New Releases: Areej Le Doré Russian Musk, Russian Oud, Indolis, Walimah & Walimah Attar (+Mini Reviews)

Areej Le Doré and Russian Adam have launched a new series of fragrances, including the long-anticipated upgraded version of his celebrated Siberian Musk. There are five fragrances in total, if one counts the concentrated attar version of one of them as a separate entity which, in my opinion, it really is. The five releases are: Russian Musk, Walimah Parfum, Walimah Attar, Russian Oud, and Indolis. Today, I’ll give you the basic run-down on launch, the scents, their notes, the sample situation, packaging upgrades, and even include mini reviews or pre-reviews for some of the fragrances.

Collage: my own. Photo source: Russian Adam.

THE FRAGRANCES:

Putting aside the special attar, there are four new Areej Le Doré sprayable fragrances and, like their precursors, they are pure parfums or extraits which were made in limited quantities. Unlike the last time, however, several of the fragrances were produced in quantities greater than 100 bottles. (The quantity is indicated in each fragrance’s section below.)

Each fragrance was created from the same batch of distilled materials, hand-done artisanal distillations, or hydrosols, whether it’s a rare magnolia otto, a “choco-wood” co-distillation of various ouds, a tincture of rare (but legally obtained) Siberian deer musk, or even the distilled oil of green tea leaves from a 100-year old tea tree which Russian Adam subsequently turned into a green tea absolute. Once the bottles for a scent are sold out, that’s it for the fragrance. It will not be remade or reproduced later on. Russian Adam has a particular ethical issue with fragrances being put out under the same name despite coming from different batches or having different raw materials.

In the interests of time and space, I won’t quote the lengthy official descriptions for the five fragrances, but you can read the full details on their individual Areej website pages. A direct link is provided at the end of each section below.

RUSSIAN MUSK:

Russian Musk parfum. Photo & source: Russian Adam.

The old Siberian Musk, a fantastic fragrance, has been upgraded with richer, smoother, and more luxurious ingredients. Version 2.0 is called Russian Musk, not “Siberian Musk Intense” as had initially been speculated. The reason is because Russian Adam thought “Intense” would be misleading since this is not a more powerful scent or a “beast mode” version of the original.

Russian Musk’s notes are:

Top notes: Russian Fir and Pine, Lemon, Bergamot, and Mandarin;
Heart notes: Orange blossom from Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and France; Indian Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Nutmeg absolute, Clove and Cinnamon;
Base notes: legally-obtained wild Siberian deer musk, co-distilled by Russian Adam; Agarwood (oud) oil from Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand; Rose absolute, fossil Amber, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cypress, Tree Moss resinoid and Oakmoss absolute.

Russian Adam sums up Russian Musk as: “Classical chypra full of fresh, foresty notes, driven by furry animalic character, touch of florals and unmistakable piny Russian feel.” If you’re unfamiliar with the original, you can read my review to get a basic idea of what the new version smells like since it was intentionally created to be extremely similar in terms of the overall outline and olfaction.

After testing it, I can say that the two fragrances are extremely close in terms of aroma and overall scent. However, I found Russian Musk to be significantly smoother, both in individual notes and overall body. In addition, the individual notes are much crisper and better delineated in terms of clarity. Aromatically or scent-wise, many of them feel deeper, more well-rounded, and/or mellower. In the case of the lemon, though, it was much brighter, richer, and more beautifully vivid. For example, the lemon has a rather mouth-watering richness whose sweet-tangy tartness resembles Meyer lemons rather than the shriller, more acidulated basic lemon variety. I’m not a huge citrus lover, but this lemon note was utterly succulent, bright, and gorgeously sunny.

There are several differences between the two fragrances. First, unlike the original, there is no lime in Russian Musk. Second, the mandarin is a much clearer, more distinct presence. Third, I thought the musk was significantly milder and more muted, there was little fur, and there were no animalics whatsoever. After 90 minutes, the musk was just a sotto voce note in the background, and it later grew so soft that it was mere texture and fuzziness (but very pretty fuzziness). Once in a while, it was so muted that it practically amounted to a subliminal suggestion. Fourth, on my skin, Russian Musk’s sillage and projection were softer, weaker, less powerful, and less diffusive. Finally, it’s also not particularly strong or heavy in terms of weight and body. It actually has quite an airy feel on my skin. In short, it’s milder, tamer, and quieter than the original in a number of ways.

I shared my thoughts with Russian Adam and he said he “definitely agree[d] that Russian Musk is weaker…  in term of strength, projection and sillage.” He explained that “Higher quality oils often tend to be weaker as the distillation must be done very gently to capture more delicate notes… So any high quality ingredients with complex, refined, well balanced notes can be quite weak in power…”

But power and density aren’t everything. I think Russian Musk makes up for it by being more refined, smoother, and silkier, and so does he. Adam called it “more refined, more rich smelling” and a higher quality composition.

For me, the word “silky” sums up a lot about Russian Musk and its feel. I need to give it a few more tests to be certain but I think I might possibly like it more than the original, the way Adam does. Its character is not glamorous or divaesque in my eyes, but it may be more refined, even if it’s in quite an understated way. It’s brighter in the opening, easier to wear later on, and one of those things that one could wear during the day, every day, while still maintaining an upscale elegance and not being casual. Basically, it’s modern-day Armani instead of vintage Balenciaga. Or Armani Day instead of Armani Couture Night. For that reason, I think some people will find Russian Musk to be more versatile and approachable than its predecessor. I like it a lot.

