38 thoughts on “New Releases: Areej Le Doré Koh-i-Noor, Malik Al Taif, Oud Luwak, Baikal Gris & Oud Incense (+Mini Reviews)

  1. Salut j’espère que ça va et félicitations pour ton article je comprends pas,tout,mais je fait des effort ! Il y en a un que tu peux me conseiller ?a bientôt

    • Cele, I’ve already responded on the blog’s FB page but I just wanted to say “thank you,” mon ami, for always being a loyal reader and one of the first to read a post, no matter how long and even if it’s in a different language.

    • Merci pour ces critiques qui nous font aimer encore plus les parfums que nous aimons déjà très fort…
      Si vous habitez à Paris, Celestino, j’ai commandé trois des nouvelles créations. On peut se croiser pour que vous les sentiez.
      Amitiés à vous deux,
      Teddy

  2. Dear Kafka, thank you for the precious information and lovely mini-reviews of this new series! I would have loved reading your full reviews of Areej fragrances, which are usually kaleidoscopic and would benefit greatly from your erudite scent breakdown. But the health, happiness and serenity of you and Hairy German come first. Moreover, your mini-reviews are evocative and detailed enough to convey the general feelings of the scents for me. I hope things will soon get better for you both. 🙂

    • You’re so sweet, Stella! What a lovely message. I promise to do my best. It’s just everything has been so upside down for the last 6 weeks, and I have another 2 months to go! The Hairy German cannot go up any stairs and must have minimal movement so I’m currently sleeping on the floor beside him in what was once my living room. It’s been turned into a makeshift nursing ward. He won’t stay down, even if he’s so sedated that he totters about, and he insists on trying to follow me everywhere (even up the verboten stairs), which means that even basic aspects of daily life, like taking a shower, require an orchestrated, coordinated effort to keep him locked up so that he doesn’t injure himself and ruin the work of the operation. It’s quite exhausting all in all.

      Anyway, enough moaning. I’ll see what I can manage. Maybe if I could actually get some sleep… lol

      I hope you’ve been well, my dear. And, really, thank you for the sweet, affectionate words. xoxo

  3. Thank you for your lovely write up. I’ve not clicked on a review link as fast as I did for this one. I am quite excited to sample these when they are available on Luckyscent. I hope the Hairy German will recover soon. All the best!

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful overview of Areej le Dore’s latest! I love the ways in which you express each perfume’s strengths and weaknesses and how much these qualities may pertain to your own (or others) individual likes and dislikes. I am always so impressed by the thoroughness and clarity with which you think and write. I’ll definitely be getting samples of these because of your review.

    • Thank you, Valerie. I appreciate it, because I think that not enough people recognize or understand the critical importance of reviewers stating their individual preferences or, indeed, the importance of the role of subjectivity of fragrance reviews as a whole. Far too often I see comments which are posited on the firm belief that there is a right or wrong in a person’s scent perceptions and, even worse, an ultimate *universal* truth about perfumes. There isn’t. And it drives me absolutely crazy to hear it. Perfume and reviews thereof are not akin to mathematics. This is a field which is so incredibly dependent on a whole host of subjective factors that there is only a *personal* truth, not an objective universal one.

      I think far, far too many fragrance reviewers and critics elide over their personal likes and dislikes, both in terms of individual notes and general fragrance genres. But such information provides a critical, essential context for their conclusions. Luca Turin’s opinion on an iris fragrance is bound to be heavily impacted by the fact that iris is one of his all-time favourite notes and he likes almost anything halfway decent which includes it. My opinion on a cozy amber fragrance is bound to be different than that of someone who loathes labdanum, benzoin, ambergris, or similar, related materials. An oud lover’s opinion on Basenotes about an oud is obviously going to be influenced by his love in the same way that an oud hater’s might be.

      What I don’t understand is why more people — whether actual reviewers or just the average commentator on Fragrantica — don’t acknowledge just how damn personal and individualistic their conclusions actually are? Okay, fine, the average commentator may not realize the importance of it, but reviewers should.

      And they absolutely SHOULD state their likes and dislikes in every review because it is an ESSENTIAL context or framework within which to assess their conclusions and, more importantly for the consumer, to assess the applicability of the review to the person’s own taste and to their subsequent financial decisions. Just as the FCC requires disclosure of free samples so too should blogging guidelines demand disclosure of a reviewer’s subjective preferences. It shouldn’t be something which a reader might possibly, eventually, deduce if they read a reviewer long enough; it should be stated upfront right from the start and in the text so that it’s clear even to someone who just stumbles upon a post. How else can they know whether the review’s statements or conclusions will apply to them?

