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Produced in South East Asia and India, oud is the highly-prized ingredient that’s been used in perfumery since ancient times. Its application in Western perfumery has grown exponentially over the last 15 years or so, initially to appeal to wealthy visitors from the Middle East, and now to service increasing interest from a growing audience who have learned to appreciate its unique, love-it-or-hate-it charm. If you’ve ever been to Dubai, or walked the ground floor at London’s Harrods, it’s a pervasive scent that wafts in the air.

What Is Oud?


Oud is the essence from the Aquilaria tree. On its own, the wood from these trees has little scent or value. But, with the presence of a fungal infection that sounds a bit like a Hogwarts spell (Phialophora parasitica, to be precise), the tree produces aloes, a dark, smoky resin. Over time, this produces blackened agarwood, or oud, which can be burned like incense or distilled into an essence.

Like everything in the natural world, oud reserves are finite and becoming increasingly scarce. To meet surging global demand, trees are now cultivated and artificially infected, along with synthetic versions that also do the job. Which means the real deal can sell for astronomical prices, pushing up those parfum price tags.

Arabian Oud has three locations across London, and it sells the raw wood chips for incense by the gram. The finest grade, from India, costs £3oo for 12g – or to put it another way, £25,ooo per kilo. We’ll never look at mouldy old wood in the same way again…

The Rise Of Oud Fragrances

Acqua Di Parma Oud & Spice

One of the reasons the ‘wood of the Gods’ is so popular is that it exudes a rich, exotic and animalic (a hint of farmyard funk) scent that holds up surprisingly well in the heat. Unlike the transient top notes of your typical citrus-herbal cologne, oud has real staying power and pairs exceptionally well with rose and spices. Your choice of fragrance depends on whether you like your oud to be the front man, part of the harmony, or the backing singer.

So, as the weather heats up, you might want to add a deep, velvety oud to your collection. Before you part with a lot of money, our golden rule is to test on the skin, sleep on it, and then sample it again to be absolutely sure it’s the right one.

Here’s our pick of the very best oud fragrances available now.

Acqua Di Parma Oud & Spice


From the Signatures of the Sun collection, Oud & Spice takes its oud from Laos, which is renowned for its smoothness and balance. While pure oud can be a bit overbearing, this artful blend fuses top notes of bergamot, rose and raspberry, and spicy cinnamon and clove to offset the oud and the warm, musky base of oud, patchouli and cistus labdanum.

Buy now at John Lewis

Maison Francis Kurkdjian OUD Satin Mood


Notes of cinnamon, violet, vanilla amber accord and benzoin join leathery accents of oud from Laos and similarly prized ingredients, the world’s best Damask and Bulgarian roses.

Sweet without being cloying, the blooming floral offsets any heaviness from the oud and it’s a big performer so you don’t need to go overboard on the application.

Precious Elixir Extrait de Parfum is a limited edition set of carry-on ready roller balls – perfect for those steamy holiday nights abroad.

Buy now at Selfridges

Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum


No edit would be complete without an entry from Tom Ford’s Private Blend, Oud Wood. Launched as part of the original Private Blend collection in 2007, it remains one of the bestselling Tom Ford colognes.

Incense, sandalwood, rosewood, rare oud and amber make for an addictive combination. With a scented soap bar, shower gel, body spray and beard oil, you can slather yourself from head to toe in this aura of sacred temples like a true member of a cult.

Buy now at MR PORTER

Dior Oud Isphanan


This pink-hued oud is from La Collection Privée, which is harder to sniff out in store compared to main line Dior scents. Luckily they offer a free trial service when you order it online.

Oud Isphanan is a heady floral oud that comes up smelling like Damascus roses, smoky sandalwood, cedarwood, labdanum, patchouli, frankincense and saffron. This oud is a head turner, and it has a animalic edge of something a little bit dirty and funky, in a very good way.

Buy now at Dior

Louis Vuitton Oud Nomade Eau de Parfum


Oud Nomade is a smooth, enveloping and long-lasting scent made with four main ingredients: oud, benzoin, raspberry and smoky incense. Perfectly balanced, the oud shines through without dominating.