[UPDATE 2/3: a detailed review of Russian Musk has just been posted and it includes comparative scent analysis.]

Price/Links: $375 for 50 ml. 300 bottles were produced. Russian Musk on Areej Le Doré. Russian Musk on Luckyscent.

WALIMAH — PARFUM & ATTAR:

Walimah attar. Photo credit & source: Russian Adam.

Russian Adam got married at the end of last year, and he created Walimah in tribute to that wonderful event and his new bride. I’ve already posted a detailed review of both the Parfum and the Attar which you can read for a complex run-down of both scents and for close-up of the bottles. But, for the sake of having the basics of all five releases in one place or post, here is their shared note list:

Top notes: Yellow Champaca distilled by Russian Adam, Magnolia otto and absolute;
Heart notes: Wild Siberian deer musk, Royal Bengal oud, Tobacco absolute, Indonesian Cocoa extract, Saffron, and Cinnamon;
Base notes: Indonesian Vetiver absolute, aged from 2010, Indian Labdanum absolute, and Peru balsam.

Walimah Attar on either side of Walimah Parfum. Photos by Russian Adam. Collage created by me.

Walimah parfum spray bottle and the new leather label. Photo credit & source: Russian Adam.

As always, the price of an Areej Le Doré fragrance is determined by the cost of its materials, including any which might be scarce. In the case of Walimah, Russian Adam told me that the Bengali oud he used was a particularly expensive one and its grade was so high-end that it is not used for perfume purposes. In fact, Russian Adam said that his distiller friend made an oil out of it only as a personal favour to him. The cost of the wood was so much that the distilled oil is sold on Adam’s Feel Oud site for $450 for 2.5 grams.

For those who have not yet the full review of the two Walimahs, I can tell you that they’re both good but the attar is stupendous, although I think you need to love vetiver for it to be a perfect fit for you.

There are around 500 bottles of Waliwah sprayable parfum. There are only 100 of the Attar which comes in crystal bottles, each one engraved with its unique number in the series from 001 to 100. Russian Adam has said that, if the demand is very high, he might be able to produce more attars in the future, all from the same original batch. He has sufficient concentrate, but the bottles are not cheap to buy and they also take time to be made and to be engraved with the names and the number (ie, 101 to 200, etc.). So, it will take one month or two before a supply of additional attars would be available.

Price/Links: Waliwah sprayable parfum: $400 for 50 ml. Waliwah “Attar”: $190 for 3 ml.  Areej Le Doré Walimah & Walimah Attar. Walimah parfum on Luckyscent.

RUSSIAN OUD:

Russian Oud. Photo & source: Russian Adam.

Russian Adam summed up his latest oud to me as: “an oud perfume with a gourmand heart and incensy base build around high quality agarwood oil distilled by Russian Adam according to an old traditional way yet with a unique modern twist.” I think that’s a rather good nutshell of its essence. The official scent description is too long to quote here but I want to highlight its conclusion which says: “Russian Oud is a grandfather of our previous sought-after compositions, Oud Zen and Oud Picante. It is richer in oud, resins and soothing, incensy base notes.”

The official note list is:

Top notes: multi-layered Choco-Borai Oud oil [mixed Thai ouds co-distilled by Russian Adam];
Heart notes: Indian oud, Russian Castoreum, Cocoa extract, and Siberian deer musk maceration, derived from a gigantic musk pod;
Base notes: Guggul resinoid, Indian Myrrh, Labdanum, Birch Tar, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood.

Guggul is apparently a type of Indian myrrh tree resin. Russian Adam described its aroma to me as: “very resinous, closer to labdanum but lighter and more refined, incensy and caramel like sweet.”

Source: newallpaper.com

The initial note list that I was provided did not mention sandalwood (or birch tar), but Russian Oud had such a powerful sandalwood note at one stage that the scent bouquet was filled with it. In fact, it utterly turned my head with its absolutely gorgeous resinousness and smokiness. Since it wasn’t mentioned in the note list I had, I thought it was merely an indirect recreation via overlapping, similar aromas from the other materials, but when I asked Adam, he said that the fragrance contains a special distillation of his Santal 100K. This one, however, is no green buttermilk sandal in its aroma. Instead, Russian Adam described its scent as something like a “sandal tar, similar to birch wood.”

Source: photos.fansshare.com

It’s utterly fantastic, especially at one point when it combines with other notes to create the effect of a molten river of lava flowing over your skin, lava made out of toffee’d amber, sandalwood, smoke, myrrh, and musky, quietly growling oud. It’s not just addictive, but damn sexy as well. My sister used to have an expression for things that blew her away and also had great sex appeal: she used to say, he or it “is like sex on a stick.” I’m pretty sure she would sum up Russian Oud as “sex on a stick.” And I would agree, except I think this is primarily a cozy comfort scent and delectable semi-gourmand. But wowzer nonetheless.

