Close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a field in Provence. Fresh lavender stretches out in an aromatic purple expanse as far as the eye can see. Slashes of white are interspersed throughout, heliotrope whose delicate blooms launch a powerful cascade of vanilla, marzipan, fresh anise, and powdered meringue. Running through the heart of field is a river of vanilla, silky and creamy, coiling its way around the purple and white flowers to create the scent of lavender ice-cream dusted with meringue and anise. The earth below them is made of patchouli, its spiciness complemented by something a little extra that smells of cinnamon, cloves, and chili-pepper. All around, encircling the field like a dark wall, is a forest filled with myrtle, wafting its unique aromas of spicy herbs, fruity sap, herbal flowers, and green woods. Cedar grows there, too, along with green vetiver that first smells mineralized, mossy, and minty, and then, later, smoky and woody.
A mix of East and West lies at the heart of Oud Assam which showcases and highlights a true, authentic Middle Eastern oud in many of its complex facets before giving a nod to the West through touches of vetiver greenness and neo-chypre-like elements. It is not a scent for everyone, particularly those who have only experienced Western “oud,” a different animal entirely, and your reaction is going to depend on your familiarity with and appreciation for the more challenging aspects of the genuine article. On the other hand, if you love cheesy, creamy, musky, smoky, and slightly barnyard-like oud, Rania J.’s creation is one for you to try.