Kilian’s Arabian Nights collection consists of four compositions that highlight different facets of oudh. While the broad strokes of these compositions are fairly traditional in Middle Eastern perfumery, Kilian’s interpretations are marked by a distinctly French elegance and the house’s hallmark of exquisite blending.
Amber Oud – This opens with a resinous amber, more rich and refined than sweet. The oud is used with an extremely light touch, adding just a hint of dark dryness around the corners of the amber. As with other Kilian compositions, the genius lies in the blending and the quality of the ingredients, although this doesn’t stand out from the crowd of ambers despite that. [*1/2]
Incense Oud – A very refined, elegant incense is the star of this masterfully blended fragrance. The incense is subtly spicy, with a faint hint of rose. It’s based on a subtle oudh accord, although this composition contains no actual oudh. The oudh accord is a blend of patchouli, sandalwood, oakmoss, cistus, musks, labdanum and a number of additional components, but they all come together in such a way that none of the notes readily stands out on its own. Incense Oud is one of my favorite fragrances. [***]
Pure Oud – Another restrained offering from Kilian, the opening has a slightly smoky quality that becomes more subdued over time as the medicinal and woody aspects of the oud come out. Very interesting. [**1/2]
Rose Oud – A soft, slightly sweet rose provides a nice welcome to this scent. With a bit of time, it opens up, developing more body. The oud enters quietly, balancing the sweetness of the rose before lending its dryness to the base of the scent. [**]