Not only is Russian Oud my favourite out of the new series, hands-down, but the extent of my love for it may possibly surpass my feelings for Ottoman Empire. No, it’s nowhere as complex as either the latter or some of the new releases like Walimah, but Russian Oud is the ultimate “cozy comfort” scent for someone with my tastes. The fact that it can also be highly sexy and totally addictive is simply a cherry or two on the cake. My first sniff sent my head spinning like some possessed child from The Exorcist, albeit a happy child floating in the air from olfactory euphoria, not satanic possession. I wanted to lick my arm; I wished I could bathe in the stuff; and when some of the scent I was wearing on my arm for a test transferred to the cuffs of my sweater and later to my sheets, I couldn’t stop sniffing them. The indirect transfer onto my sheets couldn’t have been more than a small smear but it left my bedroom filled with the scent of Russian Oud’s delectable, addictive caramel-amber-chocolate drydown for two days straight, leaving me sniffing the air like a German Shepherd K9 looking for drugs. Bottom line: Russian Oud is olfactory crack to me, pure and simple.

Source: iwallpapersfive.com

The reasons have nothing to do with oud. I’m hardly an Oud Head. No, one reason why is because of a magic trick whereby various individual notes end up combining to mimic and recreate the most sumptuous and multi-faceted patchouli, one of my favourite raw materials. Another reason is because many of the notes have similar traits and each one serves to accentuate the next, amplifying it, enriching it, and thereby creating the absolute best version possible. Like, for example, the reddest, smokiest, most resinous, sandalwood heartwood, or the most luxurious chocolate-caramel bar made by the best chocolatier. While there are gourmand elements in Russian Oud, they’re never so sweet or excessive on my skin as to render things cloying or to turn off a gourmand hater like myself. Plus, they’re layered with loads upon loads of incense, resins, quietly animalic oud, dark muskiness, creamy woods, dry woods, and leathery castoreum.

Source: carnival.com

But I think you must love chocolate (even if it’s just semi-sweetened chocolate) and labdanum for Russian Oud to sweep you off your feet to the extent that it did me. Preferably, you’d love patchouli as well, even if the aroma here is just an inadvertent mimicry of patchouli. (A virtually identical recreation and mimicry, if you ask me.) I happen to be a total labdanum junkie and a hardcore, salivating Patch Head; I also love chocolate in perfumery; and the red, smoky, heavily resinous sort of sandalwood used here is the exact sort I adore, not the milky green kind. So, for me, Russian Oud was a match made in heaven and a bottle lies in my future. Maybe two.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this because I almost never recommend blind-buys if I can help it, but there are one or two of you out there with tastes identical to mine who should do exactly that. If you love patchouli, chocolate, labdanum, toffee, caramel, dark musky ambers, myrrh, and resinous orientals even more than oud, and if you loved Ensar Oud‘s Santal Sultan, Sammarco‘s boozy black-chocolate-patchouli-amber-castoreum Bond-T, and Roja Dove‘s chocolate-amber Amber Extrait, I think you can skip the testing portion and go straight for a bottle because you will not be disappointed. However, if you’re neither a chocolate, patchouli, or labdanum lover, and if none of the fragrances mentioned above did anything for you, then test first.

[UPDATE 2/11: a full review for Russian Oud with scent comparisons to prior Areej oud fragrances has just been posted.]

Price/Retail Links: Russian Oud costs $250 for 50 ml. 300 bottles were produced. Russian Oud on Areej Le Doré. Russian Oud at Luckyscent.

INDOLIS:

Indolis parfum. Photo & source: Russian Adam.

Russian Adam’s summary of the fragrance is as follows: “Full of indolic Indonesian florals, Indolis is an aromatic oriental creation with an unusual blue character.” The official scent description is too long for me to quote in full, but I think the following excerpts reveal the high-quality or rarity of some of the materials as well as what Russian Adam means by “blue”:

The composition opens with the rarest, most costly jasmine extract known to man: Indonesian jasmine enfleurage. Delicate, soft and virginal… yet with an indolic, almost animalic touch… this enfleurage represents the scent that is closest to the true aroma of a night-blooming jasmine flower. It is further boosted with distilled oil of gardenia blossoms. Wild, piercing and even more animalic, this adds unmatchable layers to the top notes. Sharp, Indonesian jasmine absolute and soft neroli from Tunisia provide a foundation for the bouquet of top notes, causing them to last and shine through the entire composition.  [¶][….][snip]

Perfectly blended, co-existing notes gradually take us to a base that is silky smooth, with a green and blue character. Green Indonesian sandal oil, distilled by Russian Adam from sandal roots nearly 100 years old, provide a silky smooth, elegant platform for the base. [¶][….] The combination of chamomile oil from various regions contributes a distinctive aroma. It is herbal, slightly medicinal and extremely soft and creamy, producing an unusual, blue floral scent. Oakmoss resinoid adds a thick, foresty layer, soothing and tying together all the surrounding notes. An unmatchable green nuance is conveyed by one-of-a-kind Chinese green tea absolute, extracted by Russian Adam. Harvested from a green tea tree, over a century old, it adds a highly-matured, yet fresh, herbal touch to the composition.

The official note list is:

Top notes: Indonesian Jasmine enfleurage, Gardenia, Orange Blossom, and Jasmine absolute
Heart notes: Green hojary Frankincense, Ginger, Lime, Tangerine and Pineapple, all co-distilled by Russian Adam.
Base notes: Indonesian green sandalwood and wild Australian sandalwood, both distilled by Russian Adam.  Benzoin, Tonka bean absolute, Oakmoss resinoid and Indian galbanum. Chinese green tea from 100 years old tree extract and Lavender absolute, both made by Russian Adam.

