Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Kilian - Incense Oud

Hurray For Fall

I love the fall. I love the sunny but cooler days that give me a brief window of opportunity in Canadian weather to wear suede. I love the gorgeous Ontario leaves and the crisp apples and cheerful pumpkins. I love the smells of fall: woodsmoke and hay and apples and turned earth. But most of all I love my annual return to woody/spicy incense perfumes. These types of fragrances just seem so right in the Fall.

This fall I've been wearing the heck out of my sample of By Kilian Incense Oud. Incense Oud was released as part of the Arabian Nights collection earlier this year. It was created to highlight the two ancient middle-eastern materials from it's name, incense and oud. The Kilian website lists the notes as incense, oud, rose, cardamon and labdanum.

Oud is the new black of perfumery ingredients. There have been many niche releases in the past year or so focused on oud. I'm not sure I'm on the oud bandwagon. The few times I've really identified it in perfume, it has been as a sort of "band-aid" note. I'm sure now that I've dismissed oud, it will inevitably become my new favourite note given a little time; it's happened before.

Anyway, I don't smell the dreaded band-aid in Incense Oud. It opens with a faintly sour, medicinal woody note but as it warms up on my skin it becomes a sweet incense and sandalwood perfume. There are fruity-woody notes that I assume come from the rose, smooth sandalwood and a gorgeous curl of frankincense smoke. Now Smell This is right, the first thing that came into my head when Incense Oud reached this stage was 10 Corso Como. It's similar but Incense Oud puts the emphasis more on the incense and 10 Corso Como is more about the sandalwood. When worn side by side, there is no comparison on sillage: By Kilian Incense Oud knocks it out of the park. Just a little goes a long way and my little spray tester has been doing me fine for a week now.

The drydown of Insense Oud is warm and a little spicy and reminds me a bit of Penhaligon's Elixer. It has a similar calming, meditative effect on me. If you're a fan of incense perfumes I highly recommend trying it.

House: By Kilian
Nose: Sidonie Lancesseur
Notes: Incense, Oud, Rose, Cardamom, Labdanum


  1. Ah, I knew this one reminded me of YSL Nu -- it's the cardamom! Cardamom + incense = Nu. (Ormonde Jayne Woman has the same effect.)

  2. Hi Elisa, yes, Nu has similar notes but without the sandalwood. I tried Nu side by side and the Nu has much more cardamom and is drier, not as sweet.

  3. I don't have a sample of Incense Oud to compare (wish I did!). I did recently compare Nu to Theorema, which also has the cardamom-incense vibe, but again, much sweeter, more vanilla.

  4. Incense Oud is a wonderful fragrance. Fall is a beautiful time of year. If only it could be followed directly by spring.

  5. lovely picture of the woods and delicious review. am enjoying your blog very much, even though i wear the same perfume every day!!!

  6. Thanks Cathy! If you ever want to try something new, you know where to come.

  7. Too much Incense and Oud cannot come to the first place...never the less...it's a great olfactory journey ;)



  8. I have now reviewed Pure and Rose Oud. Tomorrow is Incense Oud. Have you tried Pure Oud?

  9. Hi Juraj: No I haven't yet, but I like most of the By Kilians' so I'm hopeful about it.


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