Published: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 7:52:47 AM

Beauty Beat: Best of East and West

The past year has seen European perfumers looking to Eastern essences.

THIS past year, the fragrance world saw an explosion of new perfumes inspired by the Middle East.

At the heart of this trend is the once rare and expensive resin of oud wood. Tom Ford was among the first perfumers in the West to succumb to the charm of this Middle Eastern essence, launching M7 Oud Absolu for Yves Saint Laurent in 2002. But it was not until 2013 that the trend truly took off.

Virtually all of Europe’s leading perfume houses experimented with oud wood this year, presenting highly original and seductive fragrances that combine the best of East and West. Below are some of the fragrances that defined this perfume trend in 2013.

Oud Oriental by Versace Pour Femme    

THE latest women’s fragrance from the Italian luxury brand, Oud Oriental opens with notes of Eastern rose, freesia and saffron, giving way to middle notes of heliotrope, patchouli and violet. The base notes include sandalwood, vanilla, and an accord of oud and leather. Versace presented the new feminine essence shortly after releasing Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir, its masculine fragrance based on the star ingredient of 2013.

Valentina Oud Assoluto by Valentino

Valentina Oud Assoluto by Valentino

THE Italian couture brand called upon world-famous nose Olivier Cresp to concoct a new version of its signature feminine fragrance, Valentina, with a Middle Eastern twist. The eau de toilette is based on an alliance of orange blossom and oud wood, with notes of cardamom, Bulgarian rose, leather, saffron and dry wood.

Arabian Nights Musk Oud by Kilian

Arabian Nights Musk Oud by Kilian

ONE of the first European perfumers to draw inspiration from Middle Eastern traditions, Kilian presented the first fragrance from its Arabian Nights collection in 2010. Today, the line consists of five fragrances, all with oud wood at their core. The latest essence from the line, Musk Oud, was launched last June. The nose Alberto Morillas prepared this intoxicating blend of lemon and mandarin notes, complemented by spicy cardamom and coriander, all over a base of sensual oud wood.

Flowerbomb Rose Explosion by Viktor & Rolf.

Flowerbomb Rose Explosion by Viktor  & Rolf

THE famous Dutch designers have issued a new version of their popular 2005 perfume, Flowerbomb, which has been updated with oud wood and bears the name Flowerbomb Rose Explosion. On top of the fragrant woody essence, the perfume layers an ideal pairing of Turkish and Moroccan rose absolutes and a complex burst of mandarin, bergamot, saffron, jasmine, patchouli and amber notes.

Damask & Oud by Hugo Boss

THE German design house released its Damask & Oud eau de toilette in June through its luxury menswear label, BOSS The Collection. Available only in an exclusive set of department stores, the fragrance is based on fine and rare essences including white pepper, saffron, rose, oud wood, guaiac wood and papyrus.

Myrrhe Impériale by Armani/Privé

Myrrhe Impriale by Armani/Prive

GIORGIO Armani also pays homage to the Middle East in fragrance through the 1001 Nights collection, named for the folk tales of the Islamic Golden Age. Unlike its predecessor Oud Royal, released in 2012, the latest fragrance in this collection is not based on this year’s star essence but contains a masterful combination of other signature Middle Eastern notes, including benzoin, myrrh, pink pepper and saffron. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, perfumes, 2013


  1. Articles on Snowden and Rohingya win Pulitzer's top journalism prizes
  2. By George!: Fresh Prince takes Down Under by storm
  3. 'I AM A BULLY': Sentenced to wear sign in public for tormenting neighbour
  4. Pierce Brosnan gets a 'horrible feeling' watching himself as James Bond
  5. Actress Emma Stone makes smart wardrobe choices
  6. Sweet success: Team Malaysia wins big at the Asian Pastry Cup 2014
  7. World's #1 blader Richie Eisler travels the world for work
  8. Asia's Next Top Model winner Sheena Liam is your typical girl-next-door
  9. Alternative treatments for dengue fever
  10. Attention Scrabble fans, 'geocache' is now a playable word