja

2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Silk Mood

3. Byredo Mumbai Noise

4. Diptyque Oud Palao

5. Penhaligon's Halfeti

6. Guerlain Oud Nude

7. Juliette Has A Gun Another Oud

8. Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot

9. Killian Musk Oud

10. Cra-Yon Sand Service

11. Zara Universal Oud

12. Guerlain Cherry Oud

13. Atkinsons The Other Side of Oud

Next Up: The "Uncool" Perfume Trend Beauty Editors Are Obsessed With Right Now

Freelance Beauty Editor

Grace Day is a beauty editor and content creator. She has over 10 years of beauty-industry experience, spanning editorial, retail, and e-commerce, which gives her a unique understanding into how people shop for their beauty routines.

While studying for a history degree (specialising in the history of beauty) and working as a beauty adviser in department stores, Grace started writing her own beauty blog in order to share the products she discovered while dealing with acne. After graduating, she moved to Beauty Bay as beauty editor and content manager. Grace is currently a beauty contributor to Who What Wear. She has also written for Hypebae and PopSugar and works as a brand consultant and copywriter.