Bold, expensive-smelling, and unique: Oud fragrances are bang on trend

By Jo Allen | Published: 20-Jun-2024

New experimental interpretations of the most luxurious ingredient in perfumery are luring a wider audience

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This article was originally published in the Cosmetics Business Luxury Beauty Trend Report.  Receive your copy here.

Known as the ‘liquid gold’ of perfumery, oud is one of the rarest and most expensive fragrance ingredients in the world.

Extracted from the resinous heartwood of the tropical evergreen Aquilaria tree, a CITES protected species found in parts of Southeast Asia, it has been used in fragrance for centuries.

So why is oud – one of the most polarising and heavy scents in perfumery – experiencing a modern revival and a global surge in popularity?

Spate has identified oud as one of the top growing fragrance trends in the US, with 173.9% year-on-year growth, while it was named the UK’s favourite perfume scent in a study by Lifestyle Packaging with monthly Google searches, peaking to 22,000 in November 2023 due to its popularity as an autumn-winter fragrance.

On TikTok, #oudperfume has 67 million posts.

Oud has been gaining increasing recognition beyond its traditional Middle Eastern audience over the last 20 years as consumers have been looking for more luxurious and opulent scents.

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