      As you can see, I have rather strong feelings about this. lol. 😉 I hope you don’t think I was lecturing you, because that was not my intention at all. It’s just that the widespread belief or pretense that there is some sort of absolute, universal truth in scent is one of the main things which drives how I write and shapes how I discuss things. It is, in fact, one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place. And your recognition of what I do (and actual appreciation thereof!) meant a lot, so thank you.

      Anyway, enough on the theoretical methodology, principles, or ideals of fragrance reviews and scent discussion. 😀 Tell me what you thought of the EO No 2. I know you planned on getting a sample. Did it work for you? How was it on your skin?

      • I didn’t feel lectured to at all! I always love the fact that you state so clearly your own likes and dislikes, whereas, someone like Luca doesn’t seem to take his own personal bent into account when reviewing. Regardless, I bought 10 mls of EO No 2 and found it fascinating, and decidedly, authentically musky. What I hadn’t counted on (and here my own particular perfume likes and dislikes show!) was how “masculine” it felt. And as a lover of MKK and other dark, unisex, animalic frags, I was surprised by my attitude. Anyway, my husband has stolen it from me, so all’s well!

        • Ha, don’t you love it when you can pawn off fragrances on family members or friends who love them properly and fully? If remember correctly, I remembering reading that there was an Areej fragrance in the second or third series that your husband took over as well and preferred more than you did. LOL. Whatever the particular scent, it’s clear you’re one beautifully scented household. 😀 😛

          In terms of the masculinity of EO, I’d bet that the ouds were responsible, not the actual “animalic” ingredients like the deer musk. In fact, my memory of the comment you left on the other fragrance you gave to your husband (the Areej) was about how the oud went a bit too hardcore on your skin. It happens to me, too, particularly since my skin always amplifies base notes. When we’re talking about Ensar’s stuff with real ouds, there is a real potential for them to go SUPER dark, musky, leathery, and tarry if one’s skin accentuates base notes and if they’re of a varietal which skews super dark, masculine, and leathery to begin with. Once that happens, it comes down to how much masculine darkness each person likes or can tolerate. I think neither you nor I are the hardcore Oud Heads, so our tolerance or appreciation levels are lower.

          But, hey, at least your husband smells great and is enjoying it! Heh. 😛

    • I think the performance is comparable to the prior series. Not Series 1, because none of the Areej fragrances have been monsters in sillage or longevity in quite the same way, but comparable to the other Areej’s since then. It’s important to note, though, that sillage and longevity are going to depend on how much you apply and what your skin is like.

      I applied 3 squirts from the atomizer for each of the fragrances, which I estimate is an amount roughly equal to 1 big spray or 2 small ones from an actual bottle. I tested three of the fragrances all the way through to the end. (As I explained, I had to scrub the fourth one, Oud Luwak.) For the three: I had 14 hour minimum. One lasted roughly 18 hours. Koh-i-Noor and Malik Al Taif lasted the longest of the three that I tested all the way through to the end.

      Their sillage was initially average to strong but I found that, when taken as a whole and from start to finish, the Malik performed more like an attar on my skin than an extrait.

      If I had an actual bottle and sprayed the way I do for my personal use, I think both Koh-i-Noor and Malik Al Taif might end up with huge, huge sillage and even greater longevity.

      You have to keep in mind that I applied a small amount equal to what I though the average person would apply if they bought the set and wanted to get several uses out of each atomiser. They wouldn’t be applying a lot. In fact, I think many would probably only apply a squirt or two, not three. I don’t think the amount I applied would be equal to what someone with a full bottle might generally use, so it’s important to keep that in mind. You can definitely amp up the performance and scent cloud of the fragrances if you don’t apply a stingy, miserly amount. They’re very rich in aroma and have the potential to have broad diffuseness.

    • If I remember correctly, you love a good rose mixed with some darkness, so I think the Malik Al Taif might be a hit for you.

      • Yes, you do remember!! I do believe this may be what I’ve been looking for. I’ve sampled a plethora of rose based scents but none dark enough. I’m gearing up for a big sample haul shortly.

  5. I also love with all my heart my (mighty son) long coated German Shepherd; I do hope yours gets better very soon.

    Talking about these new Areejes, Is there any outstanding work in this new range of fragrances? I recently purchased the goldenpiece that EO2 Parfum is, along with some other compositions from AgarwoodAssam and the Rising Phoenix («Bushido», a scent to escape and fly; you should wear this attar once), and well… I can’t get in my bank this month without being followed by its surveillance cameras.

    Thanks for dedication.
    Big hugs for your Lord,
    J.

