Christian Dior launched its luxury private fragrance range, La Collection Prive, in 2004 with three fragrances.
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Since then it has evolved into a fully-fledged line of highly desirable scents divided into categories such as Sensuals, Orientals, Florals, Light Florals, and Fruity Florals.
The floral oriental Christian Dior Oud Ispahan was launched in 2012 and is widely regarded as one of the best oud fragrances on the market.
Scent Notes (according to Fragrantica.com)
Labdanum (top note); patchouli, rose, saffron (middle notes); oud sandalwood, cedar (base notes).
“Oud Ispahan is like opening the doors of an Oriental palace with ochre walls and being struck by its fragrance. The smoky scent of burning wood blends with that of sweet floral water on washed hands. That’s the scent of this smooth atmosphere, where rose, frankincense and resin linger. The perfume is velvety and sensual, like the roses of the Orient.”
– François Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator
Who would like it
Anyone who is looking for a high-quality, distinctive oud fragrance will appreciate this scent. As it’s not an obvious oud fragrance, those who haven’t been converted to oud could very well change their minds after sampling this EDP.
Where to wear it
Oud Ispahan is a versatile fragrance. It’s wearable year-round and from day tonight. It has a seductive quality, so it’s ideal for date nights and when you want to make a stylish impression. If you’re going to wear it to the office, spray it ever so lightly, as it has a noticeable trail and longevity.
This unisex EDP opens with the distinctive scent of labdanum. Its ambery, slightly leathery quality is warm and enticing.
The fragrance sweetens slightly, as the rose note makes its appearance. Don’t be put off by the mention of this initial sweetness – it’s gentle and then develops into something surprisingly sexy. This is Dior we are talking about, so it’s sophisticated at all times.
The rose is perfectly partnered with the oud note that follows. Rose and oud combinations have always been popular in Middle Eastern perfumery. Oud Ispahan takes its cue from this tradition, but it’s an undeniably Western take on oud.
While it’s not overwhelming or intensely exotic, there’s no doubting that this is the real thing in Oud Ispahan. Oud is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery and Demachy makes the most of its woody, resinous aspects. That woodiness is complemented by the sandalwood and cedar notes.
To say that Oud Ispahan is smooth is an understatement. Throughout its progression, it’s silky, yet full of character at the same time.
As the brand’s perfumer, François Demachy has created most of the fragrances for La Collection Prive, including Oud Ispahan.
The 70-year-old Frenchman is highly respected for his ability to balance commercial and creative success.
Examples of his work include: Emanuel Ungaro Pour L’Homme EDT, Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa, Fan di Fendi Pour Homme EDT, Dior Sauvage (EDT and EDP) and several fragrances in the Dior Pour Homme range.
Demachy also produces perfumes for other companies in the French luxury giant LVMH’s stable.
Packaging and Presentation
La Collection Prive is all about classical elegance and the presentation of these fragrances captures that aesthetic perfectly.
The stately cylindrical bottle was originally designed by fashion visionary Hedi Slimane, who was the creative director of the French luxury brand’s men’s ready-to-wear division at the time of the collection’s launch. A slick magnetic cap features the instantly recognizable Dior logo.
Every juice in the collection has a different color. Oud Ispahan has a rosy hue.
Whether you order online or in one of the Dior boutiques, you can expect your bottle to be presented in a specially packaged box, where attention to detail is everything.
Similar fragrances to consider
Try the recently launched Christian Dior Purple Oud EDP. It’s a fresher and spicier interpretation of oud. For more oud options read the article What is Oud & 8 of the Best Oud Colognes for Men.
$220 – $320.
Where to buy it
You can order Oud Ispahan online through Amazon. For the full Dior lifestyle experience, make sure to visit a Dior boutique in the following cities: Chicago, New York City, Bethesda, Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas, Costa Mesa and San Francisco.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.