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Tom Ford Oud Wood | Honest Perfume Review

An Approachable Oud – Tom Ford Oud Wood Review

In this article, I’ll be providing a review on Tom Ford Oud Wood. Oud is one of those compounds in the fragrance market that appears to have a lot of devotees, but it’s not really pleasant to my nose. Yes, I appreciate its presence when it’s part of a well-balanced combination, but not when it’s leading the charge.


When Tom Ford introduced M7 for YSL scents in 2002, some would claim that he inaugurated in a new era of oud fragrances, whether or not anybody wanted it. And no one wanted it, as evidenced by the latter’s market crash. M7 was not just a trailblazer and the first of its type; it was also too creative, unusual, bold, and shocking for a world dominated by Acqua di Gio’s freshness. M7 was much ahead of its time.

It’s hardly a surprise that when Tom Ford left YSL and started his own fashion label, he wanted to make up for what may have been his first formal failure. In 2007, he returned to the oud well, launching Private Blend Oud Wood. This time, though, he attempted to make oud (or agarwood) more appetizing, accessible, and moderate for the general public.

And he was successful. Oud Wood is a wonderful fragrance that is really simple to wear, especially when compared to many other agarwood scents on the market today. The reason for this is that, at the end of the day, Oud Wood isn’t a very oud scent. Montale is a niche perfume business with roughly 27 oud perfumes, all of which have a post-apocalyptic intensity to them. It’s also not M7, which is a lot sweeter, more intense, and hard-core approach to the subject. Despite the fact that I’ve only sampled the reformulated version of M7, I have to say that I prefer it to Tom Ford’s second agarwood venture.


Oud Wood begins to open slowly. If I may add, it’s really gentle for a Tom Ford scent. I think it’s the softest beginning I’ve ever had from one of his fragrances, whether it’s from the Private Blend or the normal collection! Rose and sweet, nutty cardamom are the first notes that come to mind. It’s quite wonderful. Szechuan pepper, earthy vetiver, and undertones of rich vanilla, as though from a newly cut Madagascar bean, round out the profile.

The subtly therapeutic tones of oud are following in their footsteps. The oud doesn’t have a lot of bite, and I don’t think it’s because it’s hidden behind a layer of spice and sweetness. Even if you exclude Montale’s signature scents, the oud here is distinct from others I’ve encountered. The Arabian Nights collection’s By Kilian oud perfumes, for example, range from cold, stone oud in Pure Oud to nearly no oud at all in Amber Oud. With its rose and velvety agarwood, Tom Ford’s Oud Wood is the closest to Rose Oud.

After thirty minutes, the scent is still predominately rose, cardamom, and oud. With a greater amount of camphor, the latter has become significantly more noticeable. Its icy undertones help to balance out the rose notes that are common in oud perfumes. And the mix of oud and cardamom’s nutty, fragrant sweetness is really stunning. Despite this, Oud Wood is far less sweet and drier than the (reformulated) version of M7. And, to be honest, I believe a bit more sweetness would have been preferable.

The vetiver begins to properly emerge around two hours in, and it remains dominant for the duration of the perfume’s development. With the rose getting ever fainter, Oud Wood is now largely a vetiver, cardamom, and (vaguely) oud smell. Sandalwood appears around the three-hour point, pushing the rose off the stage and harmonizing with the vanilla, cardamom, and earthy vetiver in a wonderfully delightful manner. Oud Wood appears to be mostly a vanilla vetiver with undertones of oud and spice at times. It’s predominantly sandalwood with vetiver at other times. The aroma shifts and undulates, demonstrating how well-balanced it is.

After four hours, the perfume is mostly sandalwood with vetiver and is incredibly close to the skin. The latter is becoming increasingly sweet, fresh, and brilliant green, with a scent that reminds me more of lemongrass than anything earthy or dark. It’s delightful, especially when paired with the sandalwood’s spicy richness. There are hints of vanilla and tonka, and the oud appears on occasion like a phantom Jack in the Box, but these are tiny details. The main notes in the dry-down are sandalwood and vetiver.

Fragrance Facts – Tom Ford Oud Wood

Who is the perfumer behind Perfumer Tom Ford Oud Wood?

Richard Herpin

What notes are in Tom Ford Oud Wood?

Sichuan Pepper
Tonka Bean

How is the sillage. and longevity of Tom Ford Oud Wood?

Oud Wood has a modest to moderate projection. To be honest, after the first hour or two, this version doesn’t have much sillage. Coming into today, I would have assumed that Oud Wood would be a total bomb… nope.

The lifespan isn’t fantastic either. I can keep it on my skin for 4-5 hours, but then it’s gone. That’s a pity for a smell at this pricing range, especially given how well previous Tom Ford scents have held up.

The woodiness reminds me of fall, yet it may also be found in the winter. These notes, on the other hand, aren’t designed to withstand the heat. I believe it would go stale, especially in heavy humidity, so keep that in mind before purchasing.

How versatile is Tom Ford Oud Wood?

Even though it’s described as a unisex perfume, it’s a men’s scent. This is a really macho look. Oud Wood is elegant and well-rounded, and should be worn on more formal events rather than with jeans and a tee.

Fragrance Classification – Tom Ford Oud Wood

Tom Ford Oud Wood France Review and Classification


The major challenge for me, and one that has made writing this review tough, is that Oud Wood is difficult to get enthused about. Please don’t get me wrong: it’s a beautiful scent that I would wear if I had a whole bottle. In fact, I’d definitely wear it all the time! It’s adaptable, simple, simplistic, and rich-smelling, with a lovely sandalwood dry-down. My second favorite Tom Ford Private Blend scent is Oud Wood.

However, it isn’t really noteworthy. It’s difficult to get excited about an oud that is — by today’s standards, at least — very ordinary. That’s hardly anything I’m condemning it for, especially since “average” was the stated target! Tom Ford had already accomplished “amazing” by falling on his tush. Personally, I’m still obsessed with smelling the original, unreformulated M7, but I’m out of luck for the time being because both it and the reformed version have been discontinued.

Tom Ford’s Oud Wood should be just up your alley if you’ve been unsuccessful with agarwood in the past but are desperate to attempt an approachable oud. It’s actually just a spiced, vanilla, vetiver, woody smell with some oud thrown in for good measure. It’s neither either sweet nor overly macho. But it’s endlessly wearable, far from potent, quite accessible, and occasionally downright delightful. Those of you who have been scarred by the bullying or “frat boy” characteristics of some Tom Fords may find this one to be more tolerable. However, if you’ve had more exposure to the myriad of ouds on the market or are searching for a pure agarwood scent, this may be a tad tame for you

I hope you enjoyed my review on Tom Ford Oud Wood. As always, if you’ve found the article interesting don’t forget to share it with others. I’d love to know about your thought on Tom Ford’s Oud Wood in the comments. Take care, god bless, and keep smelling fantastic. 🙂

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