Oudh Infini is a spectacular extrait de parfum built around Laotian oud and Rose de Mai. If there is one thing that stands about it is that its creator, Pissara Umavijani, has not skimped on quality ingredients.
The oud is the highest grade real oud oil from Laos. The kind Mona di Orio described as having presence. The rose is a sensual Rose de Mai that captures your heart with its beauty. The sandalwood is from Mysore that has depth and complexity no aroma-chemical can reproduce.
The quality ingredients are only half of the story. The other half is the mastery with which Pissara, Ploi Uma to her friends, has blended them together. Oudh Infini has a tune, a steady pace at which it develops. The opening takes its time to evolve into the heart, and the heart slowly morphs into the dry-down.
Oudh Infini doesn’t run through its metamorphosis. It takes its time to walk you through each phase, so you can fully appreciate its facets. At the same time, the composition doesn’t drag its feet, so as to bore you.
Perfectly timed, Oudh Infini is like a Paris Opera Ballet performance. It’s an experience that transforms. The metamorphosis doesn’t happen only on your neck or hand but also in your heart and mind.
After you’ve smelled Oudh Inifini, you’ll never experience perfume in the same way. It will spoil your senses and you will constantly be looking for that depth, radiance and complexity Dusita's fragrances offer.
If you have never heard of Oudh Infini, Ploi Uma, or Dusita, you’re not alone. It wasn’t until several months ago that all three of them took the fragrance world by a storm. The story of Dusita and its founder, Ploi Uma, however, started several years earlier.
Pissara Umajivani is the daughter of the renowned Thai poet Montri Umajivani. In an interview with Fragrantica, Pissara says she first fell in love with vintage fragrances. Living in Bangkok, they were hard to come by. She spent hours with a friend smelling and talking about perfume.
Pissara didn’t start making fragrances until 2011. Around the same time she moved to Paris bringing with her some of her compositions. After receiving a positive feedback and encouragement from Francois Henin from Jovoy, Pissara decided to follow his advice and launch her own perfume brand.
She says her passion for fragrances pushed her to get into perfumery. The lesson how to follow her passion, however, came from her father. Pissara shares that “regardless of society’s norm, he was proud to be a full time poet”. At his deathbed she vowed that no matter what she ended up doing in life, she would make sure more people read and appreciate his poetry.
The inspiration for each fragrance came from different life experiences but they all are united by one common thread – Dusita. The word means paradise in Thai and, as Ploi explains, it is a place where “one can express oneself with passion”.
In her interview with Fragrantica, Ploi says she wanted to recreate an abstract oud blend with Oudh Infini. She recalls working with real Oud Palaos from Thailand has been one of her greatest challenges as a perfumer.
Loving a challenge, however, is not the only reason why Ploi chose to use only real oud oil in her composition. She says:
“Agarwood is also a sacred ingredient in my culture. There are many poems written about it. I intended to use only real Agarwood Oil because I want people to appreciate the beauty of real Agarwood and to know that it is still possible to use novel ingredients if we choose to.”
Dusita’s website describes Oudh Infini as: “An opulent and irresistible new Oudh accord with a rich, rare and exhilarating fragrance. Inspired by the mystery of exotic adventure and discovery - resonant with a sensual Rose de Mai. Elegantly alluring, richly sophisticated.”
You don’t need a description to tell you Oudh Infini is different. It becomes evident at first sniff. Here’s how:
What Oudh Infini Smells Like
If you have never smelled real oud oil, you won’t like it. Similarly to other fine things in life, real oud can be off-putting.
After my first sip of wine, I wondered how, on earth, can anyone drink this. When I first smelled real oud oil I wondered how on earth can anyone love this. Yet, somehow, just like good wine, good oud gets to you. It may turn you off but you crave it. You search the spot where you sprayed your hand and inhale thirstily.
Here’s the secret to wine and oud oil. The harder it is to love it, the deeper you fall for it. This is what happened to me and Oudh Infini.
I bought a bottle of Oudh Infini without smelling it first. When I sprayed it on my hand for the first time, I got a slap in the face. A bright juicy rose and harsh woody accord invaded my nostrils. I pulled my hand back. This smelled nothing like the ouds I had known. Even the more challenging high-end releases from by Kilian and Amouage smelled nothing like this.
Dawn in the sky:
a tiny stream of gold
flows and expands,
until it covers the whole sky
and turns itself into silver - Montri Umajivani
Cautiously, I took another sniff. There was so much to absorb, my nose and brain went haywire. I picked out a rich scent of honeyed rose. It reminded me of the rose accord in some Middle Eastern fragrances. The rose in Oudh Infini, however, was less sweet and more radiant. It was offset by a rich dark woody accord. The kind of wood that splinters. It was the Laotian oud.
I let the fragrance settle on my skin and went about my evening. I didn’t notice much projection after the first hour since application but I did detect the evolution of the fragrance. The rose accord quieted down and the oud started taking a centre stage.
Some describe the smell of the real Laotian oud as the smells of blue cheese, barnyard or the sweetness of someone who hasn’t showered in a long time. My first wear of Oudh Infini didn’t reveal this. I did get some subdued sweetness and the salty aroma of blue cheese. All other elements were escaping me.
At the three-hour mark after the application, the sandalwood started emerging. It was rich, creamy, and with a certain spice. What stood out for me was that the sandalwood here was thorny too. It wasn’t the clean creamy pleasant note you find in many commercial fragrances (e.g. Tam Dao or Santal 33). The sandalwood in Oudh Infini is the real thing, presented with all its thorns and beauty.
When Oudh Infini reached its final stage, I didn’t know what to do with it. The dry-down was smooth, creamy sandalwood with a touch of vanilla and musk. During this first test of Oudh Infini, this was my favourite part.
I dropped on the bed and exhaled. Oudh Inifini had conquered me. I didn’t know what to make of it but I knew that it is a fragrance that would take several wears to fully understand. The complexity and richness were unsurpassed.
On the next morning, I decided to play it safe and not to wear Oudh Infini to work. The previous night’s wear didn’t reveal a beast mode projection but what I may find timid, others may see as overwhelming.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Oudh Infini during the day. I tried to understand intellectually what this scent was about. All I could affirm was that I needed to put it on again. It had a certain aura about it that kept haunting me all day.
During my second wear Oudh Infini started to make sense. I got a feel of the rhythm of the fragrance. What I had found difficult or thorny during my first wear was now appealing and attractive.
This time around, I picked out more of the dry, edgy oud accord in the opening. The sweetness of the Rose de Mai was still there but not as present as it had appeared the night before. The rose started to bloom more fully after 20 minutes of application. It remained in the background and never overtook the composition.
The multiple facets of the oud appeared more defined and present during this second wear. The blue cheese accord was more pronounced and I could detect more skankiness. Even today, five wears later, I still can’t pick out anything particularly animalic in the composition but I suppose it is just my nose.
As I traveled throughout the magical world of Oudh Infini I could sense some familiarity. I could see some order. If my first wear was a wild ride in the jungle, my second one was a well-paced safari where I could enjoy my surroundings.
Oudh Infini slowly transitioned into its heart of oud and sandalwood. This time the sandalwood note appeared more pleasant and not as sharp. It still had splinters on it but this time they drew me in. I liked that the sandalwood accord was not clinically clean. That roughness made it look natural.
Oudh Infini, from the beginning to the end, is characterized by a certain elegant, subdued sweetness. By no means is this a sweet or resinous fragrance. Not at all. If anything, I would classify it as woody. Yet, in its background there is a thread of sweetness that runs throughout its development.
I don’t think this thread of sweetness is due to just one ingredient. I suspect it’s a blend, a common element in all main notes in the composition. The Laotian oud, rose, sandalwood and, of course the vanilla, all have a streak of sweetness. If tuned the right way, this common thread could run throughout the life of the fragrance and provide some continuity.The execution of the common element in Oudh Infini is superb and speaks to the mastery of Pissara. The technical execution of the fragrance has been done so well that it is a true pleasure to wear it.
Where to Rock It
When you first smell Oudh Infini you'll tell yourself: there is no way I can wear this anywhere. Once you get to know it better, however, you'll tell yourself: there is no way I cannot wear this everywhere.
Oudh Infini is the type of scent that becomes a second nature. It is not what your perfume smells like but what you smell like.
If I tell you, you cannot wear Oudh Inifni in a hot weather that would be a lie. In the Middle East people wear oud fragrances all the time and they don't have a shortage of hot weather.
The odd thing about oud is that, while it is a warm scent, it also has the property to cool you down. Because it is not sweet, it doesn't turn heavy or cloying.
Oudh Infini behaves in a similar way. It doesn't overpower you in a warm weather, nor does it turn cloying.
If you don't buy this year-round thing, then wear Oudh Infini in the winter. This is the time when it will truly shine.
Oudh Inifini is a fragrance that will make you feel comfortable and luxurious. It's probably not the best choice for the office unless "the office" for you is a palace suite with a mahogany desk and fireplace.
Oudh Infini would work well for formal occasions but I see myself wearing it mostly casually. Fancy dinners with friends, drinks at posh cocktail bars, or just reading by the fire is where I see myself wearing Oudh Infini.