From the name, I had anticipated Indolis to be an indolic floral, but it wasn’t. Not on my skin. It is a cool and prodigiously green (or green-white) fragrance which conjured up a tale of white angels fallen and imprisoned in a green underworld before they escape and find sanctuary. Otherworldly green-white flowers fall from the sky, so ethereal in their aroma, so exquisitely tender and hauntingly delicate in their beauty that they’re like basically floral angels. The devil traps them and tries to drown them in a hellish pit of crushed green floral stems which ooze bitter green sap, crushed green leaves, crushed green tea leaves, a few gentle aromatics, and loads of venomously bitter, oily, green-black galbanum.

Photo: Lucie Drlikova. Source: luciedrlikova.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

The angels eventually escape, using thin ropes made out of barely sweetened pineapple and bitter ginger to climb out of their prison, and they flee to the safety of a monastery made out of frankincense. It’s intensely dusty and soapy, cool, dryly woody, and filled with the musty, fusty aroma of ancient churches and their High Mass catholic ceremonies. Soft moss curls up the walls and the floors are made out of creamy sandalwood, but the incense hangs like a thick haze in the air, enveloping the florals to such an extent that it almost acts like a shroud. Later, tonka joins the festivities, softening the incense, fusing with the sandalwood, and turning Indolis into lovely green, floral-laced cream.

“Notre Dame” by Juhupainting (Matthias Utomo) on Deviant Art. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Indolis is both beautifully done and beautiful, but it’s not for me. I want it to be, I want it to be so badly because its white florals are so beautiful that I’d call them heartbreakingly exquisite. They’re so ethereal, tender, lush and, yet, also so fragile and petal-soft that they are quite haunting and it’s difficult to pull away. The issue for me, though, is not the florals. It’s first the greenness and then the frankincense. Regular readers know that the green grenre of perfumery is not my favourite, and that galbanum is, in fact, one of my most hated materials. Here, it is accompanied by a slew of other green and bitter elements, which perhaps I could have struggled through for the sake of those exquite florals, but the frankincense was one challenge too far for me. I can’t deal with copious amounts of it, especially when it goes all High Mass/High Church, soapy and dusty, which is exactly what it does here on my skin. That’s my kryptonite and that’s where I draw the line.

But these are purely personal and subjective issues regarding note specifics and genres, and the objective view is different. Looking at Indolis objectively, I’d be the first to say that it is a fascinating, intriguing, sometimes haunting, and completely original fragrance which is extremely high-quality and beautifully done. And its white florals are exceptional — so exceptional, exquisite, and softly delicate that I don’t think I have words adequate enough to describe their beauty. (Indolis’ green tea note is also exquisite and quite captivating.)

I think Indolis will appeal to lovers of the classical 1970s green genre, particularly if they also love High Mass-style incense and enjoy the classical conventions being given an oriental twist. I think Indolis will also be a big hit with fans of modern deconstructed white florals, specifically Naomi Goodsir’s Nuit de Bakelite with its bitter green sap, crushed green stems, bitter galbanum, green leafiness, and abstract, airy, breezy white floralcy in its opening stage. Nuit de Bakelite is a completely different fragrance when taken as a whole and has different florals, but the two fragrance’s opening stages are  similar in terms of the green and floral accords. (But Nuit de Bakelite’s tuberose doesn’t have one-thousandth of the beauty of Indolis’ flowers.)

If you love green fragrances, green-white florals, and incense fragrances, then I think Indolis might really blow you away.

Price/Links: Indolis costs $300 for 50 ml. There are 100 bottles. Indolis on Areej Le Doré. Indolis on Luckyscent.

BOTTLE PACKAGING CHANGES:

Walimah parfum spray bottle and the new leather label. Photo credit & source: Russian Adam.

Russian Adam has also changed the look of the packaging for this third series. As he explained to me in an email:

The new bottles will be shaped like the bottles I used for the 1st collection. Oval rounded form just like your bottle of Ottoman Empire. It’s for several reasons, one of which was the comment of one customer who said this shape feels better in the hand. In general, it matches the soothing notes more rather then a bottle with sharp edges.

The label on the bottle also will be rounded and made of a real leather this time. They smell so amazing.

The caps will be hand made out of teak wood. That convey an amazing feeling and aroma.

There also will be individual colour natural stones attached to the top of the cap. Each colour represents the smell.

Then silk boxes which also match the colour of the scent… all the materials were chosen by us and each box design is made by us also.

The combination of clear rounded glass, leather, teak wood, stone and silk…  I believe that I have found my personal style/design. There were so many old variations … from a simple paper sticker (1st collection) to a fancy metal plate (2nd). But this 3rd collection I feel to be complete, and I am so happy and excited about it. [Bolding emphasis added by me, and some edits were made to the text for reasons of grammar, clarity or concision.]

Parfum spray bottle with the new teak cap and box packaging for Walimah. Photo credit & source: Russian Adam.

Walimah parfum spray bottle and the new leather label. Photo credit & source: Russian Adam.

