What Does Oud Smell Like

Oud is an old Arabic word that refers to the oil that comes from the wood of the Agarwood tree. It takes a tremendous amount of skill, experience, and knowledge to produce a scent comparable to the expensive oud - a scent so rare and so rewarding, yet so difficult to make. Here's all you need to know about the oud and what it smells like.

What does oud smell like

What is Oud Good For?

Oud is used mainly for making incense and some medicines. However, it is used as a fragrance and a fixative in perfumes. It is used by the perfume industry to give its characteristic odor to floral, oriental, and woodsy scents.

What is Oud Scent Made From

Oud oil is a resin, which is extracted from the heartwood of Agarwood trees. The agarwood is a rare and endangered tree, which is native to Southeast Asian countries. The heartwood of the tree is cut into small pieces, and the fragments are then burned in a furnace.

The burning wood gives a pleasant aroma and a pungent smoke of dissolved resin. Then the resin is extracted from the smoke using a vacuum pump and is refined to obtain the oud oil. The oil is then mixed with alcohol to produce oud perfume.

Is Oud an Oil

Oil is extracted from the oud tree. Oud itself is an Arabic word that means wood. There are many kinds of oud oils, but the most popular ones come from Mysore in India. It is also available in Indonesia.

What does oud smell like

What Does Oud Smell Like

The smell of oud is complicated and mysterious. It is an olfactory profile that ranges between earthy, smoky, woody and sweet scents. It is sensual, warm, rich and evokes the feeling of luxury. It has a high longevity on the skin and is often used as a base note in perfumes. Contrary to top and middle notes, base notes remain on the skin for a long duration after the other notes have faded out.

Pure natural oud may also have a pungent animalic, wet rotted to fecal smell which may be off-putting with accords of leather and spices, it however shines through with its complexity creating an intriguing scent. These pungent  characteristic of oud tends to be masked or toned down in some fragrances. When you wear a perfume containing natural oud, you'll catch a whiff of its warm, sweet and balsamic notes, hours after applying it.

In terms of smell, the wood used, where the tree was grown, and whether the tree was farmed or naturally infected have a major impact on the final scent profile.

Why Does Oud Smell So Bad

The natural odor of oud can be quite off-putting for some people and may even be considered repulsive. Oud has been traditionally made for eastern markets and the scent profile is foreign to western noses that prefer cleaner, fresher and sweet fragrances.The smell of oud is also dependent on the quality and source of the oud.

The Oud scent can range from being fecal to animalic to barnyardy to sweet and woody scents.It also undergoes modifications when in contact with the skin. The pheromones, heat, skin oils, and sweat from your body react with oud and results in a completely distinct scent.

What does oud smell like

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How Do You Get Rid of Smelly Oud

If You Absolutely Hate It:

There are three effective ways to get rid of smelly oud. The first (and probably the most popular and least expensive) is to clean the affected area with a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel or rubbing alcohol.

The second method is to make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Then rub it into your skin, let it rest for a few minutes, and rinse it off.

Another way to remove smelly oud is using vodka. Well, you wouldn't want to waste a premium bottle of vodka, but in a pinch, you can soak cotton balls in vodka and apply them to the skin, then wipe away.

If You Want To Tone It Down:

If you are trying oud for the first time, you will notice it has a strong smell, which can be overbearing. You can tone down the smell of the oud by blending it with cologne or fragrance oils. This creates a more manageable scent profile.

Is Oud bad for health

As far as we know, oud is not bad for health. However, some people might have some allergic reactions to it. If you are not sure, better ask your doctor. That said, oud has been linked to several health benefits. It helps regenerate damaged skin cells and heals cuts and wounds.

Oud may also protect you from various skin infections; helps prevent premature aging and sun damage. Also, it helps in the treatment of acne and other skin problems. The antioxidants present in oud oil helps in reducing stress. Massaging oud Oil on your skin helps relieve tension in your muscles, helping you feel relaxed.

What is an Oud Fragrance

These are fragrances made from oud oil, known for their earthy, woody scent. Oud makes up 2-5% of the raw material of any perfume that contains it. It is sometimes described as a tantric perfume because of its mysterious and sensual scent that can be perceived as both feminine and masculine at the same time.

Oud fragrances are usually a complex mixture that includes rich notes from various rubs and woods. The richness of this complex mixture is the reason the scent is frequently used in high-quality perfumes.

What is the Best Oud Fragrance

The best oud fragrance will depend on how you like your oud, subtle or skanky. A cult favourite is Tom Ford Oud Wood.

Here are some of the best oud fragrances to try.


This strong, manly fragrance will make you halt in your tracks and take notice. This exquisitely captivating scent combines the beauty of agarwood with the richness of leather to create a heady and enigmatic musk.

What does oud smell like - Versace Oud Noir

The luxurious Ralph Lauren Polo Supreme Oud makes its mark as a gentlemen's fragrance - especially for the adventurous! Every drop exudes elegance, bursting with luxury. It starts out with enticing scents that conjure up thoughts of dark woods.

What does oud smell like - polo supreme oud

If rose isn't your thing, then this is the Oud for you. It's a traditional scent with a lot of wood and spice. With notes of pink pepper, orange flower, and saffron, Al Oudh transports you to a period when kings and sultans reigned supreme.

What does oud smell like - Al Oudh L'artisan Parfumer

Why is Oud cologne so expensive

Oud cologne is expensive because there is a shortage of the raw material from which oud is derived. In fact, oud is a tree that grows in the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia, and the tree is protected by the Indonesian government. When a tree dies, a new one is not allowed to grow in its place, so there is a limited supply.

Another reason why oud is so expensive is: a great deal of labor goes into distilling it. Oud is the resinous gum that exudes from a tree. The gum has to be scraped off of the tree trunk, and the scraps are then put back into the hollow of the tree.

A new resin will then form on the tree where the gum was placed. The resin is collected again, and this process is repeated several times. This is what makes oud so expensive.

Final Words

Many people today enjoy the smell of oud in their cologne or perfume. However, the smell wavers from person to person, depending on their body chemistry. Perfumes with oud may range from a subtle to a more rich depth of oud. Always try it out before you buy.

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