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Fragrance talk

Ferrari Essence Oud Review: Fiery Red Warmth for Colder Days

When thinking of the world-renowned car manufacturer Ferrari, perfumes and fragrances would probably be the last thing to come to mind. But this famous Italian car company went ahead and did just that as a way to offer accessories with their cars. Some of their earliest releases were rather unremarkable, but then came a line of fragrances that were much more sophisticated, bearing names such as Ferrari Musk, Cedar, Leather, Amber, and so on. One surprisingly good entry is Ferrari Essence Oud, composed by Nathalie Feisthauer and released in 2012.

Ferrari Essence Oud
Ferrari Essence Oud

Right away, the bottle elicits similarities to high end sports cars, with a mix of sharp and curved angles, crimson red paint with a shiny finish, silver accents, and a band of leather around the cap, all embellished with the Cavallino Rampante logo synonymous with Ferrari products.

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Ferrari Essence Oud

Essence Oud came onto the scene in the initial years of the oud craze that swept perfumery – niche and designer alike. Here, though, the oud is a synthetic one, although in the hands of a master perfumer like Nathalie, it comes across as a pleasant, deep woody note that persists throughout the life of the fragrance.

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Ferrari Essence Oud

When the fragrance first starts to develop on skin, the main stars are frankincense, saffron, and rose. It is very warm and spicy, with subtle contrasts coming from the hesperidic sparkle of the frankincense. Gradually, Essence Oud takes on a bit more sweetness as the saffron blooms, reinforced by caraway, as the resinous facets start emitting puffs of smokey incense. Underneath all this is that mysterious, yet bold woody character coming from the synthetic oud.

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The warmth increases even more as the silky, yet commandingly masculine rose starts dancing amid the smoke, shaped by gentle folds of suede-like leather. This smokey rose, with underlying facets of woody notes and leather continues for a while, accompanied by spicy saffron. Into the dry down, though, Essence Oud decidedly becomes more balsamic when a pronounced labdanum appears in the depths, reinforcing the resins and leathery note, but still somewhat smokey. Even here, remnants of the spicy rose remain, but I also get something almost powdery in a sense, although it’s more of a suggestion than an outright note or accord. There are also some musky notes, suggestively animalic, providing a sensuous, warm finish to the wearing experience.

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All in all, I feel this is quite a stunning release that rarely gets mentioned. It makes for a fantastic choice in the colder months, enveloping you in the warm, luxurious splendor of roses, smokey incense, and oud. The longevity is also quite decent, easily lasting all day with strong projection and sillage for the first few hours. It would be perfect for formal occasions or even on a date. Sadly, it appears that Ferrari Essence Oud has been discontinued, but if you come upon a bottle at a decent price, don’t pass it up!

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