[Note: This post resurrected from the WayBack Machine, here. Please note that prices have risen, obviously, since this was originally posted.]
Sunday, December 25, 2011
It’s not every day that niche lover Joe Petrucci and mainstream maniac Redneck Perfumisto speak highly of the same scent – much less buy bottles of it.
If that’s not reason enough to pay attention to this scent, then let me begin by drawing comparisons to Tom Ford and the oudier Bond no. 9 scents. And your good buddy R.P. will make a further admission, folks. Of the multitude of frags that magically appeared under Red’s Christmas tree this year, Kerosene’s R’oud Elements is the one that he opened up and wore on Christmas day.
There are already some nice reviews of this fragrance on Basenotes, the + Q Perfume Blog, and Memory of Scent. There is even an interview with the creator, Kerosene, on the + Q Perfume Blog link. But let me give you the quickie tour of the history and smell of this scent, so you can decide for yourself whether to investigate further.
Kerosene is a core member of the YouTube men’s fragrance gang – but he has always been an active Basenoter as well. Nobody ever figured that Kerosene was actually thinking about making some frags. When he suddenly mentioned that he had something – an oud scent called R’oud Elements – people took interest. But my ears really perked up when I heard the words “orange bitters”. I immediately sprang for a sample on PayPal. Dark citrus and me go way back. There is no way I’m gonna pass up the possibility for some strong, deep, bitter orange – one of my favorite notes in perfumery.
Well, my sample came, and it only took one sniff to know that I needed a bottle of this stuff. My first wear was a keeper. And let me assure you that the bottle contains the same exact juice that wowed me from a sample atomizer.
I maintain that R’oud Elements could pass for a mythical scent, Tom Ford Orange Oud. If you can imagine that scent, then you’re already close to knowing what this one smells like. This is a dark, woody, spicy oud scent with just enough oud to be interesting, but not enough to set off any warning bells for oud haters. Kerosene even calls it an oud scent for people who don’t like oud. The oud is less prominent than in things like Bond no. 9 New York Oud and New York Amber. It’s more like Creed’s Royal Oud, or the Harrod’s Swarovski Limited Edition from Bond no. 9. It’s a very well-behaved oud. Kerosene admits that it’s a mixture of natural and synthetic ouds, but also that he worked very hard on making it all balance. And I can tell you – it shows.
The orange note in R’oud Elements is beautiful, long-lasting, and never too strong. It hangs in for the duration, which is something I look for. Beyond the oud and the orange, woods are where it’s at. Kerosene says he used a bunch of them, and you can tell – the woodiness is complex and even a bit nondescript, but still, I must say, very desirable. You can pick up the spices, but they’re more subdued than in Royal Oud. The smokiness is something I do love about this scent. I get amber out in the open every once in a while, and maybe the vanilla, but they’ve been done in a very balanced way, so they’re never dominating.
Taken all together, it’s a very smooth experience. Just a bit smoky, just a bit sweet – I would liken the overall experience to orange-glazed barbecue over a real fire – except that it’s never that crude. It’s like a barbecue-based dish on the goofy-big plate at some top-of-the-tower restaurant. You know what I’m saying? Again, I draw comparisons to Tom Ford.
Who – incidentally – has a fragrance line which is loved by one Joe Petrucci and one Redneck Perfumisto.
The price point on R’oud Elements is superb – I think Kerosene was smart to offer a good deal that competes with some very pricey stuff like the Creed and the Bonds. We’re talking $75 for 50 mL, U.S. shipped ($80 international). Anybody who balked at the prices on those earlier fragrances, but found them decent, needs to try this scent. Period.
K-Man did a great job on the bottle, too. They’re hand-painted and labeled, with a damn nice finish that looks very sharp. The black metallic flake paint job is totally consistent with the fragrance, in my opinion. For a niche act, it’s just refreshing as hell to see how hard Kerosene sweated the details.
A quality product at a good price, once again made in the U.S.A. Michigan, even.