SAMPLE SETS, SAMPLES, LUCKYSCENT & DECANTS:

There are two ways in which to obtain samples. First, Russian Adam is offering sample sets. Each one will contain samples of all 5 new releases: the 4 new spray parfums will come in atomizers that contain 1 ml of each scent. There will also be a dab vial with a sample of the fascinating, impressive Walimah Attar, roughly 3-5 drops worth. I think that amount is sufficient for 2 or 3 full tests or wearings. Or, if you want to go hardcore and have the scent last on you for 27 to 36 hours, apply 3 small drops in one go as I did and watch your head spin off its axis with awe and reverie.

The set costs $45. Only 80 sets have been produced and no additional sets will be offered. After that, you’ll have to resort to the second option (see much below) in order to sample/test the fragrances. The one exception to that will be the Attar: Russian Adam said he would be happy to offer individual samples later on for anyone willing to pay the DSH shipping price.

The packaging has changed for this series’ sample set. The box has a sort of textured black silk on its lid, the samples inside come in a silky black pouch, and the atomizers are now an opaque black with a fairly decent-sized aperture nozzle.

The Areej Sample set: box, pouch, parfum atomizers, and the attar dab vial. Photo: my own.

Close-up of the Areej Sample set atomizers. Photo: my own.

You can wriggle off the top of the atomizer if you prefer to dab the contents or to peer inside to see how much juice is left. My advice is to be careful how much you spray the first time around because I could not tell the amount that remained inside.

As some of you may know, Luckyscent became an Areej Le Doré retailer late last year.  So, for this third series, they will be the official alternative for samples, not Surrender to Chance. Luckyscent will offer individual samples of each fragrance in the usual LS dab vials. Russian Adam sent them 100 ml of each fragrance intended solely to be used for making samples, so that should be sufficient for 100 vials of each. Prices are expected to be somewhere between $8 to $10 a vial. I don’t know the amount that they’ll have in each vial, but it should hopefully be the usual 0.7 ml and not 0.5 ml. As you know, Luckyscent ships worldwide, so having them as a partner seemed like the best way to provide dependable shipping at a more affordable rate than courier shipping from Asia. (Areej Le Dore’s expedited DHS shipping rate from Thailand is $40 or $45. That’s the only option because the Thai Post either loses things or takes months.)

There are a few things that you should know about the Luckyscent situation. First, they will only have the four parfums, not have the attar because that’s exclusive to the Areej website. So, you won’t be able to sample the attar via LS either. Second, they will not have the official sample sets which has 5 fragrances, including the attar. Moreover, from what I’ve been told, Luckyscent will not offering in-house Areej sample packs. They’ev decided to sell each one individually, priced somewhere between $8 or $10 each. Third, Luckyscent will probably offer a pre-order option for the first seven to ten days after the official January 31st fragrance launch. However, they will not have the fragrances in stock to send out either bottles or samples right away. Russian Adam will be sending them the fragrances (and the juice for samples) roughly 7-10 days after his launch. Basically, for very understandable reasons, Areej Le Doré is giving itself first shot at selling its fragrances and samples and shipping them out.

Finally, you should be aware that Luckyscent did not place a big initial order with Areej. They only asked for 5 bottles of each parfum, and they are therefore likely to sell out of quickly even once they do receive their stock. I assume that they will place a second order afterwards or at some point. My point is, when LS does end up getting its bottles, the numbers will be limited. They will, however, receive ample supply of juice for samples.

Here is the link to Luckyscent’s overall Areej section where you will be able to find the individual parfums (and samples thereof) once they are added. At the time of this post, none of the new releases are there. [UPDATE: moments ago, Luckyscent listed the fragrances for bottle or sample pre-order with an anticipated shipping date of February 15th. Samples are $10 each.] And, for convenience sake, to have everything in one place, here again is the link to Russian Adam’s sample set.

Moving onto a different subject, late last year, Russian Adam started offering 10 ml travel decants of his second series of fragrances. It has not yet been decided whether he will do the same for this series or in what sizes. It depends on how these fragrances sell and how much juice is left. If the full bottles go at a steady pace and not much juice is left, there may be smaller decants (i.e, 5 ml or 7 ml in lieu of 10 ml), or there may not be. One thing is certain: if he does offer decants, it won’t be right away and it will probably be several months after the launch.

FUTURE REVIEWS:

I hadn’t originally planned to write any mini-reviews here, but I simply couldn’t help myself when it came to Russian Oud. After that, everything snowballed. It seemed worth saying a few words about Russian Musk, given how many people are familiar with the original. I’d only planned to write a few sentences but, well, you saw how that ended up. Then, after Russian Musk, it seemed as though I should also talk about Indolis, lest my silence on that one be inadvertently taken the wrong way or as an indictment of the scent when the simple fact of the matter is that I have longstanding struggles with several of the raw materials.

I haven’t decided yet if my descriptions negate the need for actual formal reviews in the future. I will probably write a review for Russian Oud, simply because I can wear and wax rhapsodic about that fragrance (and my immense love for it) all week long. I may write something for Russian Musk, but it would be simple and would consist largely of a compare-contrast analysis since you can read the original Siberian Musk review for the fragrance’s basic essence and character. I’ve already covered the Walimah Parfum and Attar at great length. But I don’t think I will review Indolis any further. I think I will leave Indolis to a green lover to talk about elsewhere. I have no doubt that green floral and frankincense fans will go simply nuts for it.

I will update this post with links to any reviews which are posted.

