Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire photo by Neringa
“I dream of fire
These dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
Near the flames
This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this” -Sting featuring Cheb Mami from his album Brand New Day (1999)
If Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire was a piece of music, it would be Sting’s Desert Rose. If it were a place, it would be The Gobi Desert. If it were a colour, it would be burnished bronze verging on tarry, charred crimson – as fiery as Dante’s Inferno….
Oud, a raw material prized for centuries for its unique olfactive profile – simultaneously pungent yet very pleasing, evocative of warm, smoky notes with tinges of dampened wood. Although subtly nuanced with touches of floral and fruit tones, its predominant scent is musky and sensual. The complex and exquisite fragrance of oud is a precious, rare and intriguing gift of nature, evoking the feeling of opulence, luxury and supreme comfort. Historians trace the use of oud back to ancient times and incontrovertible evidence lies within the scriptures of various ancient cultures. The Prophet Muhammad held the tradition of fumigation with agarwood, which is a practice that continues in the Muslim world to this day. The Holy Prophet referred to agarwood as a distinct item found in Paradise. In Hebrew tradition, The Song of Songs describes oud as a form of incense, and King Solomon as “coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense.”
Ramon Monegal Don’t Touch My Ouds Collection via Ramon Monegal
Spanish niche house of Ramon Monegal masterfully showcases the note of oud in their Don’t Touch My Ouds line of 4 Extrait de Parfums launched in 2017, by Perfumer Ramon Monegal. An array of finest, precious raw materials are added to each composition to act as a backing vocals to the lead singer of the fragrances – the enigmatic and mysterious oud. Measured with precision and skill, they support the oud, elevating its olfactive profile but never overshadowing it. Despite many fragrance critics proclaiming oud passé; when it is used with such skill that Señor Monegal possesses, it is still, very much, a material-du-jour.
Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire photo Neringa
First spray of Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire sweeps you into a sensuous whirlwind of an enchanted and mysterious tale of the scorched winds of Gobi Desert; its vastness, the limitless expanse of star-studded skies and undulating sand dunes, the oasis breeze traversing horizon as subtle tendrils of the finest Cambodian oud smoke cast its calming, mesmerizing spell – whispering the fables untold of its mystique. Rich opulence of oud weaves its way through the layers of the fragrance, like a hazy desert mirage unfolding before your eyes, painted in rich burnished bronze shades; cashmeran tendrils swirling around golden amberwood, cedar trees swaying gently in the warm breeze; suave rose cushions scattered around, lustrous and velvety; their reddening glow inviting the travelers to stop and enjoy a well-deserved rest at Caravanserai after long travels through the Silk Road. A gentle warmth of burning oud chips and curls of exotic cinnamon flavored shisha smoke lingers in the air of an ochre summer night sky, creating sensual and welcoming ambience.
Gobi Desert via unsplash
Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire presents a dual textural feel, bone dry and silky smooth at once. Beyond the intoxicating, black pepper-spiked luscious rose and bright geranium opening touches, in its heart lurks the green shadows of textured, earthy patchouli and animalistic curlicues of oud smoke dancing seductively on the skin; merging with the whispered allure of tonka bean. A hypnotic tale woven out of precious woods, spinning around the velvety, sensuous rose floralcy generously flecked with cinnamon and fiery black pepper bite; it achieves olfactive synergy releasing a pulsating pungency – brooding and hauntingly beautiful, a rich tapestry of fascinating depths, a jeweled veil draping over ones’ warm, nocturnal desert wind kissed skin.
A scented desert dream.
“Yo soy un sueño, un imposible,
vano fantasma de niebla y luz;
soy incorpórea, soy intangible;
no puedo amarte.
¡Oh, ven, ven tú!”
“I am a dream, an impossibility, empty phantom of mist and light; I am incorporeal, intangible I am; I cannot love. Oh, come, come you!” -19th Century Spanish poet G.A. Bécquer
Disclaimer: I would like to kindly thank Ramon Monegal for the bottle of Oud on Fire very generously provided for this review. My opinions are my own.
Neringa Svobutaite, Contributor
Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire photo by Neringa
Thanks to the generosity of Ramon Monegal, we have one 50 ml bottle of Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire Extrait de Parfum ($315) for one reader residing in the US or EU. The draw is for registered readers, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know where you live and what you enjoyed about Neringa’s review of Ramon Monegal Oud on Fire. You can also tell us about your favorite Ramon Monegal perfume. Draw closes on 6/7/2021
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