Sampling House of Oud – Spoiler Alert: There’s no oud.

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Wind Heat

“For women and men”, ONLY if you crave to be all the way PC. This is as masculine as Victoria’s Secrets Annual Sale. Speaking of which, this smells of every Vickie’s Secrets I’ve been in. Wind Heat starts off with a fuzzy-fruity-rose, backed by loads of freesia and peony. I was hard pressed to find a formidable leather note lurking within, but to no avail, there is none on my skin. Wait a minute, this reminds me of a very run of the mill fruity-floral-musk scent, that just so happens to explode in a woman’s handbag – there’s the leather! And there is my stomach in knots! No thank you.

Dates Delight

OH MY GOODNESS!! This is the DIABEETUS in a bottle. Dates Delight is as sugary as it gets, with more sugar sprinkled on top of that. Upon spraying, you’re hit with the whole baker’s isle; vanilla, caramel, sugar, dates, honey, cinnamon. Dates Delights sucks you into the center of Gourmand Galaxy and spits you back out just as quickly. What’s left after the first 10 minutes is a cinnamon-honeyed-vanilla aroma, not diabetes sweet, but enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. There’s something amber-y holding the sweeter notes at bay, which resembles Carolina Herrera’s Amber Desire. While there are dates, amber, and vanilla in both, this is no labdanum queen, the syrupy-fruity accords bludgeon all other contenders for the spotlight. Again, I understand this is 2017 and politically correctness is trending, but “for women and men” is a bit misleading. I like this one, nonetheless.

 

Grape Pearls

If Intense Café and Noir de Noir had a baby. Coffee, rose, vanilla and blueberries are all prevalent in the start. It seems anything that touts coffee causes a stir in the community and I haven’t heard anything about this one. Well, this one is definitely as caffeinated as the aforementioned fragrances. Beyond the coffee note, I also get a dusty chocolate-y patchouli note akin to Noir de Noir, but there’s no patch listed anywhere on the web. The sweetness get turned up a notch in the heart, while the coffee fades to the back. At this stage, it becomes another fruity-amber-vanilla mash up, not too distinct or original, even for the HoO lineup. I still prefer this one to all that I’ve tried, except Blessing Silence.

 

I’m five fragrances in and still not sure how I feel about HoO’s offerings. A part of me think they are in the perfume-y realm of things, while the other side of me loves their aesthetics, but is just “meh” on everything else. These are all honorable choices for gourmand lovers, but a little too sweet for my palette. With that said, I look forward to finding a gem or two in House of Oud (hopefully with oud).

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Hi I am Narada! I discovered my love for all things fragrant after two years of living in France and running out of my sole bottle of cologne that I took with me, YSL L'Homme. Probably the greatest place on earth to run out of your signature scent. I tried to visit every perfumerie from Spain, all the way to Hungary. So, many of my reviews, stories and shorts may reference my travels. Enjoy!

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