Three makes a trend at The Scented Salamander observatory of fragrance trends. This summer of 2015, we call attention to three characteristic perfume compositions which celebrate the marriage of oudh and the classic lush white floral bouquet creating a new, trendy type of floriental with roots in historically distinct cultural soils...
The aim is to bring together two building blocks from two distinct olfactory cultures under the symbolism of luxuriousness. If in the Euro-American region, excess is often expressed thanks to an expansive bouquet of white flowers of which Amarige by Givenchy is one of the best examples, in the Middle East, oudh or oud is the nec plus ultra sign of opulence and richness.
After several years of maturation the international market is ready for opuses that wed both lineages of excess into one composition.
This point was brought home to us first whilst travelling in Turkey this summer and smelling the 2010 Jesus del Pozo Arabian Nights for Women by perfumer Jean-Christophe Hénault, which is still extant and now more widely distributed with a new 2014 flanker in the Private Collection.
This smells exactly like the union of a sensual, feminine and rich petaly bouquet of white floral notes, including the queen gardenia, together with the darker, more exotic - smelled from an Euro-American viewpoint - oudh.
Back home, we then learned of the launch of Thierry Mugler Alien Oud Majestueux. Alien is that lush, slightly camphoraceous, i.e., coldly indolic rich white bouquet composed by the perfumer who created Amarige, Dominique Ropion, now in unison with the royal ingredient of the Middle East, agarwood. Alien fans were surprised. Thierry Mugler fans were shocked. But the perfume itself feels it has a right to live in its new resplendent incarnation.
In the midst of these new liberties taken with the genre of the floriental as well as the more classic pairing of rose and oudh, the latter which usually gets the seal of approval of traditionalists, comes yet another composition: Bond No. 9 B9. Named after the flagship store in New York City, house founder Laurice Rahme said that she wanted to combine the best of both worlds, which means this summer of 2015, a Middle-Eastern and Western marriage of white florals and oud, because the latter, it seems, is unescapable. In her own words,
"It's the best of all worlds, meaning gardenia because it's the love of America, and oud because it's the love of the rest of the world."
Now, you know what to wear to feel both au courant and opulent this summer of 2015. Hurry, because this cutting-edge olfactory coolness is going to get blunted pretty soon leaving space for yet another major twist on oudh.
For another composition bringing together two cultural blocs, check out Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar.