Axis Oud, not Axis Caviar Oudh-Wood, or is it ?

I’ve got a lot of good things to say about this scent (Oud), but I do want to point out that this company has decided to use very confusing names! First of all, the company is Sense of Space, which doesn’t sound too promising in an olfactory context. Secondly, according to there are 37 releases by SOS, with 34 of these beginning with the word Axis. Five of these are Caviar scents. Axis Oud and Axis Caviar Oudh-Wood have yet to be listed at Fragrantica (I’ve given up trying to get them to list scents that clearly should be, such as Stardust for Men from 2001). It may be that “Caviar” scents simply have tiny colored balls inside the liquid, done entirely for visual effect, but I can’t speak to that, though I’ll include a picture of ACO-W so you can see this design feature:

The listed notes for Oud are:

“Top notes of tangerine, black pepper and saffron. Heart notes of rosemary, orange blossom and patchouli. Base notes of oud, incense, amber and leather.”

For Ouh-Wood, I’ve just seen “woody and smoky” notes mentioned. I’ve only seen Oud listed for sale on a UK site, but it was at about 10 pounds, so it’s unclear who the target market was. ACO-W seems to sell for around $25 or a bit more on ebay these days. Oud smells a bit like vintage M7 at first, but quickly goes in a different direction. The oud note is obvious, as is a cherry/medicinal quality one finds in M7, and it’s nicely balanced. Unlike M7 there is nothing even slightly ambery about this one, and instead of smoothing out, it becomes more intense, at least for my sensibilities. After no more than several minutes there is a really interesting charred or burnt wood type of effect, and then after that an aroma chemical (s) I’ve encountered before becomes obvious, though not outrageously strong.

Unfortunately, this chemical seems to really irritate me even in small amounts. I think Club Men by Azzaro contains it in even larger amounts. It is very tenacious and overwhelms other notes, even more so than the aroma chemical (s) in Potion Royal Black that seems to bother me to a lesser degree. It’s hard for me to know what to say about this phenomenon, because if you have the same reaction to it that I do, you probably won’t wear it, but if it doesn’t bother you and you can get 100 ml of Axis Oud for $20 or so, you’ll likely be very pleased (assuming you enjoy “oud scents”). In some ways this aroma chemical seems to be appropriate for the composition, and images of burnt debris at an old factory may come to mind.

By contrast, Jovan’s Intense Oud, while certainly not smelling entirely “natural” to me, doesn’t bother me, and in fact I seem to find it more natural-smelling as it develops. I wore Intense Oud just before writing this, and my former impression was reaffirmed – it’s not as interesting as Axis Oud but for the time being it’s more wearable. I don’t dislike M7, but I don’t find it to be that interesting, whereas Axis Oud is one of the most interesting “oud scents” I’ve come across and liked (compositionally), though wearing it for more than a short period of time has been a challenge so far. I was thinking of spraying it once on my back to see if that would help lessen the strength of the offending aroma chemical.

Despite the notes, it’s not that similar to vintage M7. There is a clear cherry/medicinal quality, but that’s the major similarity, along with a bit of what passes for oud at this price level (it’s not as syrupy and it’s drier too). It’s not that similar to Jovan’s Oud Intense, either, so if you are a fan of “super cheapo” ouds, this is not redundant. Instead, this one goes in more of an incense direction, though with clear aroma chemicals (however, I definitely wouldn’t call it a “chemical mess”) and a smoky wood element. The sweetness is minimal as well, and some sort of musk molecule is present, though not of a “laundry” variety. I’d cal it a good “starter oud scent,” and it has a niche-like quality. This is no run of the mill designer scent that has an oud note listed, that’s for sure. As I’ve said before, with scents like this on the market, selling for much less than department store scents that list an oud note, I have almost no interest in sampling new designer offerings.

This is my Fragrantica review, which I had to place on a different Axis scent’s page, because as is so often the case this site does not have a listing for it:

Axis Oud isn’t listed so I’ll put my review here. Note that there’s also an Axis Oudh-Wood but I haven’t tried that one (it may be the same for all I know). Oud is somewhat similar to vintage M7 up top, with the cherry and medicinal qualities, along with that sharp oud-type thing going on. However, there is a kind of charred or burning wood element that M7 doesn’t have, though it’s at the cost of smelling a bit “chemical,” at least to me. It’s nicely blended and never gets too sweet or generic, so unless you dislike this particular aroma chemical, I’d call this an incredible bargain (for you cheapo/oud fans), though I think I personally prefer Oud Intense by Jovan among this group. I’ve only seen it at a UK online store for about 10 pounds, and I don’t see any listed on ebay, though there are some of the Oudh-Wood bottles listed.

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