Areej Le Doré Russian Oud: Willy Wonka’s Oud

Willy Wonka would probably have loved Areej Le Doré‘s new Russian Oud. The chocolate and candy magician in Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book was noted for transforming sweet items into something fun outside of its usual structure. The same can be said for Russian Oud which puts an oriental twist on the famed sweets factory or, to view it in a different light, takes Willy Wonka’s magic factory and places it firmly in the Orient. Imagine Willy’s river of chocolate, but now slash it through with caramel and treacly labdanum toffee and transport it to Ali Baba’s cave of oriental treasures. The cave lies deep in the heart of a Hindi oud mountain, its carved walls emitting gusts of black smoke and heavy brown muskiness. Willy Wonka’s gourmand river now runs alongside tall river beds made out of resinous, smoky red sandalwood and brown-red earthy patchouli, and is watched over by Oompa Loompas clad in birch tar leather, their skin orange from a thin patina of spices, and Ali Baba’s forty thieves clad in myrrh and more leather. Together, they stir the molten river of chocolate, toffee, and caramel with long paddles made out of creamy sandalwood, oud wood, and buttered oud calfskin, sending it down into the heart of the mountain where it finally winds its way into an ambered pool of caramel muskiness flecked with a pinch of cocoa.

Photo: The Siberian Times. Source:

Russian Oud. Photo: my own.

Continue reading

Roja Dove Amber Extrait: Willy Wonka’s Amber

"Chocolate on My Mind," Painting by Pamela Van Laanen. Source: (direct website link embedded within.)

“Chocolate on My Mind,” by Pamela Van Laanen. Source: (website link embedded within.)

The joys of chocolate and sandalwood, encased in golden amber. That is only one aspect of Amber Extrait which merges the wonders of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory with the luxury version of a Starbucks line-up: Earl Grey tea, hot chocolate, a white chocolate chai, and a vanilla latte sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, all enveloped in multi-faceted amber velvet. Yet, at its heart, Roja Dove’s Amber is almost as much about sandalwood as it is about chocolate or its namesake note. There is a Mysore-like bouquet that is, at first, milky, then creamy and spiced, before finally turning smoky. It is a significant part of the fragrance, and one reason why Amber is hardly the simple soliflore that its name suggests.

Amber (sometimes called “Amber Extrait”) was released in 2014. On his website, Roja Dove describes the fragrance and its notes as follows:

Source: Neiman Marcus.

Source: Neiman Marcus.

“Seductive Enveloping Opulence”

“Amber, a blend of exotic materials, crafted to give us a glimpse of the mysterious Orient. I blended a rich, velvety note of black chocolate with the soft sweetness of an amber accord to create an edible olfactive delight”. Roja Dove

TOP: Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Orange
HEART: Cocoa, Rose
BASE: Amber, Benzoin, Cedarwood, Coumarin, Labdanum, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla.

Continue reading