New Perfume Review D.S. & Durga Notorious Oud- The Oddness of Oud

As perfumery moved into the 21st century there have been so many changes. One of the largest was the introduction of the Middle Eastern perfume ingredient oud into Western fragrance. For almost twenty years now this ingredient has been one of the most popular across all of perfumery. It is hard to pin down what makes it so popular. One reason might be how multi-faceted an ingredient it is. When in the hands of a skilled perfumer it can spring to life. Which is what happens in D.S. & Durga Notorious Oud.

Notorious Oud is supposed to be inspired by the late rapper Notorious BIG. But it can also easily stand on its own as oud has a notoriety for some of its rougher edges. Perfumer David Seth Moltz embraces all that fractious character by using an Indonesian oud as his keynote. By using a genuine source of oud it allows Mr. Moltz the opportunity to find complementary ingredients to display all that oud has to offer.

David Seth Moltz

One of the typical descriptions of oud is it has a “medicinal” or “band-aid” scent. As a someone who likes odd smells and regularly sniffs a bandage on my finger it is one of the reasons I like oud. Mr. Moltz uses a clever trio of camphor, galbanum, and saffron to make it more of that “band-aid” kind of accord in the early going. I enjoyed the way the camphor softened some of the edgier aspects of this part of the oud. As Notorious Oud develops into the heart it finds one of the typical partners of oud waiting, rose. This is a spicy Bulgarian rose and usually this is such a classical pairing there isn’t much more that is needed. Except Mr. Moltz adds enough lavender to lengthen the green thread begun by the galbanum in the top accord. That thread follows into the base as papyrus anchors it. Mr. Moltz then brackets the later development of the oud with animalic civet and the dry synthetic woodiness of Cetalox.

Notorious Oud has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.

Notorious Oud is for those who embrace oud in all its quirkiness. Mr. Moltz softens many of the sharper aspects, but they are still present. For me this is an oud which struck the right balance in its oddness and beauty.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample supplied by DS & Durga.

Mark Behnke