[UPDATE 2/3: a detailed review of Russian Musk has just been posted and it includes comparative scent analysis.]

[UPDATE 2/11: a full review for Russian Oud with scent comparisons to prior Areej oud fragrances has just been posted.]

Disclosure: My samples were provided courtesy of the company. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.

33 thoughts on “New Releases: Areej Le Doré Russian Musk, Russian Oud, Indolis, Walimah & Walimah Attar (+Mini Reviews)

  1. Pingback: Areej Le Doré Walimah Parfum & Walimah Attar - Kafkaesque

  2. Dear Kafka, this is all very exciting news. I loved the first four and it sounds as if I would ‘need’ another bottle now, namely Russian Oud. (And who knows, a bottle of Russian Musk…).

    Thank you so much for sharing this at such an early phase. You make this hobby a lot of fun!

    • First, welcome to the blog, Joeribt! Second, I’m so pleased that I could help you to make an informed decision as to what would suit you and your personal tastes best. But what really and truly delights me is to hear you say I made things fun for you. Thank you for one of the biggest compliments that a perfumer reviewer/blogger could receive.

      That means a lot because, honestly, I think this hobby/passion/love of ours is *ALWAYS* made more fun when we share, talk about our mutual or completely different passions, when we compare our experiences with fragrances or share the stories, images, and emotions which they evoke. I always compare it (or, rather, the ideal situation) to a really fun cocktail party where people are swapping tales over canapés and cocktails, sharing mutual loves or polar opposite feelings, but everything is always, ALWAYS, in a spirit of shared comraderie.

      So, thank you for letting me know that I succeeded today in making “This Thing Of Ours” (to paraphrase the mob and Tony Soprano) into something fun.

      BTW, don’t be a stranger and please don’t hesitate to stop by in the future so that I may have a chance to get to know you and your tastes a little.

      • Hi Kafka,

        Indeed, this thing of ours is much more fun with you sharing your thoughts.

        It’s not the fist time I am here and in fact you explained some of the ouds Russian Adam does in an earlier chat on this blog. As I said then, you have opened my eyes for a lot of marvelous fragrances out there (Papillon, Bogue to name just two).

        I still go back often to your reviews of one of my favourite houses, Serge Lutens. Your views are very informative.

        Looking forward to the Russian Oud review and hope we keep in touch!

    • I’m not sure I understand your question, Eddie. I provided links to each fragrance’s individual page, quite separate from the sample set link. But Russian Oud is still there, both on its own page and on the overall “Olfactory Compositions” page. 🙂 Don’t worry, 300 bottles can’t possibly sell out in a day or few hours.

      • Yes I see them all now Kafkaesque , and thank you for listing them . I just clicked the sample set beforehand and got nervous . On my end, the new ones don’t show up unless I click your links, or from related products when you scroll down. I did order his wedding/Walimah attar , and one sample set. I will get the Russian Oud too, but I have to get my ELTON JOHN tickets on February 2nd . So nervous about it . I just quit smoking too. Nasty terrible habit. So, sorry for any confusion and again thank you for all you do. Now off to email strifeknot about what he will be doing for splits/decant’s in regards to Areej/Russian Adam.

        • First, don’t worry or give any of this link stuff a second thought. Second, a big congratulations and bravo on quitting smoking. Try to be gentle on yourself for the first 3 weeks and try not to be so critical of yourself as you go through the difficult process. Everyone knows just how hard it is to quit. BTW, if you end up relapsing, just pick yourself up and start afresh without self-judgments or without beating yourself up. Give yourself time and a bit of a break, okay, Eddie?

          Second, I think buying the Attar is a wise investment because, if you don’t like it, you could re-sell it easily. The attar and the sample sets are the only things which are going to sell out quickly. Buying the samples will let you test at your leisure before deciding what full bottles to purchase, although I know you love getting decants from Strifeknot as well and you’re clearly going that route this time around as well.

          BTW, I haven’t heard any of Elton John’s new music in quite a while but I know he’s such an exceptional perfomer (a pure, natural-born show man, in fact), so I bet you’ll have a blast at his concert. Fingers crossed that you get the tickets you want.

        • Enjoy that Elton John concert. My first Elton John concert was at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on September 11, 1971. Oops! I’m giving my age away.

    • Honestly, I think you’ve tried way more animalic stuff than what’s present here. You absolutely LOVED Oumma from SHL 777, and that’s way more animalic than anything in several of these parfums. I think the Attar might be the only one not for you because it would be too leathery and animalic. I could actually see you enjoying Indolis quite a bit since you love green fragrances and I don’t think gardenia or jasmine is on your list of hated white florals. (Now tuberose is, as I know full well, completely verboten for you.)

      I could also see you enjoying Russian Musk quite a bit. That one is about as animalic as Miss Marple. Seriously. Not even the original Siberian Musk would be animalic in your eyes, and this one certainly isn’t. The deer musk is never raunchy, skanky, or dirty. Not a whiff of “‘Ho Panties,” not an ounce of body odor, not a soupçon of animals or anything filthy. Not even remotely — in either version. In the original, it was like a old soft fur coat imbued with vintage chypre perfume. In this one, it’s like that before a short time before turning into a mere bit of fuzziness. Seriously. Get the samples and you will see.

