Amber Oud by Calice Becker for By Kilian 2011


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrant Fiends,

Oudh. The 21st centuries answer to IFRA compliant base notes. It is the ubiquitous fully fragrant, dark, deep and dirty base note giving a solid grounding to an industry that has lost its regular, centuries old palette to drug companies greed: the modern multinational fragrance component creators. I’m sure it’s a more complex problem and that I’ve missed most of the memos but from the other side of the world this is how it looks to me. Sorry, end rant.

So, I tried Amber Oud around the time it came out and could not justify the spend to myself at that time, 5 years on I wondered if my thoughts had changed with the ever increasing price of fragrance. Was $395 a reasonable price for something I remember being so lovely, and reading the other reviews written at that time it was as special as I remember and many others were happy to drop that kind of cash on it.

Amber Oud by By Kilian 2011

Amber Oud by Calice Becker

Amber Oud By Kilian FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Amber, Benzoin, Spices, Oud, Vanilla, Cedar

Softest, plushest, tamest oudh ever. So gorgeously rolled and folded into the spicy vanilla/amber bakery and only held slightly dry by the crispness of cedar. Warm and enveloping I can see why even the oudh haters love Amber Oud so. Lightly medicinal, a tiny hint of band aid and only the merest waft of poop Amber Oud is almost a gourmand oudh, oudh light or kiddies oudh. So velvet soft and cozy, as close to a warm beige cashmere lounge throw as oudh can be. Delightful, sweet, sensational and gorgeous: the words that jump into my head while sniffing are not the usual ones associated with oudh in my experience. The By Kilian crew have created the most fabulous general public oudh and it makes me smile.

The amber is sweet and caramelised, lit from within and effulgent Ambre Oud grows more and more lovely. Very reminiscent through its heart of the L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre, a similar warmth and purity. It stays pretty and buoyant and luxurious, the most expensive caramel toffee.


Here’s my quandry: yes this is lovely. It’s incredibly wearable, luxurious and gorgeous, no doubt about it. When I press my nose to my fragrant spots it is utterly swoon worthy. When it’s not so close, when I’m catching whiffs of it as I go about my day, Amber Oud is not a lot better than 50 other ambers on the market. From Queen Latifah through L’Artisan, Nicolai to Giorgio Armani: yes they are all different but at arms length the differences are not so pronounced, yummy amber. Is Amber Oud at $395 from $370-$150 better? Is it really? I hang my head in shame because for me the answer is no…. I’ll put my decant away and try it again one day, maybe then?

Amber Oud By Kilian red No Entry Pixabay

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
LuckyScent has $395/50ml
Surrender To Chance has $5/0.5ml

What is your cut off point? Do you have one? How important is having something in your collection?
Portia xx




10 thoughts on “Amber Oud by Calice Becker for By Kilian 2011

    • Gasp. I totally messed up. That is what happens after two days with you.
      I confused this for Roger Dove’s Amber Oud. I am so sorry. Apologies. (Same diff probably but I have not tried this one. ?


  1. I love this stuff but it made me realize that I do have a cut-off point, and $395 for 50ml is above it. That said, I still don’t know what my cut-off point really is, just that some things are above it?.


  2. Hey Portia, I know loads of people love this one, but I kind of think (like you) that it resembles one of those warm, vanillic ambers from L’Artisan too closely to ever justify the spend. But you know you can order the refill bottles, 50mls, for 125 euros, right? My price ceiling is at around the 1.5 or 2 euros per ml mark, but so far the only stratospheric ones I’d consider more for are Puredistance M, Chypre Palatin, and Blackbird by House of Matriarch. I have fallen in love with Mohur EDP too recently, but damn, that stuff is so expensive!


    • Hey Claire,
      Yes, I know you can buy the refills for less and that would be the way I’d buy it but really my wardrobe is already full of excellent ambers.
      Mohur is pricey but it’s one that I’m more than happy to part with my hard earned cash for, currently on my second bottle.
      Portia xx


  3. Fortunately I have not fallen for (or even tried, mayble) anything nearly this expensive, but I have a hard time imagining that I could love something as much as a trip to visit my parents. 🙂 But, maybe its just because I haven’t found it yet? I’m still searching for that scent that is just… complete for me. I dunno if I’ll ever find it – but maybe that’s where the fun is!


  4. Pingback: In the Search for the Perfect… By Kilian Perfume – Undina's Looking Glass

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