This is LV, so the shopping experience is second to none. Order online and you get a free tester, so you can send it back in the event it doesn’t suit (it will). The bottle is refillable in stores equipped with a perfume fountain, and you can get your initials engraved in gold lettering on the front to make it your own.

Feel free to add a monogrammed leather travel case if you’re feeling extra flush.

Buy now at Louis Vuitton

Creed Royal Oud Eau de Parfum


Creed created this regal oud after many requests for an oud from customers. Royal Oud is an amber fougère that uses pink pepper, lime and bergamot galbanum to create a sparkling opening, followed by a spicy heart of angelica seed, cardamom, cedar wood and clove, over a musky base of frankincense, gaïacwood and Vietnamese oud.

While the oud itself is less pronounced, it’s an absolutely beautiful scent. The fact that it contains another impossibly rare ingredient, ambergris (or sperm whale poop), makes it pure luxury.

Buy now at John Lewis

Roja Dove Aoud Parfum


With no less than 18 individual oud-based scents in the collection, our pick is Aoud. Ever the maximalist, Roja Dove scents feature a lot of ingredients and Aoud is no exception, with 20 entries consisting woods, spices, citrus, florals and ambergris (the old whale poop again – OK, so technically it’s not. It’s a different substance that forms in the gut, but it exits the same way).

The top notes are lemon, bergamot and verbena, but the main impression comes from the lushness of the Rose de Mai, which then reveals the leathery, smoky oud aspect.

Before you balk at the price, you can get 7.5ml for the more reasonable sum of £60 – use it wisely/sparingly.

Buy now at Selfridges

Byredo Oud Immortel Eau de Parfum


Like everything Byredo, there is nothing typical about Oud Immortel, so don’t expect a big hit of oud as the name might suggest.

At first the agarwood is hidden beneath green moss, smoky woods, patchouli, papyrus and tobacco leaves, which gives an earthy, intriguing impression that reveals the oud in the dry down.

Buy now at MR PORTER

Dunhill Agar Wood Eau de Parfum


Dunhill’s Signature Collection features a dedicated oud, with interesting, unusual notes of salt, Timur pepper, fresh ginger and bergamot in the top; black iris, saffron flowers, violet leaves and blue cypress in the heart; and a base of suede, rich oud, mastic absolute and tobacco. Combined, it makes for a powdery, smoky leather scent.

Buy now at Harrods

Giorgio Armani Privé Royal Oud Eau de Parfum


Another Royal Oud, this time from the house of Armani. This scent captures notes of agarwood, saffron, rose, incense, amber, myrrh and sandalwood.

There’s sweetness from the saffron and amber in the opening, while the rose takes more of a back seat. Rich and silky smooth, it’s very easy to fall for this oud.

Buy now at John Lewis

Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle Dawn Eau de Parfum


If this scent doesn’t leave you speechless the price certainly will. Perfumer Carlos Benaïm took the reins on this one, and he didn’t pull out any stops on the quality of the oud. It combines Turkish rose oil and pink pepper, Turkish rose absolute, olibanum, oak moss, vetiver and labdanum, along with the star ingredient, Oud 100, and promises a deep, incense that will literally take you to church, in more ways than one.

You’ll only have to sell a single kidney to be able to buy it.

Buy now at Liberty

Jo Malone London Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense


Jo Malone always takes a minimalist approach and this intense cologne contains a blend of bergamot, orange and lemon, resinous oud and Virginia cedarwood.

With the bright citrus aspect it’s a refreshing take on oud; the only downside is that it doesn’t last quite as long on the skin.

As with all Jo Malone scents you can layer it, making it warmer or fresher depending on your mood.

Buy now at Lookfantastic

Le Labo Oud 27 Eau de Parfum


Cult fragrance makers, Le Labo expand on the theme of oud with cedar atlas, incense, patchouli, black pepper, saffron and gaïac to create an amber scent that gives off vibes of whisky and pencil shavings, which is in turn woody and animalic.

Buy now at Le Labo

DS & Durga Notorious Oud


DS & Durga do not make shy, retiring scents. Although this oud isn’t quite as loud as the name might suggest, it does have great longevity, with its fresh, green opening giving way to something deep and leathery.

