Tom Ford Oud Collection
Tom Ford Oud Collection is an expansion of the usage of Oud in Tom Ford’s Private Blend fragrance range, which is centered around Oud Wood. I reviewed that scent a few years ago, and it remains my favorite fragrance of all-time (though it jockeys with Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute and Bois Marocain). There were rumors of Oud Wood being discontinued, but luckily the brand confirmed it was staying in line and merely being repackaged for the Oud collection launch.
The collection features three scents: Oud Wood, Tobacco Oud, and Oud Fleur. The latter I don’t have, so I can’t speak on, though it seems to be the more interesting scent between the two newer scents from early reviews. In addition to the two new eau de parfums, Oud Wood now has companions in the form of soap, shower gel, and body moisturizer. Private Blend fragrances are available in the following sizes: 1.7 fl. oz. ($210), 3.4 fl. oz. ($290), and 8.4 fl. oz. ($520).
To quickly summarize Oud Wood, it opens with a spicy, smoky air–rosewood and cardamom–that is a little sharp initially, but it transforms into an amber and sandalwood mix with an underlying touch of vetiver with just a lingering smokiness. Towards the end, it is a mix of amber, vanilla, and woods; rich and earthy and warm. For a really great, in-depth look at Oud Wood, I recommend this review.
Oud Wood Bar Soap ($35.00) is a lot like the first forty minutes of the eau de parfum, but the scent doesn’t linger on my skin for very long–an hour or so post-shower, and I really can’t detect it. It produces a rich lather that’s hydrating, and thankfully, doesn’t leave the skin feeling squeaky-clean. The Oud Wood Body Moisturizer ($65.00) follows a similar pattern as the fragrance on a more muted scale that always wears close to the skin, though it lingers for far longer than the soap; after eight to ten hours, it’s mostly gone on me. It has the consistency of a slightly thicker lotion, but it is thinner than a cream. To contrast that against the eau de parfum, I can still get faint whiffs the eau de parfum of Oud Wood twenty-four hours later.
Tobacco Oud opens with a burst of smoke, spice, and almost reminds me of incense burning at an altar. It’s dry, like walking in the woods during autumn, when it’s chilly enough that fireplaces are crackling, but there’s no snow or rain yet. Or stepping into a dry sauna–it’s just a lot of smokiness and drier woods to me; I keep thinking cedarwood (which is a note). There’s amber in the background, somewhere, that’s fleeting initially, and then it settles in for a long stay. It morphs into a mix of smoke, spice, amber, labdanum, and the beginning tendrils of vanilla. Finally, it becomes a more comforting, warmer scent that smells of lightly sweetened vanilla with a soft smokiness and a wee bit of spice that lingers. Oud is here and there throughout the first few hours of wear; it’s not the star–the smokiness from tobacco is definitely more in the forefront. If you’re looking for a strong oud note, it’s not in this scent. It has moderate projection and wore twelve to sixteen hours (two sprays) on me. If you like Tobacco Vanille, Amber Absolute, Sahara Noir, or Oud Wood (or some combination of them), I think you’ll like this one.
Tobacco Oud has received some comparisons to Amber Absolute, which I can see and not see. I found Tobacco Oud’s metamorphosis was greatly influenced by the number of sprays; less than two, and it was very, very dry and lacked warmth, but three sprays gave me that warmth that I missed the first time I wore it, and that warmth made me understand some of the comparisons to Amber Absolute. With that being said, Amber Absolute is much, much heavier on the amber; it’s headier, thicker, warmer, cozier; when Amber Absolute opens, I get that resinous quality but not the smokiness that I wafts from Tobacco Oud. Amber Absolute is also sweeter throughout the wear, where Tobacco Oud turns slightly sweeter from the tonka bean after six to eight hours of wear. Even if the two had more similarities than differences, the most marked difference is that Amber Absolute is a monster–it has more projection, longevity, and overall, it is just more potent. Amber Absolute–one spray split between my wrists–is still a skin scent twenty-four hours after I’ve applied and taken a shower.
Tobacco Oud is standing in front of the hearth and warming your hands, a brief respite from the cool outdoors. Amber Absolute is curling up in a luxurious blanket in your favorite chair and settling in for the night.