    • Another worshipful slave to the German Princes? Another “mighty son”? Where have you been all this time???!!! LOL 😉 😛 Welcome, welcome!

      With regard to your question, it’s really impossible for me to answer without knowing something about the notes you love and hate and the genres you gravitate towards or prefer. This is too subjective a field. A die-hard oud addict is likely to differ in his/her perceptions of what is a standout than a floriental lover or an amber lover. Your comfort zone with certain styles of perfumery are just as important as the notes you love or hate. Are you a guy/girl who adores to wear huge florientals or someone who is uncomfortable with that genre? Are you a woman who loves the darkest, woodiest and smokiest of scents, or is that a style which you feel you can’t pull off? I have some male readers who write to me to ask if the inclusion of some floralcy renders a fragrance “too femme” because they want only the most masculine of fragrances and view a strong floral element as being prissy or girlie.

      So you see, it’s impossible for me to estimate what you might think is the showstopper in the series without knowing anything about your personal tastes. If you love the smokiest, darkest fragrances or ouds, you might find it to be the Oud Luwak. If you love roses, you’re bound to think it’s the Malik. If you love lush, creamy, white florientals and gardenia accompanied by amber and santal, you would probably find the Koh-i-Noor to stand out the most.

      For me, personally, the Malik Al Taif is the star and the really impressive one in the series — and I say that as someone who isn’t typically keen on rose-heavy fragrances, let alone the done-to-death saffron rose oud genre. If I had to take a guess about which fragrance the greatest number of people would be impressed by, it would be the Malik, then the Koh-i-Noor. Unless the person was a diehard smoke and oud junkie, in which case they would probably gravitate towards the Oud Luwak. But Oud Heads are in a class all by themselves. My choice would be the Malik.

      The safest bet, imo, is to get a sample set and see which one calls your name the loudest. 🙂

      Give a kiss to your mighty German son from me and a few genuflecting bows before his paws. Hell, give him about ten minutes worth. The Hairy Germans must be worshiped! 😛 😀 😉

      • Thank you very much for extense answer. Not only fragrances have a subtle language; you have soo much to express inside, Kafkaesque… Again, thank you.

        My preferences goes for indonesian sandalwood and Ruh Khus, in that order. Then, jasmin and night-blooming cestrum; lime, cumin, civet and deer musk. Rose in private.

        My favorite gender? B O L D.

        I wear some vintage glories like Égoïste and its CC flanker, YSL Pour Homme, mighty Kouros (although I’m allergic, and I don’t care) and my little Eau d’Hermès; Givenchy’s Eau de Vetyver is also extraordinary. And all of them cacht me in the same way as other recent creations do, like Ladamo, Oumma, Musc Tonkin, Mona’s Cuir or EO2 Parfum, for example. The only note that doesn’t fit me is amber, not ambergris per se, but the commercial mix used in Grand Soir and all its brownish peers. Too nichestream. Too cozy. Too plain after a while. I love this note in women, yes. And got strangely underwhelmed by some previous Areejs like Russian Oud, Indolis or Inverno Russo, along with all Bortnikoffs; but well, «truth is out there» [into the samples].

        I alwais call my GDS the seventh Mapogo. Such a wonderful being…

        • Grand Soir’s “amber” is actually Ambroxan. It’s the same thing you can find in many Creeds, to name just one brand example.

          I don’t like it either, and it actually gives me a major headache if too much is used. You’re right that it can be a very one-dimensional smell. I think the “amber” created out if a mix or out of an accord of real, actual resins, vanilla, and the like is something quite different in quality, scent, and enjoyability. I’m very much a labdanum junkie actually. Lol. But we’re all different and have different tastes, so I have no problem if someone doesn’t share my amber love. 🙂 Ambroxan, though… blech.

    • Salman, my dear friend! It’s so good to see you. It’s been far, far too long and we seriously need to catch up at some point.

      Regarding Areej fragrances, I’d completely forgotten you’d ordered Ottoman Empire and I’m delighted to hear you love it. I think the Malik Al Taif is so completely up your alley, you have no idea! The Koh-i-Noor as well, particularly given that it has deer musk, but I don’t think you’ll be bowled over in quite the same way as you would be by the Malik. I remember all too well how much you love your roses, after all, and this one is a knockout. I hope you’ll let me know what you think when you receive your samples (or whatever it is that you’ve ordered). A big hug to you, my dear friend.

      BTW, I can still picture you sniffing the deer musk pods in your hand that day! And the look on your face! 😀

      • 🙂 ordered two of Malik al taif, your description of it was enough to order. Waiting for it now. Yes we need to catchup. Missing you guys and our teacher as well . Will ping you seperately.
        love and hugs.