It features Indonesian oud, saffron, white galbanum, lavender absolute, civet (synthetic, we hope) and cetalox (musky, amber). The Bulgarian rose plays second fiddle to green notes of camphor and papyrus, which makes it a great option for those who are less keen on floral fragrances.

Buy now at END.

The post The 14 Best Smelling Oud Fragrances For Men appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.

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By: Jessica Punter
Title: The 14 Best Smelling Oud Fragrances For Men
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Published Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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How to wear your watch correctly



As much as you won’t like hearing this, you’re probably wearing your watch wrong.

It’s not your fault; you may have never been taught how to wear a watch properly. After all, there is more than one way to wear a watch.

But how do you know which way is the right way?

Don’t worry, gents; as always, I’ve got you covered. I’m here with the best way to wear your favorite timepiece properly and look as stylish as ever.

In today’s article, I’ll be covering:

  1. Origins Of The Wrist Watch
  2. What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?
  3. Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?
  4. The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

#1 Origins Of The Wrist Watch

old watches

When it comes to wearing a watch correctly, it’s important to note why the wristwatch came about in the first place.

Dating back to the 1800s, the first watches modified to be worn on the wrist were primarily worn by women as accessories. One of the earliest was created by Patek Philippe as a fashion accessory.

At the start of the 20th century, watchmakers became intrigued about using a wrist-worn timepiece for men in the military. They believed it would help them tell time quickly while on the battlefield.

Watchmakers started modifying pocket watches to fit on a bracelet worn on the wrist. Men would not wear the first iteration of the modern wristwatch until well into the 20th century.

Then developed as a ‘trench watch’ for military use, the earliest wrist watches offered something the pocket watch didn’t have – convenience.

After the wristwatch became less of a fashion accessory and more of a functional tool, watchmakers would spend the next century modifying them into the modern wristwatches we enjoy today.

#2 What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?

man wears watch

The age-old question: what wrist to wear a watch on? The answer – it depends.

The reason it depends is that since the creation of the wristwatch, men have mostly worn their watch on their non-dominant wrist. And since most people are right-handed, you would wear your watch on your left wrist.

But this isn’t always the correct answer. You may want to wear your watch on the right wrist if you are left-handed. But you may also want to wear it on your dominant hand.

So how do you know for sure?

The most significant benefit of wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is that you can quickly put the watch on and navigate the dial more efficiently than with your non-dominant hand.

Wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is less likely to damage the watch as you tend to do more with your dominant hand. If you were to wear it on your dominant hand, you’re more likely to scratch or ding the watch than on your non-dominant hand.

So the rule of thumb here is to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand for the best way to navigate and protect your watch.

#3 Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?

watch facing inside

The next question is, why would a man wear his watch facing inward on his wrist instead of outward?

This trend is seen primarily in individuals who need to check their watch frequently and in the most efficient way possible. Among the many reasons you should wear a watch, one of the most common is to support you in your profession.

You will see men in the military do this, as it’s easier and prevents sun glare better than when it’s on the outside of the wrist. It also offers faster convenience to other tools on the watch in addition to the time.

Another reason you may want to wear your watch facing inward is that it can help protect your watch from scratches and dings. Again, this is just a preference.

But you’re a stylish guy looking for the best way to wear his watch. What should you do?

The answer here is to wear it facing outward, as that is the most common way to wear a wristwatch. It shows off your timepiece that you love while also still being functional.

Unless you’re in a profession where you need to check your watch quickly while managing other tasks, the best way is to have your watch facing outward. After all, you probably didn’t spend money on that beautiful timepiece to hide its character.

#4 The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

stylish watch

Now it’s time to find out exactly how to wear a watch in the most stylish way a guy can.

Assuming you’ve selected the right size watch for your wrist, the first thing you want to do is figure out if you’ll be wearing your watch on your right or left wrist.

As mentioned above, traditionally, the watch is worn on your non-dominant wrist. So if you’re right-handed, this means wearing your watch on your left wrist. For left-handed guys, this means your right wrist.

After you figure that out, it’s quite easy. The first thing you want to do is locate your wrist bone.

You want to wear your watch face up just above your wrist bone. If done correctly, your watch should slightly peek out from under the cuffs of your shirt when wearing long sleeves.

