Luckily for us, the quality of this response is - as you may have gathered from my analogy above - quite exceptional. Rejecting the more familiar pairings of oud with rose, as well as the equally ubiquitous ‘brash leather’ compositions, Tauer appears to have decided to use the very core of the material itself as his starting point. To put it another way, he’s created what we might call a soli-oud, utilising a range of other materials - I’d guess cypriol, patchouli, sandalwood, castoreum and cedar amongst others - to stretch out and highlight all the primary facets of the ingredient. So, as you’d expect, it is fiery, medicinal, woody, petrol-infused and inky. But the one thing it isn’t is fecal. There’s undoubtedly an animalic growl lurking in there somewhere, although its source isn’t a filthy barnyard, so funk-lovers take note.
Above everything else, it carries the whiff of complete integrity, not least because of the honesty with which Tauer has made it (check out his piece in his latest Mag to see what I mean). Displaying the unshowy charm we’ve come to expect from the Zürich-based perfumer, L’Oudh immediately joins the ranks of the most striking agar wood compositions, taking its place next to gems like Leather Oud and Interlude Man. Both transporting and meditative, it colours its surroundings with a flame-red sunset glow, a shiver of danger and a promise to burst into an impassioned sitar ballad. And, as if all that weren’t enough, it marks a commendable desire on Tauer’s part to develop his craft and appropriate new olfactory styles. I just hope he decides to make it more readily available.
[Review based on a sample provided by Tauer Perfumes in 2017; at the time of writing, L'Oudh is available only through the Tauer website, with a purchase of issue #4 of the brand's magazine; click here for more info. Issue #4 of Tauer Mag also features an article by me.]