Beauty Lies In Simple Things – Review: By Kilian Rose Oud

As you can imagine, three fragrances with oud in their name have not been very high on my to try list, but since I have dived head-first into Kilian Hennessy’s opus and liked, no, loved what I found there and since I was converted into an oud lover through Mona di Orio’s glorious Oud, priorities have changed.

Rose Oud is part of the Arabian Nights Collection, the second, and even more expensive and luxurious line within the Kilian Kingdom.

Three fragrances of an envisioned five perfume collection, have been released at the moment, with a musc and an amber scent still in the wings (and pre-destined must-try’s as soon as they come out!).

Pure Oud, Rose Oud and Incense Oud are thoroughly western interpretations of  Arabian perfumery traditions.

Rose Oud was created by Calice Becker in 2010 and includes notes of Turkish rose, oud, saffron and cardamom.

The notes list is not long, and that reflects the perfume’s seeming simplicity. Opening with a heartbreakingly beautiful bright, radiant and singing red rose, the development of Rose Oud is a quick one. Plummy-fruity rose via smooth saffron and cool cardamom to a soft and understated oud interpretation.

Rose Oud reminds me a lot of Amouage Lyric, although Lyric is more of a symphonic orchestra to Rose Oud’s chamber music, and also of Juliette Has A Gun Midnight Oud, which clocks in as a piano solo recital, in that scale of musical comparisons. (Malle’s Portrait of a Lady also comes to mind, that would be like walking with the marching band playing Souza in fortissimo).

Rose Oud is soft and lovely, it is tenacious but never loud. And – Ladies and Gentlemen, please heed the importance of the following statement: My husband has been compelled to involuntary iterations of “That smells good!” every single time I have worn this. That is a remarkable occurrence indeed, coming from someone who summarily disregards about 99% of my collection as “that unpleasant sharp stink you insist on putting on”.

Rose Oud does what many rose perfumes do to me – which is making me feel very feminine and delicate. The oud is present, but not in a dominant role, it is a great backbone for the rose and spices to shine, and that is a role I like for oud to have.

Rose Oud is an easily wearable and universally usuable rose-oud creation of very high quality. Always elegant and beautiful, but never over the top and aggressive.


Other By Kilian reviews on this blog:  Prelude To Love :: Love :: Beyond Love :: Love and Tears :: Sweet Redemption :: Back To Black

Image source:, Portrait of a Rose by Crisis Corps via

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28 Responses to Beauty Lies In Simple Things – Review: By Kilian Rose Oud

  1. Undina says:

    Rose Oud is a beautiful perfume but on my skin I get too much agarwood in the beginning. When it calms down to the rose part, I even enjoy it but I’m not sure I want to live through that initial phase. I will be testing it more but taking its price into the account I’m not sure I should feel bad about not falling in love with it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is interesting. We seem to have quite different skin chemistry. I just read your comment on APB about Mon Parfum Cherie, we seem to “get” that one very differently too.

  2. Sandra says:

    I love this one! It was so beautiful in the summer months. I have to give it a try again now in winter. Your review is a perfect description of this gem. I look forward to trying Amber Oud this spring.

  3. deeHowe says:

    Like Undina, I too get a lot of the Oud note at the beginning (where here reads as “weird-plasticky), but after about five minutes, turns into one if the most stunning rose perfumes I’ve had the pleasure to meet! And it just lasts and lasts… I spilled a little on a scarf when I was transferring from a travel spray into a decorative flacon, and more that s month (or two?) later, it still smells gorgeous. On my skin, it seems to go for at least twelve hours. I love that!

    I see the connection to Lyric, and to Ta’if, but where Rose Oud differs, I think, is that it maintains a human element that allows it to blend into my skin, where the other two seem to sit on top of my skin (which doesn’t mean I don’t love to wear them, too!).

    It’s a must-try for rose lovers, aspirational pricing be damned (at least you can split a travel set, right?) 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Right! That’s what the smart gals do! 😉

      I’m glad I don’t get weird plastic in the beginning, and even more glad you persisted anyway, or there’s be no split for me…

  4. Aaron says:

    This is far too feminine for me, far more so than Midnight Oud, but I think it’s something I’d appreciate on a woman.

    I can’t wait to try Amber Oud!!!!!!

  5. Tara says:

    I had no idea there were two more ouds on their way, that’s interesting. Kilian
    sure is going all out on oud!

    I do love Rose Oud. What’s not to like in that note list? I adore a rich rose and the one is Rose Oud has a magnificent, velvety bloom like no other. That photo you’ve chosen just sums it up for me, B.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I think I tried these oud ones with you in the summer, and the sweltering temperatures can’t have been an ideal backdrop. Despite the weather, and the fact that I really am not one for oud even in a supporting role – just playing the triangle in our musical analogy, say – such fulsome commendation from someone as usually dismissive of your scents as Mr O makes me think this deserves a retrial in winter.

  7. Sugandaraja says:

    I didn’t care for this one at all when I tried it first, a couple years ago. I was expecting a lot more oud, and I was far more satisfied with Pure Oud, which seemed to deliver more.

    Two years down the road, I recieved a sample of both recently, and I’ve done a 180. After experiencing some really heavenly ouds here in Egypt, Pure Oud seems a litttle drab and plain by comparison. ( Plus, there’s a smell-like here called ”Oud Cambodi” that’s a tenth the price. )Rose Oud, though, stood on its own as a truly excellent rose, with an appealing blackcurrant note and a voluptuous feel – something I’d happily own!

  8. Juraj says:

    Rose Oud is feminine and floral. It has a lot of Oud, but after a while it loses that sharp note. It is a story about oriental rose in addition to oud. It is very wearable…As I said, feminine 😉
    I have just reviewed Pure Oud so if you want… 😉


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