Monday, 24 April 2017

Al Rehab Sultan Al Oud: Review

Charles H Pabst, Grand Canyon Light.

The afternoon light fires on every fragment of the sawdust that hangs in the air, air that is tinted rainbow by the high stained glass, scented with the fresh wood shavings and beeswax polish. Each footstep echoes, the sound of your breathing fills the room. You stand in this magnificently huge, empty space that is your new home and wonder where the couch goes…

If a single word were enough to sum up any fragrance, gentle would do it for Al Rehab Sultan Al Oud (SAO). This makes it definitively NOT your standard oudh based scent. Oudh has something of a reputation for being a very challenging perfumery ingredient. The extreme dirtiness of some mixtures or bitter medicinal nature of other can make Westerners baulk or find them inaccessible; it also tends to be an intense note. Even the Moth Woman had a moment on encountering her first medicinal oudh scent and she has a high tolerance for the strong, unusual and downright stinky end of perfumery. In fact, SAO’s very tameness may well come as a shock to those who have only experienced the harsher kinds of oud based scents and come to enjoy them. Thusly, if you have not tried oudh before, the Moth Woman STRONGLY recommends SAO as your first experience.

It opens gently with cedar and honey, sandalwood far in the background. It is very quiet, calming and delicate, evocative of standing in a cathedral, enjoying the silence. Right from the outset, it does not project much beyond and inch or so above skin level.  An hour in and paper daisies/wattle appear and take over. Two hours, back to cedar, lightly sweetened at this point. Three hours, it becomes a lovely sweet musk and sandalwood with a little cedar. Projection has neither increased nor decreased.

This is an odd feature of this scent. It opens at the volume that it remains throughout its lifespan. Stability of volume from front to back, in terms of projection, is a very rare quality.

Four hours and it's a little lighter but otherwise unchanged. Five hours and wood and musk dominate again. It lasts between seven and ten hours in total.

The Moth Woman recommends this scent for those days and situations where you just want or need something restrained, something that just makes YOU smell better but does not project. This one would make an ideal office scent. There is nothing sharp or intrusive about it. It is unlikely to trigger allergies and you would have to look hard to find someone that is offended by SAO. An additional bonus: this loveliness will only set you back $4-7!
Available for sale here.

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