      • You know, I imagined heavy handed Russian robustness – but I believe you, my dear Franz, of course I believe you (even if autocorrect just exchanged my „dear“ with „fear“…). Samples were ordered, of course they were. BTW, I don’t perceive Oumma as animalic – you nailed it with „Ho Panties“, that‘s the one I‘m scared of. Plus the dreaded Tuberose…
        Any news about big dogs and little dogs ?

        • The dog issue is… *sigh* His Highness has had such a godawful 3 or 4 months. There are a handful of ongoing chronic health issues which came to a climax at the end of November, followed by a totally inexplicable situation which occurred on New Year’s Eve and which lasted a few days, and it was so awful that I thought he was dying. (I literally stayed up for 48 hours just to keep an eye on his breathing and to make sure he hadn’t died.) Long story short, multiple tests can’t figure out the cause, he’s better now on a comparative basis, but his health has brought me to the edge a few times since November. And, in all honesty, I will be surprised if I have more than another 6 months with him.

          Coincidentally, the day you asked your question, my breeder contacted me to ask if I was interested in a long-haired female because I’m right at the top of the list for the next few litters. I had to tell her that I needed to put off everything because I couldn’t get a puppy when I think His Highness is in the last stretch of his life and when he needs so much constant attention and care. It wouldn’t be fare to either of them, puppy or current old Prince (who hasn’t even turned 9 yet, by the way). I told her that I needed to make him a priority and I wouldn’t do anything to make him feel as though he’d been discarded for a younger, healthier model — just as I wouldn’t do that to her puppy, in turn, when it became old and poorly. She understood. But it’s a frustrating situation since I had once wanted a puppy right away.

          Circumstances change, though, and I need to cherish every moment I have with His Majesty for as long as I have it. I was at one vet yesterday, will be at a specialist tomorrow, and will go to his regular vet on Saturday. It’s an endless series of vets, a lengthy list of daily meds, and an exhausting inability to get a complete handle on the various, sometimes inter-related health conditions at play. But I would gladly do all of it, nonstop, if it will give me more time with my baby who is right now stretched out by my side, plastered to my skin, and currently shedding what’s left of his remaining coat all over my bed. lol.

          Too much information and too many details, I know, so I apologize in advance but, in all honesty, His Highness’ situation is always on my mind and it’s taken a lot out of me to try to focus on something as unimportant as perfume over the last 3 months, so it’s a bit of a release to be able to talk about it for once publicly. So thank you for asking. Most of all, though, thank you for CARING enough to ask. Really, thank you, Mi’Lady. If I get a little one, I will be sure to share photos nonstop, but I fear there will be bad news before that happens. If I suddenly disappear for a stretch of time, you’ll know why. For now, though, I have my baby and his fat, chunky paws to adore. 🙂 xox

          • Sigh, I was fearing this, somehow I felt he wasn‘t well. And I was sure you would have told us if you got the little one already. It‘s so sad to go from vet to vet, and hoping on better test results – but then they are just worse again…And they look in our eyes and I always have the feeling they know and understand much more about that all than we humans do. And don‘t even mention shedding hair all over the place – Pinc was dead for months and I was still finding her hair everywhere and didn‘t know, if I should cry every time or smile… I wish you two a long and lovely time together !
            I got the samples and they are far from being animalic on me and/or indolic. I love my greens and some of the white florals too, if they are nice enough – in fact I could imagine a full bottle of Indolis (strangely?). Hah, Russian Oud is really tame on me, I think I need to test with a larger quantity (I want more of the chocolate!), it‘s a cozy, hugging sandalwood, I even get something faintly floral (?). Quite fascinating ! Thank you, dear Franz.

  3. Before I read your mini reviews I had ordered a sample of Russian Oud and Russian Musk. I was thinking from the notes Russian Oud was for me. I’ll find out soon.

  4. Hi Kafkaesque. I always enjoy your thorough reviews and am always taken back at the great length you describe each fragrance with and with such balance. Thank you!

  5. Ahh, Kafka. You’ve done it again. Made me put aside my work and go rushing off to find samples of something rare and beautiful ;).

    I’ve yet to try anything from Areej le Dore, and am currently on a self-imposed austerity kick, but your reviews of Russian Adam’s offerings so far have been increasingly tempting! Abandoned all self control and went immediately to the ALD website to get myself a sample set. In my excitement, I completely missed the note above about the shipping… $45 for the samples, and the same again for shipping – ouch! Common sense prevailed at that point as I couldn’t justify $90 for five samples, plus whatever duty and handling fees get added to that when they arrive. That’s $90 I could put towards a full bottle, which seems much more sensible (and it’s exactly this logic that prompted my ill-founded plan for January austerity ;). Going to try the Luckyscent route when I have a few more things to add to make it worthwhile. I have my eye on Slowdive too. I’m a huge fan of Tabac Rouge, so I suspect the honey here will be yet another temptation (though HG thankfully does the smaller bottles now, so that’s alright;). Hopefully there will still be a few ALD left if I fall in love.

    I think you know my tastes pretty well and I value your insight – which of these should I prioritize, do you think? I adored the deer musk we were able to sample with Salaam, and have been keeping an eye out for Russian Musk. I’m hesitant now I know the musk is more muted in this iteration. Is it frustratingly subtle?

