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.
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.