Next, you want to tighten the strap so it’s loose enough to be comfortable. You don’t want it so loose it can spin freely around your wrist. You also don’t want it too tight, or it will feel uncomfortable, especially when you bend your wrist.

After doing this correctly, you’ll be wearing a watch in the most stylish way possible.

There you have it, gents.

Now you no longer have to worry about wearing your watch incorrectly.

There is more than one way to wear a watch, so find what’s most comfortable for you personally, and rock your favorite timepiece accordingly.

If you want to take your watch knowledge to the next level, check out this article I wrote about the difference between quartz and mechanical watches.

The post How To Wear A Watch The Right Way appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: How To Wear A Watch The Right Way
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Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 10:19:42 +0000

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Fall Capsule Wardrobe Preparation (Buy Now and Get $$$)



We’ve all been there – fall comes around, and you open your closet only to find you have nothing but polos and shorts.

So what’s a stylish guy to do? Pay a premium to build an entire fall wardrobe last minute? Sure, if you’re loaded. But not every guy is that lucky!

Don’t worry; as ever, I’ve got you covered. In today’s article, I’ll show you how to get the best bang for your buck when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

We’ll be covering:

  1. What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?
  2. How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?
  3. Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?
  4. What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

#1 What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?

man in closet

One of the most common headaches guys run into in their closet is having too many clothing options to choose from but not enough of the right options.

While more options aren’t bad, they can be overwhelming, especially when you rarely wear most items. This is where building a capsule wardrobe comes into play.

A capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of clothing items that complement each other. This means you can buy a smaller selection of items and create a larger number of outfits.

This is crucial to understand because most guys don’t have an unlimited budget for buying clothes. A capsule wardrobe allows you to purchase and use items frequently with little redundancy.

But where do you start in building your fall capsule wardrobe?

#2 How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?

fall clothing items

After you have put together the perfect capsule wardrobe, you can start to add a few fall-specific items. This is done by adding a few staple pieces that complement what you already have.

For most, fall offers mild temperatures mixed with slightly warmer temperatures.

This means that layering will be of the utmost importance because you may leave the house needing a jacket, but it might be warm enough by midday to sport only the t-shirt underneath.

Start with the basics when building your fall capsule wardrobe and add pieces accordingly.

Keep It Simple

man wearing coat

Fall is primetime for layering, so you only need a few outer layers and should focus more on the innermost layers.

You want to make sure that interchangeability is at the top of your list when it comes to your wardrobe. Everything should complement each other for ease of use.

With that said, having a few staples and adding additional items as you change seasons is essential.

For this reason, ensure you have the following items in your fall capsule wardrobe:

  • A dark three-piece suit 
  • A light-colored tweed blazer
  • A leather bomber or biker jacket
  • An overcoat (dark or light)
  • A formal button-up shirt (white)
  • 2 casual button-up shirts (flannel or chambray, you choose)
  • 2 sweaters (1 shawl, 1 crew neck)
  • 2 t-shirts (1 white, 1 black,)
  • 2 pairs of Jeans (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 pairs of slacks/chinos (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 belts (1 black, 1 brown)
  • 1 pair of black dress shoes
  • 1 pair of brown oxfords (leather or suede, you decide)
  • 1 pair of sneakers (plain white or brown)
  • 1 pair of military boots (black or brown)

When it comes to accessories like watches, scarves, or gloves, you can use what you have as most men won’t need all of them, so I won’t count them in.

#3 Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?

clothing on sale

As it is the middle of summer, fall will be approaching quickly.

Now is a great time to snag up some of last year’s sale items at department stores as they usually have sales on previous season items. By now, most men aren’t thinking about what to wear in the fall.

While you still might be able to find good deals on last year’s fall items, it’s usually the most optimal time to purchase these items after the season has ended. This is when retailers try hard to clear space and make room for the next season’s clothing.

When they do this, it is a great time to get excellent deals on items that have just gone out of season.

Another great option to buy men’s clothing is online at your favorite retailers, as they will often have sales and discounts on items they have in their online inventory but are not yet in prime season.

The most expensive items in your fall capsule wardrobe are the ones you want to focus on, as you can often save a significant amount of money out of season for them.