  6. I cannot wait for my sample set! Thank you very much for another enjoyable read, K. 🙂

    Re incense, they smell even better on a temperature adjustable heater. For those who don’t want to spend too much on a temperature adjustable heater, I highly recommend making your own following KyaraZen’s instructions. https://www.kyarazen.com/build-electric-incense-heater/
    Mine cost me around £12-14 pounds with the adjustable power adapter. And one doesn’t need any technical expertise. I’ve mentioned some issue that one may face here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjWQZLsAbjF/?taken-by=ashfaque_1
    Again I cannot everyone to make their own enough!

    Ashfaque

  7. Malik Al Taif sounds incredible, despite the fact that rose is not at the top of my list either, but the caramel benzoin is calling my name (as long as it’s not too sweet)! I have to give it a try. I love the new design as well, and it’s a smart move to offer 30 ml bottles. As for civet-pooped coffee beans….I’ll never look at a Payday candy bar the same way again. Your shorter reviews are just as compelling as your longer ones, and just as enjoyable.

    • You must give the Malik a try, Ed!! And I doubt you’d think the caramel was too sweet.

      As for the Payday candy bars, haha, you’re so right about the identical visuals. (Blech.) Thanks to you, I’ll never look at one the same way either. Just as well we’re not Trick-or-Treating kids any longer because I remember getting most of my Payday candy that way. lol

  8. Foremost,well wishes go first to the Hairy Teutonic Overload.
    Secondly, excellent article Kafkaesque and always thank you.

    Myself , I am going with Strifeknots bundle package deal instead of the
    LuckyScent’s way. It is is a great way in discovering Russian Adam’s work,
    but I enjoy Areej Le Dore perfumes enough to warrant the 4x5ml for $172.50.

    I already ordered a 5 ml of Malik Al Taif separately , plus I will be making a bottle purchases of it.
    Why, this most likely will be my only chance to appreciate The Royal Taif Rose.
    I also know I most likely will be getting a bottle of Baikal Gris .
    Why ? They do a really great job with sandalwood. I love sandalwood.

    KOH I NOOR sounds incredible too. Mushroom, whites , and spicy sandalwood/
    patchouli. Wonderful.
    Heck, I love smoke a lot too.
    best wishes always,
    eddie.
    Here’s strifeknots Areej Le Dore 4th bundle package deal link if anyone’s interested.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/428645-Kerosene-Gorilla-Satori-Teisenddu-Patou-PH-Priv%C3%A9-Fraicheur-Cuir-Lamplight-Penance-Yohji-Homme-FZOTIC

    again, thank you .

    • Eddie, thanks so much for the Strifeknot link and pricing information. I’m positive it will be a huge boon to several readers. BTW, how did that concert of your go? I didn’t have the time to respond when you initially wrote, but I thought of you that weekend and I hope you had a blast.

  9. Ah… the new Arrej releases! Wonderful to get a sense of their olfactory details from your always-personal yet specific reviews. Your efforts to educate and inform your readers and the integrity with which you do so are only surpassed, however, by the dedication and devotion to your canine companion. Caring for a invalided loved one is truly an exhausting labor of love no matter the species. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and quality sleep for you both, our supportive and understanding thoughts are with you and His Highness.

    • Jody, my dear, I can only send you a big, huge hug for your constant sweetness, kindness, and generous, affectionate support. You’re such a darling.

  10. I’ve had two surprises reading the reviews. One for Malik Al Taif because you like it so much despite it being an oud/rose/saffron and second for Oud Luwak that is so smoky.
    I must admit that they sound lovely from you’ve wrote about them.

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  13. Regarding the smokiness of the Luwak, I have an oil by Feel Oud called ‘Si Lani’ which is way too smokey, I can tolerate smoke to some degree but this just flat-out ruins the scent. I can only imagine how the spray smells! Shame.
    From the catalogue, I have Russian Oud, I’d like Siberian Musk but I’m in a transition period of only wearing ouds and attars, it’s close to 3 months since I’ve worn any spray at all. Thankfully I can get all these complexities and nuances from ouds and attars nowadays.

    • Welcome to the blog, Mr. Sproat. Was “Si Lani” one of the ones which used the same oud smoke infusion technique? Russian Adam told me that he’d used it before for one (or more?) of his Feel Oud oud oils, but never mentioned any specific names. If Si Lani did incorporate the same smoke infusion, then we definitely encountered the same thing. When Adam told me that he had wanted to make it even stronger (!), I actually started laughing. But, again, I’m very sensitive to smoke and wood smoke notes, and most people aren’t. Still, very interesting about the Si Lani. Thank you for sharing.

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