Today we’ll discuss a niche house that is a newcomer in the perfume world but is already very well known among oud fanatics. Al Shareef Oudh is an artisanal house based in Australia and Malaysia, known for its pure ouds oils, attars, oud pieces, high-quality selection of resins and other precious and rare materials with handcraft delicateness.
They recently launched four perfumes: an elevated chypré-styled “Qubrus”, “Ishraaq”, an indolic floral “Jasmine” and majestic rose-based “Ward”. If I remember correctly, this was their first time ever. These were crafted by modern innovation with traditional treasures of knowledge for over three generations. Al Shareef meticulously composed their Parfums from their basic building blocks; grinding, distilling, macerating, tincturing and curing.
Al shareef Oudh is truly the real deal when it comes to oud fragrances that I’ve encountered so far. It’s a composition built around a blend of three different regional Ouds; Hindi, Indonesian and Malaysian Oud, making this core incredibly strong. The Initial burst is full of richness from resins, leather, Ouds and Spices. I barely get any flowers listed in the opening. It’s harsh, big, bold, smokey, and very spicy-animalic. To me, it’s even hard to bury. Though the ouds don’t come out as fecal in any way, it’s more like the air in the leather factory which is pungent, heavily projecting and densely sharp. Now, bear with it because something magical is about to happen as it dries down.
Luckily, it settles relatively quickly. We are talking about roughly around 20 mins on my skin revealing that divine and smoother side of the blend of Ouds which I love so dearly. Around the precious Oud core, the floral facet from Rose and Ylang starts to reveal itself complementing the dark woody and resinous feel. Rose here is a dried and spicy type of rose. The Ouds are also supported by earthy Vetiver and smoky Cedar giving a strong woody backbone.
There’s a very intense blend of resins and spices which together give off a deep, black Leathery note and dried Tobacco, a bit of a fine Cigar feel. Two of the resins shine through and they are Lubaan (Frankincense) and Myrrh which came to lift this composition up to my liking. The two beloved resins give that warmth and spiritual feel but also ambiguously cooling effect to the composition which I find very calming.
Despite a bunch of heavy notes, there’s something very airy and salty about it that lightens up the feel a bit, not much but a decent amount of distinctive and elevating Ambergris. I feel like it’s not those animalic types but saltier and fresh-ish. I can see it blended in to balance out the weight of the other notes. The dry down is really warm, very musky, leathery, deep woodsy and rich resinous which gives off that spiritual and comforting feeling. I get the similar vibes which are in the dry down of Oumma by SHL but Ishraaq is smoother, more full-bodied, livelier and more oudy.
Without a doubt, it’s a handcrafted and complex Oud scent that has no intention to please the crowd. The creator of this composition, Al Shareef Jawed, did justice and paid homage to the heritage and tradition of the raw material by crafting this creation.
The scent feels lively and moving which suggests a high volume of naturals as it comes off a bit different every time I wear it. Is it challenging? Absolutely. I think it’s very hard to wear if you like tamed Western Ouds but if you’re an Oud aficionado, you’d appreciate it a lot. Also, this Parfum is relatively new, launched last year so I believe it will keep maturing and won’t be this harsh when the Oud and other natural oils mellow and age with time.
Al Shareef Oudh Ishraaq is available on the official website only in 30 ml Parfum concentration.