These big ticket items include:

  • Your dark three-piece suit and blazer
  • Overcoats and jackets
  • Dress shoes and sneakers
  • Boots

These items will be some of the most expensive items and can be found discounted out of season. Put these at the forefront of your fall capsule wardrobe search.

#4 What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

man shopping for clothes

You want to adhere to a few staples when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

Since fall weather can vary, layering will be essential. These few items are crucial as mainstays that can be layered with other items within your wardrobe.

For example, if you experience a rather chilly day in fall and need to wear a suit, an overcoat is essential as that outermost layer because you can simply remove it when you no longer need it.

When it comes to the concept of layering within your fall capsule wardrobe, you want to make sure you nail these following items.


man wearing overcoat

Having a good overcoat to complement your fall capsule wardrobe is crucial.

The overcoat acts as the outermost layer and will be removed whenever you go indoors. This makes for a great option as you can wear it with anything as it offers excellent versatility.

When searching for the perfect overcoat, it’s essential to know your size as they usually come in sizes of suit jackets, not regular sizing. After you’ve nailed the size, focus on color.

Dark-colored overcoats tend to be the most versatile. However, a light camel color can work as well. Stay away from patterns with overcoats as the goal is to be as versatile as possible.

Leather Jackets

leather jackets

A good leather jacket goes a long way. You can choose a leather biker jacket or a leather bomber; it’s your call.

Biker jackets can be slightly harder to pull off as most of the time, they will have a larger and more aggressive collar, but they still look great.

A leather bomber jacket is an excellent option because it looks great on all body types and often has more options than biker jackets.

For color, opt for black or dark brown, as that gives you the most versatility with other items in your fall capsule wardrobe.


man wearing sweater

Sweaters are to fall, what t-shirts are for summer. This means they are a critical piece as they are season specific and offer great versatility when it comes to layering.

So how do you find the perfect sweater?

You want options, so have a couple of different collar choices to give yourself the most bang for your buck.

Having a shawl neck sweater and a crew neck sweater ensures you have all your bases covered.

Make sure you choose neutral tones such as greys, creams, and tans for color. This ensures maximum versatility with other items within your wardrobe and gives you the most options.

That’s it, gents.

To learn more about how versatile this concept of capsule wardrobes can be, check out how I turned 16 pieces of clothing into 256 outfits.

The post Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$)
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Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 23:59:00 +0000

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The Best Zara Fragrances



We all know of Zara and I’m pretty sure the majority of us own at least one piece from them, but I’m not here to talk about their reasonably priced clothing, I’m here for their fragrance.

Not quite a hidden gem but I don’t feel that they vast range and high quality fragrance that they create is given enough air time, I’m about to change that. The fragrance game is massive at the moment, everyone from the big fashion houses all the way to footballers have a scent on the market and they all carry a hefty price tag, with some of the bigger hitters asking in excess of

£100 for 50ml.

Zara clearly understand the need for a great fragrance but also appreciate not everything has to be overly expensive. I’ve been lucky enough to sample my fair share over the years and wanted to share with you what I feel are some of their strongest.

Tobacco Collective 100ml – £16.99

This is one of my absolute favourites, it works perfectly as an everyday scent. The initial smell is strong and masculine but with undertones of vanilla bourbon help to soften it slightly.

4Qbk tFcSNbWj04S58 QXQsAx1NOGJ2EW5BgfYj4Ey67ulm5nUzJMLNq8HMNdkps3FThHVxZUbG2kK7VkQQIumuQtVN2 ww56QbpYBb3oo8vyL0js Gz4QeX1WHYq6r 2 t sNHgJEDHbdwuZg

For Him 100ml – £22.99

My current daily spray, its warm, modern and intense. It just so happens to be the perfect blend of three of my favourite scents, bergamot, cardamom and sandalwood. It’s strong yet light, never over powering and leaves a wonderful trail.

Florence 100ml – £16.24

Summer calls for a fresh fragrance and I cannot recommend this highly enough, its light, fresh and citrus scent is perfectly for those warmer days. Notes of black pepper, strawberry and guaiac wood allow this scent to sit gently on the skin with offending the noses of those around you.

Written by Tom Loughran

The post The Best Of Zara Fragrances first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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Title: The Best Of Zara Fragrances
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Published Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:57:00 +0000

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