If you are in your early twenties and you wan to wear Oudh Infini, make sure you have the style and sophistication to go with it.
Oudh Infini is like a Corneliani jacket. It will look great with pretty much any outfit but you wouldn't want to wear it with sweatpants and sneakers.
What the Other Frag Heads Say about Oudh Infini
“Plush cream ripples out over the wood which initially, in the earliest minutes, smells like soft, sweet, baby goats…then ripe chevre goat cheese with a sliver of Gorgonzola blue cheese, before it takes on the tell-tale roar of true, real, hardcore agarwood: dirty musk; furry goat and camel barnyard animalics with serious teeth; rawhide leather; lightly spiced earthiness; damp, wet soil; and a touch of smoke.”
Kafka’s description is almost as captivating as the fragrance itself. Admittedly, I don’t get the baby goat nuance Kafka describes. Being a city boy, I can’t say I have a strong memory reference to the smell of a goat. When it comes to picking out the cheese accord, however, I nail it. I don’t get a goat cheese but more of the salty-sour nuance of blue cheese or gorgonzola. To be exact, I get the scent left on my fingers after I’ve touched blue cheese.
Kafka continues to describe in vivid detail how she experiences Oudh Infini. I strongly encourage you to read the full review, as it is quite entertaining.
In the end, she concludes,
“Good lord, this is a wonderful fragrance. … Oudh Infini is one of the best perfumes I’ve tried all year. In fact, I think it’s one of the very best ouds on the market from any year. Superb. A huge “Brava” to Ms. Umavijani.”
Jakub from PerseFume writes: "Oudh Infini is one of best ouds around, incredibily opulent, dangerously animalic. It blends beasty and cheesy aspects of oud with roses, vanilla and woods."
Jakub says he loves oud fragrances. He was pleasantly surprised to discover Oudh Infini smells nothing like any other commercial oud fragrance.
Aleksandra, Jakub’s counterpart, adds
“that is what I call a true oud. It is not pretty, it is not even nice. But it is beautiful.”
Aleksandra makes an interesting point: the beauty in Oudh Infini comes from being true to oneself and to the nature of the material.
Indeed, Pissara has blended the oud, rose and sandalwood in a way that you can smell their true character. Perfumers often try to tone down or amp up a certain aspect of a material. They turn down the fecal note of the jasmine or turn up the freshness of the tuberose just so that the fragrance becomes more appealing.
It seems like Pissara has followed a different philosophy. She has presented the materials in Oudh Infini in their true nature. No amping up of their more pleasant facets at the expense of the unpleasant ones. The result is a fragrance, as Aleksandra puts it, true to itself. This is the kind of fragrance you fall in love with because it is the real deal.
Dusita’s first three fragrances have left a strong impression with the father of fragrance reviews, Luca Turin. In his brief post on Dusita, he says that one of the rarest ways for a perfumer to be original is to have her own voice that carries from one fragrance to the next.
After smelling all three of Dusita’s creations, Luca concludes that what ties them together is Pissara’s signature in each one of them. The common element Luca is referring to is a grey fog feel, a certain muting of the bright accords.
Reflecting on Luca’s observation, Oudh Infini has a certain character of muteness. I can’t say it is a common element as I haven’t smelled Issara and Melodie de l’Amour but it is present…if you know to look for it.
Overall, Luca Turin is impressed with Pissara’s creations:
“One thing is for sure: she has certainly managed to snare a new, memorably poetic essence and bottle it. Really fine work.”
The Bottom Line
Oudh Infini is a magnificent fragrance. Pissara has dared to create a perfume that is strikingly bold, authentic and, therefore beautiful. The quality of Oudh Infini is unsurpassed. It’s the most realistic oud fragrance I’ve smelled all year.
Would you buy Oudh Infini ?
I blind bought my bottle just based on the notes and reviews of Kafka and PerseFume. It’s my best blind buy to-date. Yet, I don’t recommend blind buying Oudh Infini, especially if you haven’t tried real oud fragrances. Get a sample, try it out and let yourself fall in love with it before you buy it.
Would I get compliments wearing Oudh Infini?
If we are talking about getting compliments from a stranger on the street, then no. Oudh Infini is too complex and unique for the average person to grasp it by smelling it in passing. It takes time to fully understand and appreciate it.
If you get any compliments it would be from people familiar with real oud scents and who understand perfumery.
What rating would you give Oudh Infini?
Unquestionably 5 out of 5. It is a true masterpiece deserving nothing less.
Oud Palao, Rose de Mai, Orange Flower Blossom
Vanilla, Musk, Civet