Le Labo Oud 27

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The Le Labo ad copy for Oud 27 ends with the words “You will enjoy it.” Those bastards.

Oud 27 has to be the weirdest perfume I know. The first ten minutes are wretched. I have tried literally thousands of perfumes, and I feel confident in declaring that the opening of Oud 27 is the worst thing I have ever smelled. For ten minutes, Oud 27 smells like rancid glue. It is revoltingly sour and rotten, which leads me to suspect that Oud 27 may actually contain rather authentic oud (oud is a type of tree sap formed in response to parasitic mold). It is horrible. I hate it. I hate everything. That last line was mostly an excuse to post a Grumpy Cat picture, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

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For those first ten minutes, my wrist was a weapon of mass destruction. But just a mere minute later, Oud 27 abruptly became something almost presentable: a powdery, unsweetened incense scent with a prominent cedar note. Sure, the cedar has a little rot to it, but it’s worlds away from the horrific decay of the opening. Oud 27’s second act smells very similar to the drydown of Etat Libre d’Orange Rien, another incense scent that I’m currently testing.

Oud 27 eventually smells fine, but it is no way worth suffering through that opening. Please do not pay $145 for this perfume when you could simply rub a decaying corpse on your pulse points and get the same effect.

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20 thoughts on “Le Labo Oud 27

  1. Whoa! I received a decant of this as part of a swap, but haven’t tried it yet. Wonder if the sender had the same reaction you did? However, one must try everything once. I even smelled Secretions Magnifiques – I immediately gagged, but I did it. Therefore, I am determined to go home tonight and test Oud 27, after I strap on the gas mask.

    1. How cruel of that sender to inflict it on you! 😉 Please come back and tell us what you think, Patty! I am willing to smell Secretions Magnifique, but no way in hell am I paying for a sample.

      1. OK, I finally tried it. Although I don’t get any rotting corpse smell, it has an overwhelming medicinal note that is not pleasant to wear. Might as well call it Eau de Band-Aid. I never really have gotten the oud craze. Why would you want to smell like that? And how could you stand yourself all day?

  2. When I’ve said I like ‘crypt-like’ perfumes, I certainly did not mean ‘corpse-like’. This sounds … disgusting. The opening of a lot of perfumes can be a little trying, but eww. All I can associate this with now is the rancid stench of death that assaulted me when we stopped in Utah a few weeks ago. It was so bad.

      1. I don’t know. We stopped at the Utah welcome centre. It was deserted, and yeah, sudden reek of death. Like stashing bodies in the trunk kind of reek of death. Everything was buried beneath 6 inches of snow, so I dunno what it was, but it did result in me kicking open each bathroom stall in the ladies’ room, because it might have been zombies. I have played enough Resident Evil & watched enough horror movies to know this should be a standard procedure.

        And it’s okay, we were in southern Utah where no one lives, and where a football jersey made into a froofy dress — I swear this thing had puffed sleeves — is apparently a fashion statement.

        Southern Utah was weird. Very weird. We were told beforehand to fill up the car before leaving Colorado b/c there was nothing for miles once you crossed into Utah. Everywhere else we drove through cross-country was great, though. People in Middle America are super nice. It made me kind of sad to come back to the East Coast where people are always pissed off about something.

  3. I have a sample of this and it’s pretty awful. If this had been the first oud fragrance released on an unknowing public the oud craze would have never happened. If you have ever had the misfortune of having a mouse die in the wall of your house you have smelled this fragrance. The day I tested it that’s what my husband thought had happened. I had gotten that impression as well but I thought I was just being dramatic. He confirmed my belief.

    1. I feel a desperate need to delete my review and replace it with the words “If you have ever had the misfortune of having a mouse die in the wall of your house you have smelled this fragrance.” Best description EVER.

      1. 🙂 I’m happy to know its not just me. I’d seen positive reviews so I got a sample. It was an eye opener and it taught me to take the lucky scent reviews with a grain of salt. Those people didn’t like it. They just wanted someone else to go through that awful experience too.

        1. This is how I feel about most perfume site fragrance reviews. I go off blogs reviews — Ari knows what I like, so I trust her reviews always. But places like Basenotes or Lucky Scent, it’s like a mixed bag. Once people start throwing around terms like ‘old lady’ I’m out, because some of my favourite classics they’d deem ‘old lady’.

          But now I’m legit laughing over the thought of someone sniffing a perfume, deeming it Eau de Corpse and then recommending it to others so they would not have to suffer alone. Misery loves company. Crafty.

    1. My pleasure, Elizabeth! I like quite a few other Le Labos, but if this had been my introduction to the line, I would have run far away and never come back.

  4. Ari, you are adorable 🙂
    I’m not sure if I’ve ever smelled this perfume but since I’m not a huge agarwood fan in general I wasn’t too tempted to do so.

  5. Thanks for taking one for the team! I’ll give this a wide berth, then…My worst ever sniffing experiences were Narcisse Noir, Amarige and Amouage Homage Attar Something Or Other that I immediately dubbed “Attila the Attar”.

  6. I’ve been wearing this since it came out, And I have to agree with Luca Turin, when he says it smells like sex when first applied, then turn into a soft, woody musc, I love wearing this, it’s Divine. I even love the top, Nitro cyclic musk notes.

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