Published on July 20th, 2016 | by The Perfume Expert
Berdoues Grands Crus Millesime Oud Collection Review
Some of the most exquisite Oud fragrances you’ll ever smell! Berdoues has captured the exotic Agarwood in all it’s glory with the new Millesime Oud collection part of Grands Crus.
There are three Oud scents in the Millesime collection by Berdoues: Oud Wa Misk, an incense oud; Oud Wa Vanillia, a sweet oud; Oud Wa Ward, a rose oud.
Oud fragrances are the biggest trend to hit the perfume industry since the Aldehydes of Chanel No. 5!
The exotic, and at times pungent, resin from Agarwood is now making it’s way into mainstream scents. But because of it’s love-it or hate-it aroma, it’s a tough nectar to get into and even HARDER for a perfume house to get right!
But after turning my nose up to countless Oud scents, Berdoues has just launched an Oud collection, part of the Grands Crus collection, that has got me re-thinking my aversion to Oud.
And in fact, one of the scents in the collection is quite possible the BEST Oud fragrance I have ever smelled!
As part of the Grands Crus collection, Berdoues has scoured the world to source the very best ingredients…just like a fine wine, these fragrances represent the finest examples of each fragrance family.
All three fragrances use Oud from Thailand. Thai Oud is more sweet with earthy overtones, as opposed to Indonesia Oud which is more herbal, damp, and spicy, or Indian Oud which is creamy and more woody.
The other unique thing about Thai Oud is that it dissipates to a slightly sour/sharp nuance, which you’ll read later can be genius or off-putting depending on what it’s combined with.
Oud Wa Misk
Oud Wa Misk is Berdoues take on an Incense Oud, and it’s an exceptional example of how well an organic earthy Oud nuance works with smoky atmospheric Incense!
Sophisticate, serious, classy, timeless, and mature.
Not only does the Agarwood pair so beautifully with the Myrrh of Ethiopia to give a zen-like quality worthy of worship, but the addition of powdery Violet from France adds such a unique dimension that makes it one of the most memorable Oud’s I’ve ever smelled!
I wouldn’t have thought that such a soft fluffy note like Violet would go so well with an Oud, and perhaps the two on their own wouldn’t, but with the added Myrrh facet, the three seem to swirl around each-other, complimenting each as they blend.
The Myrrh adds depth to the Violet, and in turn the Violet adds lightness to the Incense. And the Oud adds a sharpness, picante, facet to the Myrrh and Violet, which the others soften the Oud when it gets too sour.
Oud Wa Misk is an intriguing dance of magical notes!
And when it finally dries down, you are left with a rich, regal Incense facet that is slightly sharpened by the Oud as it dissipates into that sour note. In other words, the Myrrh works really well to mute the sharp pungent dry down of Thai Oud.
Oud Wa Vanillia
With a sensual first spritz to a strange last sniff, this is when using Thai Oud becomes difficult!
At first, you would think pairing sweet smooth vanilla with a smoky earthy Agarwood wood would be a great idea….and perhaps it would be with a deeper Oud from India. However, the sour, sharp, dry down of Thai Oud seems to contradict the sweetness of the vanilla.
In the beginning, Oud Wa Vanillia is a decadent animalistic, smokey and syrupy nectar that will make you swoon. The presence of Jasmine as a top note adds a sexy skin nuance that is warmed by the glowing amber.
The Oud facet is completely intertwined with the vanilla to give an almost burnt caramel smell which is captivating.
Sweet, comforting, gourmand, decadent.
If this fragrance could live in this moment, it would be one of the world’s best!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
The Jasmine quickly dissapeares (as Jasmine usually does), but that isn’t the issue. The problem becomes when the Oud note unravels from the vanilla and starts to become sour as the scent drys down. This then confuses the nose as it smells the sweet smoothness of the vanilla and amber but also the sharp sourness of the Agarwood.
But as with ALL fragrances, one’s skin chemistry plays a big part and I’m hoping it’s just my skin that this scent reacts so strangely with.
Oud Wa Ward
If the mixture of Oud wa Misk is questionable, the mixture in Oud Wa Ward is anything but.
Berdoues Oud Wa Ward is nothing short of GENIUS and is quite possibly one of the greatest Oud fragrances I have ever smelled!
This is when the sour sharp dry down of Thai Oud works well! And that’s when it’s paired with Patchouli.
Turkish Rose and Agarwood is one of the most common and traditional pairings for an Oud fragrance. The richness and velvet nature of the rose smooths out the Oud. But they also have the same high line tip-of-the-nose sweetness that is a similarity between them.
In the beginning of Oud Wa Ward, you experience this romantic intertwining of sweet, rich rose and smoky, woody Oud.
Romantic, captivating, alluring, sophisticated, regal.
However, the genius moment happens with the addition of fresh green patchouli. When the Oud starts to dissipate it becomes slightly sour and sharp and this sharpness is very similar to the freshness of green patchouli.
This freshness of the patchouli seems to blend with the sour Oud so well, that it almost smells like supercharged patchouli in the end rather than Agarwood dry down.
Conclusion: Thai Oud + Patchouli = GENIUS
The patchouli envelopes the Oud to prevent any off-putting sharpness as it drys down.
This rose, oud, patchouli mixture is very similar to Guerlain’s Rose du Nacree Desert. However, Guerlain’s version is $275! Berdoues Ouds are only $140 so way better value for money!
In fact, most high quality Oud fragrances will be way more expensive than the Berdoues, which is another reason why I think these fragrances are good. $140 for an exquisite Oud and 100ml is tremendous value and worth trying if you are someone who is usually apprehensive about Oud.
In the end, I am so glad that I got to experience these three fragrances. Each of them represent Agarwood in a totally different way, highlighting the smoky nature in Oud Wa Misk, the sweet nature in Oud Wa Vanilla, and the green-floral nature in Oud Wa Ward.
Good enough for the Oud connoisseur and palatable enough for those just being introduced to the Agarwood world.
As a long-standing, traditional french perfume house since the early 1900’s, I am really impressed with how Berdoues is reinventing itself. They are creating modern fragrances that are not only interesting but exceptional in the high quality expected by the house of Berdoues.
They certainly are not compromising quality over keeping up with the mainstream market and that is something to be respected for. The perfume industry is a tough market these day with the likes of celebrity scents, drug-store perfumes, or fashion branded fragrances; and I feel that we should support and continue to explore these traditional perfume houses that have made perfume what it is today!
Read more about the entire Berdoues Grands Crus collection by reading my other article here
Check out the Berdoues Oud Collection on BeautyHabit.com
[This article features Press Samples but this in now way influences the opinions of the author]
The Perfume Expert Rating
Summary: Oud fragrances are not only trendy but usually very expensive. Berdoues has just launched a trio of Ouds that would give even the greatest a run for it's money! Exceptional quality for the price. The three scent highlight different facets of Oud, smokey, sweet, and floral. Oud Wa Ward is one of the BEST Oud fragrances I've ever smelled!