Tom Ford Oud Wood – Perfume Review

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Just like men, perfume is never perfect right away you have to let it seduce you. As perfume to the flower, so is kindness to speech. Perfume is like a parenthesis, a moment of freedom, peace, love and sensuality in between the disturbances of modern living. No elegance is possible without perfume.

“Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman!”- Tom Ford

The Tom Ford Oud Wood Perfume is one of my all time favourite notes in fragrance, especially men’s. It is masculine, down to earth, giving me a natural comfort feeling. Oud perfumes, fragrances are known for their very strong and earthy scent, which are very popular among men these days. If you have a penchant for masculine scents, then you’d probably know this one brand known for their earthy and woody masculine perfume creations. We’re talking about none other than one of the more well-known brands of oud fragrance— Tom Ford.

Known for his line of men’s perfumes, Tom Ford has created a popular oud perfume brand called Oud Wood (which is one of my most loved perfumes I own) that appeals to a lot of men. Why is it one of the best oud perfumes on the market? Let’s find out in this review we made of the Oud Wood.

tom ford perfume

Ingredients of the New Oud Wood Perfume Formula

His formulation consists of oud wood as the base, mixed with other ingredients such as Szechuan pepper, vetiver, vanilla, amber, cardamom, and sandalwood. The combination of these ingredients resulted in a sweet but musky smell that is easy on the nose.

Before the Tom Ford perfume Oud Wood was made, it had a predecessor named M7. This happened to be one of the very first products that Tom Ford introduced in 2002, and it was made of pure oud wood extract. Did it become a big hit? Unfortunately, it flopped when it hit the market because there wasn’t any perfume that made use of the oud scent during that time.

We can say that it was a bit too unique for the tastes of most people. Hence, people didn’t take too much of a liking to it because of that quality. It was something that was different then, and may have been a hit if it is introduced in the future.

Because of the failure, Tom Ford eventually left his original brand and tried something new so that he may move on from his first bad start. It was here that he started formulating a new fragrance different from his original one. This one would become the brand that we all know and love: the Private Blend Oud Wood. This was released sometime in 2007. 

“No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” – Coco Chanel

How Tom Ford Succeeded with His New Brand

You see, oud wood can be considered something of an acquired taste. This is why his original idea failed in the first place. Fortunately, he learned from his mistake and decided to make this one more appealing to the general public.

This one, unlike the last one, was a complete success though. This new formula was a bit more appealing to the mass market because it wasn’t so hard to wear. It wasn’t too strong and didn’t make such a weird smell on the skin.

He formulated the Oud Wood in such a way that it had a sweet smell but still didn’t let go of its original agarwood base. He just cut down the agarwood scent a bit with other ingredients so that it won’t be so overbearing.

My Experience with Tom Ford Oud Wood Perfume

When you open the bottle, you’ll immediately be greeted with the smell of the Szechuan pepper and the vanilla. It’s rather delicious when you inhale deeply as it gives off an oriental spice type of aroma. You’ll also get a hint of flowery rose oil smell after a few minutes.

Now, for most eau de toilette brands, you’d immediately get a strong smell coming out of the spout even if you haven’t pressed it. It was completely different with Oud Wood which was definitely a good thing.

Once you put the cover down and let the scent fill the air, you’ll notice that the scent of agarwood mixed with a rose will come out. However, you’ll also notice that the agarwood smell is very faint and not overpowering at all. The smell is very sweet and only slightly earthy.

I’m a believer in fate and in fulfilling your destiny. I’ve always had a kind of inner voice that I have learned to listen to. – Tom Ford

So what will happen once you spray it on your body? What it does is that it mixes with your natural body smell in a very succinct way. When you spray yourself with it, you’ll notice that the smell of rose and nuts will come out. This is the smell of cardamom, and it is one of the best smelling scents you’ll find on any perfume.

After some time, you’ll notice that the smell may change a bit— but in a really good way. You’ll eventually notice a whiff of mocha and probably chocolate. You’ll also still smell a bit of the earthy agarwood scent but the mocha scent will overtake it after a while. Give it around an hour, and you’ll notice the change.

After around two hours, the smell will slowly sink into your skin and will produce a stronger nutty smell. Again, that’s the scent of cardamom. This time, it’s kicking in at its full strength. You’ll most likely lose the rose smell, and it’ll be replaced with a strong nutty and grassy smell. The grass smell comes from the vetiver. You’ll also begin to smell a stronger vanilla scent at this time.

For most users of the brand, the mix produces a very light smell which is really good. Not many people enjoy strong perfumes because these fragrances are a bit painful on the nose. With Oud Wood though, you won’t have to worry about this problem at all.

perfume tom ford oud wood review

How Long Does the Scent Last?

Here comes a con which is always on my mind when I see the Oud Wood prize tag. I think we all agree as consumer, the longer the perfume lasts, the better. You wouldn’t want to keep on putting a fresh new coating of perfume every hour.

The Tom Ford Oud Wood lasts around 5 hours on skin, which isn’t particularly long. This is probably one of the biggest cons of Oud Wood that a lot of customers notice. And the clincher is that the original M7 is the one that lasts long. If they could somehow make the scent of Oud Wood last longer than 5 hours, it’ll be an even bigger hit with the customers.

Take note that this complaint isn’t isolated to just a few customers. If you would search the internet for other reviews, you’d see that this is one of the top complaints about the product— that it doesn’t last long. This is especially annoying if you are in a dinner or an event that lasts the whole day. You’d have to drop by the washroom and spray after every 5 hours.

What Other Alternatives Are There to Oud Wood?

It’s interesting to take note that the original brand Tom Ford left, which is YSL, reformulated his original M7 formula. While Tom Ford created his Private Blend Oud Wood, YSL decided to follow Ford’s idea and make something more palatable to the public.

With that, the M7 was eventually reformulated when Ford left and was also turned into something more suited for the masses. As compared to Oud Wood, M7 is actually much sweeter and lighter, making it rather more attractive to most people. It also uses similar ingredients to Oud Wood but was somehow able to get a good balance of sweetness, strength, and lightness. M7 was somehow able to achieve that better than Oud Wood did.

The Overall Rating of Tom Ford Oud Wood

Besides the 5 hours performance, overall, how good is the Oud Wood from Tom Ford? We can definitely say that it has its charm. It is very easy to use and is very light to the nose. Unlike its predecessor, it’s not overbearing and will not make people want to cover their noses. It instantly is one of the more popular variants of Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection.

I would maybe call it the smell of handsomeness as it smells not like an average perfume but like an expensive one, even in a very elegant way. Unlike the older type, this one was really made to please the market. But thinking about it again, making the scent more average was Ford’s original goal in the first place.

If you are a fan of agarwood smells, you would probably still prefer the old M7 scent or even the reformulated M7 scent as compared to this Oud Wood. Unfortunately, they don’t really sell the old M7 anymore. However, you can try out the reformulated M7. You can find one in online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay as they carry it from time to time.

But if you’re more than satisfied with the sweet smell of vanilla, vetiver, faint agarwood, and sandalwood, then Tom Fords Oud Wood will definitely be more than enough. I personally love the smell of it but it comes with a price tag which makes me think twice if I would buy it again as it’s performance is quite a 5 hours problem.


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    September 11, 2015

    I love this fragrance. Noticed it 1 year ago for the first time in the office and couldn’t resist to ask what he smells like. Oud Wood by Tom Ford is just very seldom smell but whowho!