    For the others, they all sound appealing in different ways, so I’d appreciate any suggestions you have for me. I love chypres; vetiver, smoke and green don’t scare me at all, and if the frankincense is anything like the citrusy beauty of Salaam’s then I’m good with that too. No issues with big white florals either (you know my love of moon bloom!).

    On a personal note, it’s been a busy little while, so I haven’t been able to post as much, but I read everything you put out 🙂 Big hugs to you and the hairy German xxxx

    Thanks for the enablement!

    • It’s so difficult to know which ones you should save money on since they’re all solid, extremely well done, and contain notes you love. Plus, with these fragrances, the degree to which some notes are emphasized over others depends so much on individual skin chemistry, so what is accentuated on me may not always be the same on you or someone else. Having said that, if I had to narrow things down, I’d guess Walimah parfum and Russian Musk for starters. For the latter, it’s impossible for me to guess how muted the musk will be on you but, since you haven’t tried the original Siberian version, I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed and I think you would enjoy the fragrance generally.

      It’s difficult to guess about Indolis. I think you’d find the florals to be ravishing but the issue regarding the opening isn’t so much the degree of greenness or even the significant amount of galbanum; it’s the *bitterness* of the green accord. Like chewed up, crushed flower stems and crushed leaves, each oozing out a bitter sap. So that’s one part. The frankincense is VERY High Church, replete with dustiness, wooded dust, and soapiness. Then again, Salaam’s went that way on me as well, so if you loved his frankincense, you’d probably enjoy this one as well. Plus, this one has a gorgeous tea note and other stuff to add to its complexities.

      All in all, I would opt for these three first over the Slowdive because they are more complex, lusher, and more unique. I hope that helps a little.

  6. PS: I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the most recent update to WordPress, but I’m having the darndest time posting recently. I log in using WP on your site, it shows the username just fine and updates the comment box, but when I try to submit the comment I get an ‘invalid login request’ (or something like that) and lose what I’ve written – I’ve lost a few to the ether now! The only way I can post is to go to WP directly, login there, then go back and refresh your page. That seems to work. It may just be me, but mentioning it in case anyone else has had the same problem.

    • This is worrisome to hear but thank you for letting me know. WordPress updated its version roughly 2 and a half weeks ago, so that may be the cause. Did your problem start around that time? How incredibly frustrating. I hope others are not having the same issue as well but it doesn’t matter how widespread or minor it may be — NONE of it should be happening. Unfortunately, I’m not techie enough to know where to begin looking for causes or how to fix it.

      Does this happen whether you log in both via mobile and via desktop, or only if you try to reply via mobile? I know my platform isn’t a perfect match for mobile systems but I can’t fix that issue unless I spend thousands on a complete website overhaul. But I’m guessing the WordPress update is probably the source of the problem. Drats.

  7. Ah such lovely reviews, thank you! I am in dire need of musks in my collection and I missed out on Siberian Musk. I do hope that Russian Musk isn’t whisper soft and too composed, I like a little skank and a rough edge. I’ve been enjoying D’Ambiguite but get a lot of side eye when I’m out and about. I think a decant is the order of the day.

    • Hi LostboyR, welcome to the blog. I don’t think Russian Musk is whisper soft in sillage, even if it’s less of a powerhouse than the Siberian Musk. But it’s not skanky. However, Siberian Musk also wasn’t skanky, imo. Neither one had dirty, raunchy, sexual or bodily aromas in their musk, so I don’t think either fragrance would satisfy a craving for actual skank or something with a dirty edge. I think it’s better to view these two fragrances as vintage-skewing chypres with varying degrees of softly earthy musk fuzziness and musk furriness. If you want something more genuinely, concretely animalic (on occasion at least) and with a bit of a rough edge, the Areej Walimah Attar might work better for you. Or if you want a chypre with some dirtiness, then Papillon’s Salomé, if you haven’t tried that one already. But in terms of the purely musk fragrance genre, I don’t think either Areej Musk fits the bill exactly. Their character and genre skew much more to the chypre side than to than the animalic musk side. I hope that helps a little.

  8. What happened to the leather and the wood cap? Have you seen the actual listings in his website and LuckyScent? Did he retract the idea or made only some special edition with such packaging? I really didn’t like the 2nd-gen caps and much preferred the simple wood one 🙁

    • I’ve seen the photos on his website and on LS, but I think they’ve been highly stylized, edited, and saturated so that the leather and caps aren’t so visible. It’s a photo-editing issue, not a change in packaging. The up-close, unedited photos I have of Walimah parfum show the cap and leather label clearly, and those were taken by Russian Adam just a few days before the launch.

      He works with a website design/graphics designer for the website photos to make them all look identical, with heightened contrasts and a uniform white background. The heightened contrasts drowns out the markings on the new teak cap and also buffs out the leather label. So, don’t worry, they’re all still there. The photos simply don’t show them in any clear way. I hope that helps.

        • You’re very welcome. I completely understood your concern because I think the photos are so supersaturated that they hide or erase the best parts of the new packaging upgrades.

          I hope you find a new fragrance love or two amongst the new line. Enjoy, and have a good weekend.

  9. Once again you have reeled me in with your review !
    I am deliberating on the Russian oud .
    I own Ottoman empire , which I love as well as Salome , Bond – T Sammarco .
    Always look forward to reading your thoughts keep them coming.
    Regards
    Stephen

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