Oud Extraordinaire is an utter delight – and I say that as one who isn’t really an Oud Head. Its gourmand opening evokes Serge Lutens‘ signature of spices, stewed or candied fruits, and ambery, honeyed sweetness (along with Christmas and Persian Sohan sweets) before the thick, rich scent transitions into the conventional oud bouquet of incense, tarry leather, charred woods, and medicinal camphor and then into a velvety, ambered fusion of both. When you add incredible longevity and a reasonable (current sale) price, Oud Extraordinaire is an oud worth considering.
The original Santal Sultan oil stole my heart and was my Holy Grail sandalwood scent. Heck, as far as I was concerned, it was THE Unicorn sandalwood that nothing else came close to in terms of notes, smell, opulence, smoothness, or quality.
My total adoration of Ensar’s Santal Sultan oil was no small thing; a long-time reader teasingly called me a “Sandalwood Snob” almost a decade ago and that moniker is so true that I adopted the name for myself. (I’m still waiting on those “Sandalwood Snob” t-shirts that were promised to me, “Hajasuuri.”) Whether it was an Amouage santal attar or something from Tom Ford, Rising Phoenix, or Killian, nothing was the perfect fit for my personal tastes or impressed me much.
Nothing until Ensar Oud’s (original) Santal Sultan oil.
And now he’s made a sprayable pure parfum version of it!
There is not a person alive who has been unaffected by the wretchedness of 2020 and the pandemic that has dominated the list of traumas. I won’t even start to talk about the issues of this year because they are many and all hideous. But what about the escape methods for many of us during the best of times: scent? How much is perfumery still a big escape in the midst of one of the worst years in the 21st century?
It’s been a long time since a new release gave me a frisson of instant joy, longer still since one moved me to write reams of pages upon first sniff. Ensar Oud‘s newest fragrance, EO No 2 parfum, did precisely that. Within moments of spraying, I rushed to dig up a yellow legal pad, my head filled with the story of what the fragrance conjured up, so real that I practically saw the sentences in my head, saw the visions of what the notes evoked. It was a moment of pure olfactory delight, something which has been all too rare for me lately.