Photography by Shana Novak. Styling by Julien Sauvalle.
If you hear someone dub a favorite perfume “oriental,” don’t be so quick to call the P.C. police: In the fragrance world, that’s still the official term used to describe Eastern-inspired scents. Warm and enticing, oriental concoctions are typically reserved for winter months and evening functions, with their vapors — often a blend of exotic blossoms, spices, and amber — known to enthrall the most discerning, sensitive palates. Among these elixirs, concentrated agarwood (or “oud”) is the holy grail of fragrance notes. Its potent smell (a noted aphrodisiac) has long signified luxury and virility in Middle Eastern cultures. Let it do the same for you when you hit the town.
From left: Chergui by Serge Lutens, 2.5 oz., $290; Royal-Oud Millesime by Creed, 4 oz., $485; Black Afgano by Nasomatto, 1 oz., $185, available at Barneys New York; Oud Elixir Précieux by Christian Dior, 0.1 oz, $300; Joy candle by Amouage, $105; As Sawira by Penhaligon's, 3.4 oz. $200.