One of the things about the gourmand style so far is there has been little pushback in design. As the relatively new genre has developed it has played it mostly straight. A set of food-inspired accords matched to some florals or sweet woods. It is all complementary. Only recently has there been an attempt to add to the gourmand some designed contrast. The House of Oud Neverending takes some baby steps towards this.
Over the last two releases the brand has fully embraced the gourmand perfume genre. Keep Glazed was a fantastic take on the candy Sweet Tarts. What About Pop was kettle corn dunked in vanilla cream. I liked both, but they are examples of what I was writing about. They are sweet from front to back. There is nothing wrong with it but I am ready to move forward, and the brand seems as if it might be ready to too. Perfumer Douglas Morel takes it on.
The vanilla is present from the beginning. This is a custard like version. Very creamy and substantial. The contrast comes right away through grapefruit, nutmeg, and cumin. It is particularly the latter which gives the vanilla a sweaty counterpart. It roughens it up without going too far. Some black pepper also adds contrast.
What comes next is an odd heart accord made up of tuberose and jasmine forming a bubblegum accord. What is fun is Mr. Morel surrounds it it in a suede wrapper. The smooth animalic sticks itself right up against the bubblegum. It should be a sticky mess. I got happily lost in it. The spiced-up vanilla also inserts itself to form a set of gourmand accords accompanied by their own contrast. It finishes on a dry woody base accord around guaiac.
Neverending has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I mentioned this was baby steps towards what I am hoping for. I would’ve liked to see more cumin with the vanilla. I would have liked to see a rawer leather accord against the bubblegum. What is here challenges the gourmand aspects without giving it a shove. Neverending mostly just nudges gourmand forward.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.