Oud Palao is actually Diptyque’s Fall release from 2015, although I’ve only just discovered it now as we head into Fall of 2016. The fragrance market is over-saturated with oud scents, particularly rose/oud, and it would be easy to miss this one. I personally wasn’t expecting to feel very strongly one way or the other about Oud Palao. I tried it simply because I like Diptyque. I’m certainly glad I did because Oud Palao blew me away with just how interesting and thought-provoking it is on the skin. Moreover, it’s beautiful and easily wearable.
The opening here is a bit overwhelming to the senses, as I get a little taste of every note here. It’s earthy, woody, leathery, and just a touch medicinal from the camphor. Diptyque bills Oud Palao as a rose/oud and lists rose as the first note in the composition. However, to me, the rose here is very subtle. It reads as more of a transitional note to me. It’s like a touch of floral bridging the opening and the deeper heart notes. Being that I’m not a rose fan, I’m completely fine with that. But if you prefer rose, you may feel differently.
I don’t get a whole lot of tobacco from Oud Palao. I have a feeling the tobacco is laced with incense, as that always reads in a very subdued way on my skin. However, I do get quite a lot of leather in the heart notes. I’m guessing it’s the labdanum, and it pulls dark and dry. It makes me think of a pair of black leather riding boots, just worn in enough, but still stylish.
There’s also a good dose of dry, earthy patchouli. These notes sound quite hefty, but it all comes across as very balanced on the skin. I can’t emphasize enough how dry this composition is. It’s like a dry red wine in that everything comes across as potent, yet subtle. It’s actually quite delicate for an oud composition.
Don’t worry, if words like “delicate” make you nervous about longevity, the projection and wear time here are excellent. Oud Palao is a scent that’s still going strong by the time I’m ready for bed. It clings to my clothes, to my PJs, and to my sheets. I love when that happens, but it has to be a fragrance you like otherwise it’s unbearable.
As for the actual oud note, as you might guess, it’s extremely dry. It’s also medicinal. That camphor note makes a reappearance in the dry down for me. It’s a bit weird, but I have to admit I actually like it. It adds another facet to this otherwise dry woody composition.
It’s safe to say that oud is still not my favorite note, but I’m really glad to have discovered Oud Palao. The true artistry here is in the careful balance of the composition. The dry delicate nature of this scent gives Oud Palao an elegance and makes it an everyday wearable kind of oud. This is a real gem from Diptyque.
Oud Palao is an Eau de Parfum and it is available directly from Diptyque. It’s also available from Luckyscent, as well as the usual department stores: Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. I got my sample from the Diptyque counter at Nordstrom.
Both the image and the info on notes are from Luckyscent.