In the cool desert night the caravans travel from Petra toward Caesarea on the edge of the Roman Sea. From as far away as India and Arabia they transport precious oils and spices on their way to the patricians of Rome. If the wind is blowing just right you can smell the exotic treasures they carry hours before the caravan appears over the crest of the high dunes. There is Saffron from India, wrapped in embroidered Cathay silk. Frankincense from Arabia is packed next to rose oils from Bactria, and caraway seeds from Persia all nestled in thick leather bags. Most precocious of all in the baggage train is agarwood oil, Oud which is treasured throughout the eastern empire.

Not even the glittering night stars of the East can match the splendors of this cache. If the caravan is lucky and makes it past waiting bandits and marauders to the Roman port in Judea these precious and rare ingredients will find their way across the Mediterranean to the imperial palace on the Palatine. Some clever slave deep in the bowels of the palace will blend them into a wondrous perfume only to be worn by the Emperor of Rome himself.

This exotic and spellbinding elixir from Ferrari, is my very first experience with an oud fragrance so that in itself is new territory for me. But if indeed the top note is oud then this is a sweet rich, deeply rich fragrance. (My research on oud suggests that this is the sweeter oud from Borneo which is flowery with honey like notes and fruity berry and wood.)

(You know there just has to be a stash of oud in the cave of the fouty theves!)

It is almost candy like in essence but that fades into an elegant olibanum (frankincense) rose and caraway blending that is essentially very oriental and woody. The dry down is smoky leather and labdanum. The entire symphony of Essence Oud by Ferrari is one of luxurious notes and sensual harmonies. Not for young noses by any means unless they are sophisticated beyond their years. Essence Oud is dramatic, very grown up and for a man who is indeed aware of who he is. To borrow from Coco Chanel:” The best perfume in the whole world is the one that smells good to you.”

Four hours in to this fragrance and it has evolved into something lush and mysterious. A slight smokey powder that is rapturous. Staying power so far is great.
Next morning: twelve hours later there is a slight memory on my skin of the fragrance. Lasts a good eight hours in it’s glory.


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