When I first started smelling oud I didn’t understand how anyone could enjoy Indian oils. I don’t mind the smell of barnyards, but it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to put on my skin.
Over the last few years my taste has expanded and become more eclectic. The strong scents of leather and clean hay, even fecal smells that I first found offensive, now engage me. Their unabashedly primal fortitude speaks to an urge deep inside me- a part of me that is more lusty, uninhibited and free. There’s no way I’d wear these more animalic Indian ouds in public, but when I’m alone they stimulate and excite me and make me feel strong and secure.
My favorite Indian Ouds that fall under the “barnyard” category are:
One day I came across an Indian oud that I really liked, precisely because it did NOT have that barnyard element. It was much more dignified and composed than the powerful ouds above. Since then I’ve acquired other Hindi oils that can be easily worn in public without fear of embarrassment. My favorite ouds in the “statesman” category are:
Then there are some ouds that fall in between these 2 categories. They are distinctly Indian but their animalic side is balanced by other notes that either modify or overshadow the “barnyard” aspects. In this category are:
Oudhasi’s Assam Flora (aptly named, although it’s not “floral” in the traditional sense)
Oudhasi’s Assam 15 (a sweet ethereal vapor tames the leather)
Areej Al Ammerat’s Hindi Manipouri (lots of thick, juicy plums in this one)
I don’t think my collection would be complete without having at least one oil from each category. But if I could leave you with one thought, it is to please give “Hindi” ouds a chance. It may take time, but I’d be very surprised if there isn’t at least one Indian oil for every oud lover out there.
Please note: The oils with the * are no longer available. My next top 10 will only include oils that are currently for sale.