Simple, neat, perfect. Spicy Aoud is exactly what it purports to be, and in delivering on this promise it wins our hearts and minds. Pepper is the dry, slightly floral top of this fragrance that shimmers, like early morning light dancing across the surface of a remote, glassy-still lake. Saffron is an invisible, yet constant presence; like the breeze that runs throughout this landscape, Saffron integrates pepper’s cool, placid spice into the verdant and sepia woodland surroundings. The green density at the heart of this fragrance is patchouli. Simultaneously smoky, fruity and dry, patchouli represents foliage in every state of growth and decay, here a crisp pine needle, there a fallen, browning leaf growing crisp in the burgeoning sunlight. Woody musks (encapsulating the titled oud) are manifold, a multitudinous chorus that provides so many different answers as to how the woods smell: bark, twig, trunk and root are all represented. This minimalist portrait is nonetheless incredibly full and diverting. Refreshing as cool, crisp air through the trees, Spicy Aoud recalibrates our sensual expectations. A spiritual reset.