Arabian Oud Diyafa
These days, oud notes are rapidly infiltrating luxury perfumes. But few people who buy them really know what oud is. They assume that it is just another exotic wood, their reactions hardly differing from those they would have if you told them they were smelling ebony or, as one friend joked, “branche marocaine.” Oud, the resin produced in self-defense by trees in the Aquilaria family, is one of the most prized––if not the most prized––precious oils in the Middle- and Far East. The “aloes” referred to in the Song of Songs are derived from aloeswood, the alternate name for the agarwood tree. The provenance of its oil, combined with age, contribute to a price tag that ranges anywhere from affordable to astronomical.
As any aromatherapist will tell you, this stuff is powerful. The Malaysian oud operative in Arabian Oud’s Diyafa (Arabic for “hospitality”) has a deep, sweet smokiness, which initially hits the nose with a sucker punch sans égal. Conspiring with the loamy muskiness of the Indian oud as well as black amber, and tempered in the heart by a saffron-rose-sandalwood accord, the Malaysian oud is projected in three different dimensions: this perfume emanates from the skin. Longevity is impressive, with any rough edges softening after the first forty minutes. Depending on how much is applied––and I don’t recommend overzealous application unless you are incredibly solvent––the scent can be intoxicating or sexily discreet. That said, Diyafa is an experience not to be taken lightly. Applying some after dinner, the movie I was watching quickly lost my interest. It is the rare scent indeed that has such an effect on me.
Diyafa and Asala are both available as pictured, at Arabian Oud stores in Paris, London and Dubai. Image credit: Diyafa oil blend in handcrafted flacon, courtesy of Arabian Oud.