Abdes Salaam Attar’s Oud Caravan series is the world’s first (and probably only) crowd-sourced oud perfume collection. Commissioned by an Arab customer to compose an oud perfume for the Gulf region, Dominique Dubrana decided to make it an open source project, enlisting the help of a group of oud connoisseurs on Basenotes.com to stress-test his offering. Oud Caravan No. 1 was originally intended to be the sole perfume in the endeavor ? what Dubrana termed ??the Ultimate Oud Fragrance?? ? but like a really good conversation with a circle of friends, nobody wanted it to end. Riffing off each other in endlessly creative ways, Dubrana harnessed the energy of the group to create the first, then second, and finally third Oud Caravan. Today, all three Oud Caravan perfumes fit together thematically and sequentially as a cohesive statement on the mysterious material that is oud oil.
Oud Caravan No. 3 is the culmination of Dubrana’s work on the Caravan series, and the version he feels best encapsulates his vision of a universally-pleasing oud scent. Removing the sharp camphoraceous topnotes that presaged both Caravan No. 1 and No. 2, Dubrana envelops the wild agarwood oil in a warm, fudgy date-like sweetness, using dried fruit and amber notes to subtly nudge the texture dial from leather to velvet. Rich and mellow, Oud Caravan No. 3 goes down smoothly, like a 50-year-old Scotch. Remarkably, Dubrana has steered the oudiness of this scent away from the jungly wetness of the first two scents and towards an airiness that feels like the windows being thrown open onto a closed-up room. As smoky as it is rich, Oud Caravan No. 3 is just animalic enough to remind you that you’re wearing real oud, but smooth enough for you to enjoy it without the steep learning curve. As great for women as it is for men.