DI SER‘s Hikaru Daichi takes you on a trip to Japan’s mountain forests from the clean, crisp air at the peak to the green-tinged earthy forest floors below, complete with aromatic, fragrant pine cones strewn all over. The only things that remove you from the naturalism of this tableau are church-style frankincense and immensely resinous, tarry, leathery oud.
Not all fragrances with a cult following deserve their accolades. DI SER‘s Kyara does, in my opinion. It’s a superb, opulent, smoldering oud with Kyara or Kinam (Kynam) agarwood, the best, rarest, and highest grade of oud whose exorbitant cost and scarcity preclude most perfumers from using it in perfumery. It’s actually considered rather insane to do so and, yet, DI SER did. The result – in conjunction with a truly exquisite, lush, intoxicating, honeyed rose – is fantastic.
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.
Aquilaria Blossom is a collaboration between two of the top masters of oud fragrances and oud distillation, Russian Adam of Areej Le Doré (“ALD”) and Taha Syed of Agar Aura. It is a much lighter, more resinous, less oud-y, more amber-scentric fragrance (on my skin) than many of the things that I’ve tried from either brilliant auteur. That makes it a more approachable, easy-to-wear, and versatile scent in many ways, even if it comes across as more simplistic, linear, and less operatic in character on an olfactory level. I enjoyed it, particularly during its cozy, snuggalicious drydown phase.