Perfume Pen Pals: By Kilian Rose Oud Part 1


I just did a By Kilian Rose Oud standing bath at Scent Bar. I was a bit "eh" when I first smelled it on a blotter at Bergdorf's during Sniffa last April, but I thought I'd actually wear it this time, and I'm officially living for it.

Yes. Now it can be told. Rose Oud and me, it's love. But a "stolen spritzes" kind of love, because who has $400 to lay down for a bottle, even if it is a bottle full of joy? The only real purpose for my last four Scent Bar visits has been to load up on Rose Oud samples, with accompanying mid-shop WBs each time.

Rose Oud is pretty simple and linear: rose, oud, saffron, cardamom. Add "whiskers on kittens", and these are a few of my favorite things. I can't get enough of it.

It's a rich, fruity, almost winey rose, and plus, I love rose and saffron together. And the oud is nice and cuddly, less present than in Pure Oud, more like the grounding, subtly enveloping oud of Amouage Epic Man. (But without the odd savoriness of Epic Man that makes me feel overstuffed when I wear it.)

Rose Oud is kind of sweet without the obvious sweetness of, say, Back to Black. I can't figure out what's making it sweet-ish. And I'm comparing it now to Amouage Lyric for Women, another saffron rose. Lyric is more complex, what with the incense and ylang ylang. It's sharper and nuttier than Rose Oud.

Rose Oud has what I like in L'Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant, that saffron rose "am I smelling this, eating this or wearing this?". But Rose Oud is richer, with the edges burred. Like ST, it's not obviously rose. Everything's counterbalanced. And while it's dense and rich, it's not smothering and heavy, the way Montale White Aoud (my current solid in the rose-saffron-oud dept) can be.

(Incidentally, I'm also kind of getting down with Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud, too, a woodier, less-plush rose and oud. It's more masculine than Rose Oud.)

I'm just going to live off my cadged samples for a while until I figure out if Rose Oud and I have a future. But what if we are perfect for each other? What am I supposed to do about that with its silly-billy price? Just keep going to the Scent Bar every three days? With the occasional teeth-gritted trip to Saks?

Sigh. Off to dab on more Rose Oud.



You make Rose Oud sound like Pure Oud softened with some Liaisons Dangereuses top notes. But $400 is a big fat number. And, remember, it's only 50ml. Is it worth not buying anything else for the next three months? At least?

Is the Scent Bar onto you or do you have everyone's schedule and plan your visits so you never see the same person twice in a row? The illicit nature of your Rose Oud relationship might have something to do with your enthusiasm. Commit to it, introduce it to your friends, see it sitting there every single day and maybe you'll start longing for something else. (And, yes, I'm still talking about you and Rose Oud.)


Read By Kilian Rose Oud Part 2 here.


  1. Fantastic blog. Keep on rockin, I invite you to see my post, I hope you will find interesting too.

  2. How many mentions does a scent need to determine whether it has a future with a blogger? Katie: "tried Kilian Rose Oud today at Lucky Scent. I may need to try this again!" Rose Oud: "I think she likes me". Two months later: Katie: "I was at the Scent Bar today, and I cadged another sample of Rose Oud". Rose Oud: "I may get lucky!" Katie: "Dan, speaking of Rose Oud..." Rose Oud: "Is there hope?"

    Oh and Dan, just like any illicit relationship, the friends already know! Whether they approve or not is an entirely different matter.

  3. I don't know if this helps or not, but I had those true love feelings, too, Katie. When I got a little bottle (umm... from... somebody) I put some on and thought, "Ohmigod, this might be the one thing that I could wear every day for the rest of my life!"

    I haven't worn it since.

  4. Angi! I snorted out my mouthful of decaf green tea at your last line. Because I didn't anticipate that was where you were going. And I should have, because the same thing happens to me, too.

    But darn it all, I'm still in the "I could wear it for the rest of my life" stage.

    m61: yes, the friends - and the tolerant souls at the perfume store - already know.

  5. Katie,

    My wife said the same thing. I'm just wondering how long before you breakdown and buy it?



  6. I just recently gotten on a saffron and rose kick just like you. Safran Troublant and Lubin de Idole got me started, but when I met Rose Oud it was love. However, I’m not so far into the I-need-to–buy-every-saffron-scent mode that I will plunk down $400 for a bottle. I’ve thought of buying a decant. I’ve thought of hosting a decant and then buying refills at a discounted price per ml. Is that sick or twisted or what?

    Colleen (a saffron newbie)

    p.s. I still need to try Lyric Woman

  7. Katie,

    I forgot to mention that Dark Rose by Czech & Speake is a cheap alternative to Rose Oud. It's not as good as Rose Oud but it might be worth it to someone who doesn't want to spend 400. I on the other hand have a greedy wife who doesn't want a cheaper version.Just kidding, But she is worth it. Just wish my wallet would stop crying when I think about buying it this week. Plus I found out I can buy the refill kit without buying the 50ml first!



  8. Gojira, your comments inspired me to stage a saffron-rose-oud perfume dance-off on my arms. Here's how the participants are stacking up:

    Czech & Speake Dark Rose: rose is forward in this blend, and there's something in the rose/patch that calls to mind Clinique Aromatics Elixir.

    Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud: pleasingly woody, almost leathery, in a fresh, sharp-ish way. Dark Rose smells softer, more feminine (floral) in comparison to this. Midnight Oud smells a bit like a butched-up Agent Provocateur.

    Montale White Aoud: powdery, dry, a little bitter. This is one of my high-rotation perfumes, and I never perceived it as bitter until I pitted against these other ones.

    By Kilian Rose Oud: rich, nutty, wine-y, rosy. As wet as White Aoud is dry. The nutty sweetness is almost like marzipan. Very deep and mellow. Curls out from the skin like an ambient halo of scent.

    Even though these 4 perfumes share key ingredients, they all smell distinctly different in this police line-up. (They all got arrested at the dance-off, and are now in custody.)

    I'd have to say your wife is not being greedy, Gojira, she just has exquisite taste. Go win another poker game and pipe down about the price, already!

    But you mentioned a good tip: the 100ml Rose Oud refill is cheaper than the 50ml bottle! Any Rose Oud stalkers will just need an atomizer to decant it into.

  9. Colleen, Lyric Woman will make you happy. And I endorse any machinations you can dream up in the quest for Rose Oud.

    I should mention a late contestant in the saffron-rose-oud perfume dance-off: People of the Labyrinths A*Maze. (A*Maze is at the empty ballroom now, not understanding that all the other competitors are down at the police station.) I have A*maze in the parfum, and it's a bit ridiculously overpowering and kind of weird. It always reminds me of the smell of freshly polished wood furniture - emphasis on the polish, rather than the wood. It's as sharp as Rose Oud is soft, but it shares a fruitiness. It's kind of bonkers.

  10. Katie,

    I am sitting in my hotel and was just going to stay in tonight. My lovely wife will be joining me tomorrow. Now you put poker back in my head. Enabler should be your middle I love your style! I agree they are different. But I haven't had the dance off that you had. I will say that to me Lyric is more about oud and rose with a hint of incense. I will agree that their is something in Rose Oud that sets it apart from the others. My nose just isn't developed enough to say how yet. But I like Lyric more, for me its about the incense in the background that I like in it. I could snuggle up to my wife with either and be a happy man.

    Now that you have enabled me. I am off to the Rio. And I was going to get a good night sleep!

    Thanks, Katie ;)



  11. A fine bunch of addicts we are, Todd.