An ingredient that was almost unknown in the West a few years ago, something mythical and untouchable, now marks the latest fashion trends! Its heavenly smell has quite literally taken the world of perfumery by storm and we simply couldn't resist sharing why this ingredient as a must-have in your fragrance wardrobe in 2020!

Unique in its scent, pure Oud oil smells like nothing else you may find on earth. Its notes orchestrate a symphony of different elements from the natural world; the earth, the woody and mossy aromatics of the forests, the freshness of air, the smokiness of fire, the damp soil after rainfall, and even the scent of wildlife; all creating a harmony of pleasure for your olfactory senses!

Oud oil is extracted from the resins found in the Agar tree which is most commonly found in Southeast Asia. However, the story of Oud is far more complicated than this, and instead reveals the sagacity and the wonders of nature. As a reaction to the infection of the mould, the tree produces a dark, oily, incredibly dense, and super fragrant resin to protect itself; so dense that even if placed in water, it wouldn't float! With only 2% of wild Agar trees to produce Oud, the scarcity accounts for the hefty price tag, quite literally the price of gold, and thus, consequently is commonly referred to as ‘liquid gold’. Exceedingly rare, richly symbolic, with such a curious birth: collectively this is exactly what gives the ingredient its allure.

Though considered a ‘newbie’ in the West, the scent of Oud, has been deeply embedded in the history and culture of the East, especially the Middle East. Occasionally referred to as ‘the Scent of the Gulf’, it is truly found in the DNA of the people living there. The scent is ancient, and is mentioned as early as in the third century AD in ancient China, as the ‘Wood of the Gods’. Oud has been used for centuries, in the home and in religious ceremonies, and although ubiquitous, it really can be recognised almost by all, and remains a cultural touchstone, whilst being considered highly prestigious.


The trend has been growing for the last few years, with the biggest boost of Oud fragrances emerging in 2019 and 2020. With the key consumers initially being from the Gulf region, the desire for this ingredient branched to the Western expats living in the Middle East, as well as tourists, to finally expanding and reaching the West. The fascination and appeal for Oud, really lies in the basics of how it is the ‘other’, something completely different, unique, and totally on its own, with simply no equivalent scent to be found in the palette of Western perfumes. Therefore, to Western noses it is exotic, and a distinctive scent, that will with a single sniff transport you to an Arabian night!

Moreover, another reason for the West’s fascination, is the signature opulence of the scent, that screams luxury, and even royalty… Take for instance, Oud for Highness 75 by Krigler (1975), a bespoke creation for King Hussein of Jordan, that cost a jaw dropping $565; need we say more? Returning to its journey into the West, it wasn't long until Tom Ford recognised the depth and charisma of Oud, calling it “one of the most endlessly fascinating ingredients in a perfumer’s palette”. An icon of fashion, with exquisite taste, he began integrating Oud into his private blends, and thus exposing the scent further to Westerners. Following the footsteps, boutiques and larger companies started to launch fragrances with Oud, including Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Versace, Creed, and YSL, only to name a few!

OUD IN 2020

An opaque, dark, mesmerizing, rich, and spiritual scent. It is an ingredient that produces a warm, deep aroma, with a slight hint of damp rot, and leathery, woody, ambery, and balsamic nuances, rounded off with the occasional glimpses of smoky and sweet, and even animalic undertones.

As the de rigeur, Oud is prized and idolised by European perfumers, not only for its fragrance, yet for its incredible depth and longevity on the skin, whilst also having the ability to hold other scents in place, making it an excellent fixative within compositions.

Despite being one of the most expensive raw materials, perfumers do not hold back on using Oud. We have gathered the latest and most exclusive Oud fragrances that you will find on the market, that are surely worth trying!

Moreover, even Maison Christian Dior has been engulfed into the Oud craze, dedicating a whole collection to the ingredient!


At Maison 21G we too couldn't resist the perpetual journey of Oud; an ingredient that conveys a character like no other: bold, powerful and irresistible. Thus, we simply couldn't retain from having Oud in our collection of ingredients, making it consequently, very easy for you. Now you can take this trend one step further… customise your fragrance and include the 2020 must-have ingredient OUD OUTSHINE!

Here are some of our recommended mixes to start you off on your journey of perfume making.

Our first recommended mix would be OUD OUTSHINE and BERGAMOT BLAST. This mix defines invigoration and freshness. The oriental, earthy tones along with the sensual wood, are heady and sexy, whilst the contrasting juicy blend of Bergamot, brings irresistible freshness, sculpting a fragrance that is meant for daring personalities. We highly recommend this fragrance for everyday wear.

If you instead seek a masculine fragrance to entice, then the contemporary mix of OUD OUTSHINE and SAGE SUPREME is most suitable for you. Smoky, clean, intense and aromatic. The punchines, and distinctiveness of Oud, in collaboration with the untamed freshness and raw seduction of Sage, creates an extreme and demonstrative fragrance that can be worn during the day, as well as for the later hours…you’ll see for yourself, it does wonders!

Lastly yet surely not least, we couldn't conclude without an exclusive elixir for women…OUD OUTSHINE with TUBEROSE TRIBUTE. Voluminous, sexy, modern, rosy, and lusciously alluring. This mix unravels an outstanding irresistible and attractive scent, with bittersweet and woody hints and velvety white florals. It defines a scent of a woman, with an enigmatic yet elegant charisma.


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