In “Game of Thrones” one of the characters says “the night is dark and full of terrors”. It is why humanity used fire to keep it at bay during the time when the sun has set. Anyone who has spent time outdoors in a wild setting around a campfire knows the sound of creatures stirring just outside the circle of light. On a trip to Montana a moose decided to remind us there were creatures beyond our firelight by hightailing it through camp. There was another night where there was a musky feral smell which drew near but didn’t reveal itself. When there are perfumes which have a significant raw animalic aspect I am often reminded of that. When I tried DSH Perfumes Oudh Noir I found a fragrance which was the entirety of that experience.
Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has begun a new sub-collection called “Heirloom Elixirs”. They are meant to be limited editions. Oudh Noir was #2 released simultaneously with #3 Aoud Blanc representing an “Oud in Chairoscuro” duo. Not sure what it says about me, but I was attracted to the darkness over the light. Part of what appealed to me was this sense of standing in a circle of firelight while the wild things circled.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Oudh Noir opens with oud representing the woodsmoke. The surrounding trees are portrayed by sandalwood and cedar. That is the smoky circle of light. A haze of tobacco is as if I am muttering a Native American chant to keep me safe while tossing tobacco into the flames. Then the scent of the earth being moved by something large comes forth in patchouli. A swirl of spices accompanies the earthiness. The scent of the beast, perhaps? Then a feral animalic accord circles the light. This is a snarling pacing bit of musk and fur. It tiptoes right up to the edge of being rank. A leathery quality emerges to prevent that. Oudh Noir remains at this point for hours. It isn’t until the dawn appears over the horizon that the beast retreats only leaving the embers of the fire.
DSH Perfumes Oudh noir has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
It is rare for any perfumer to let the skanky animalic notes have the lead in a perfume. I think it probably only appeals to a certain kind of perfume lover. Oudh Noir is one which allows me to wonder what is outside the firelight with pleasure.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes