Arabian Oud is a Saudi niche house that is, by far, the largest Middle Eastern perfume brand. It even won a Guinness World Record for the best-selling unisex perfume brand in the world.
As the name of the brand implies, Arabian Oud is mostly known for its oud-based perfumes. However, the house also releases a number of perfumes in a “Western” style, one of which is the subject of this review: Amiri.
“Amiri” translates to “son of Amir”, “Amir” meaning “prince”. But is this really a fragrance fit for a prince?
Arabian Oud’s Amiri is a fresh, clean, and warm fragrance that is suitable for all seasons and occasions. While not exceptionally unique, it is a high quality composition with strong performance and a lavish presentation that justifies its somewhat hefty price tag.
Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at Arabian Oud’s Amiri.
Top Notes: bergamot, pink pepper, Mandarin orange
Middle Notes: cedar, patchouli, nutmeg
Base Notes: musk, sandalwood, amber, vanilla
Amiri is a fairly simple and linear kind of fragrance, meaning that it doesn’t change much throughout the wearing. However, the scent that is presented is quite pleasant: fresh, spicy, clean, with a warm, woody, creamy heart.
The fragrance opens with a blast of juicy citrus, particularly Mandarin orange, which is less sharp and citric than it is sweet. The orange combines with prickly pink pepper and nutmeg for a zingy intro that makes you think that you’re in for a fresh and breezy ride.
However, this freshness quickly dissipates as the main accord of the fragrance takes over: namely, woods, and lots of them.
This is a fragrance primarily centered around cedar, sandalwood, musk, and a molten core of amber, vanilla, and patchouli.
If you like cedar, this is definitely one to check out. The cedar here is dry and slightly powdery, without much of that “sharpened pencil” smell that is common in other cedar-based scents. I can easily detect the cedar as cedar, but all of its harsh edges are smoothed away as it is subsumed in creamy sandalwood and amber.
For some, the attraction of a woody fragrance are those harsh edges. But you’ll get none of that here. Like most Arabian Oud fragrances, Amiri is focused on being streamlined, rich, and blended to perfection.
As the fragrance dries, the vanilla-amber heart comes to the fore, along with creamy musk. In the deep drydown, you’re left with a smooth, warm, ambery scent with sprinklings of spice and flakes of wood.
It’s only a very lightly sweet scent beyond the opening, so those who aren’t fans of sweet fragrances might find a lot to love here.
If I were to describe Amiri in a few words it would be: smooth, creamy, woody, fresh, spicy, clean, and elegant.
It’s not a particularly complex scent, but it is very pleasant; I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who might find it disagreeable in any way shape or form.
The house of Arabian Oud is known for its incredibly ornate and lavish presentations. As someone who owns two other Arabian Oud fragrances in addition to Amiri, this one takes the cake in terms of luxuriousness by far.
Let’s talk about the boxes this fragrance comes in.
Yes, you read that right. I said boxes, plural.
First, you have to remove the boxes from the bag. Every Arabian Oud fragrance comes with its own, personalized bag. This one is grey, and has a circular symbol in silver with the name of the fragrance written in Arabic.
Then, you’ll have an outer box. The outer box is the same color as the bag, and features the same circular, grated chrome symbol, raised this time.The outer box seems to be made of very stout cardboard.
Then you have the inner box. This is, again, the same color as the bag and the outer box, with the same emblem. Made of stout plastic this time, it opens to a velvety little niche into which the bottle fits snugly.
The lid closes magnetically, too, by the way.
Overall, the packaging is very impressive, albeit a little bit extra. But aren’t we all a bit extra sometimes?
The bottle is a big ol’ honkin’ buster. This is far and away the heaviest bottle that I’ve ever owned, heavier even than a Parfums de Marly bottle. It weighs a solid 4.5 lbs (2 kg), almost the same weight as a newborn infant.
That’s because this thing is metal.
The same metal grating as the logo on the two boxes is here featured in the design of the bottle. The grating is wrapped around the top portion of the bottle, and the same texture is applied to the cap. The bottom of the bottle is itself weighty, weighty glass. This thing could double as a bludgeoning weapon, seriously.
The cap is an absolute gem, It’s magnetic, and it makes an enormously satisfying clang when it collides with the top of the bottle.
The sprayer is also incredible, shooting out a veritable firehose of juice with each spray.
It’s similar in design to Dunhill’s Icon, which is itself a pretty heavy and well made bottle, but this one just blows it out of the water in lavishness.
Overall, the presentation for Amiri is phenomenal, and it’s well worth keeping the bag and boxes it comes in. You can always use them for extra storage, anyway.
Like most Arabian Oud fragrances, Amiri has excellent performance.
On my skin, Amiri has well above average longevity.
Two to three sprays give me nine to ten hours of longevity, and more on fabric.
This is a fragrance that lasts all day and then some, and is even still detectable after a shower.
If you’d like even more longevity, of course, you can increase the number of sprays you apply. However, I would caution you not to go too heavy on the trigger.
Projection & Sillage
The projection and sillage of Amiri, like the longevity, is quite strong.
Two to three sprays give me about three or four hours of consistent projection and arm’s length sillage.
Of course, you can get more projection if you dial up your sprays, but this is a strong fragrance. I’ve had people say that it’s very much present and smellable from across the room with just two sprays. This is a brand that definitely gives you some bang for your buck, so it’s best to err on the side of discretion, rather than dousing yourself in the stuff.
Just a few sprays will give you a very nice scent bubble and leave behind a lovely trail. This isn’t a beast mode screechy screamer of a fragrance, but it will get you noticed and it will be able to be smelled by almost everyone.
The scent profile is attractive and totally inoffensive, so you’ll likely get positive comments from its projection. Don’t mess that up by spraying on too much.
Value For Money
The value for money for Amiri is pretty decent.
This is a luxury product, and, again, you will have to be the kind of person who is willing to drop more than $20 on a fragrance to even really get any value from this kind of thing.
In the USA, Amiri retails for $280 for a 75 ml bottle. However, in the Middle East, it’s significantly cheaper, going for around $160.
Unlike a brand like, say, Chanel, Arabian Oud often puts their fragrances on sale. For instance, at the time of writing, Amiri is on sale on the Arabian Oud US website for a discounted price of $196. On the UAE website, it’s going for around $88.
Around Islamic holidays, like Ramadan and Eid, the whole collection from Arabian Oud goes on sale, often for significant discounts. Furthermore, Amiri is readily available from a number of sellers on Ebay. I myself acquired my bottle that way, paying a grand total of $140 USD including shipping.
So, although the retail price is pretty steep, and not really worth it in my opinion, there are ample opportunities to buy Amiri at a discount. I would wager that most of that money is going towards Amiri’s over-the-top presentation, which is admittedly very high quality.
So I would say that if you like this style of fragrance, want something with an amazing presentation, and can find it discounted, Amiri is pretty well worth the money.
Who Would Like It
Though the name implies that it’s a fragrance only suited for royalty, I would argue that this is a fragrance that almost anyone could appreciate.
If you are a man in your 20s or 30s, want something fresh, clean, woody, spicy, and mass appealing, this is probably going to be right up your alley. It is not challenging in any way shape or form, nor does it really smell “Middle Eastern” in any way. There’s no rose, oud, or incense to speak of.
Who would like Amiri?
Pretty much anyone, as long as you’re a guy. I’m a proponent of unisex fragrances and wear a few female fragrances myself, but something about this strikes me as solidly male. Of course, if you’re a girl, you do your thing.
When To Wear It
This is a versatile, Swiss Army Knife of a fragrance that you can wear anytime, anywhere.
Given its relative freshness and classiness, I think this would be ideal as an office scent in the warmer months. However, there is enough wood, vanilla, amber, and patchouli to give Amiri legs for fall and winter as well, and indeed, I have worn it in those circumstances.
This would also do well on dates, casual hangouts, or even to more formal occasions.
Really, you can wear Amiri at almost any time. It would be a perfect signature scent for a guy who doesn’t want to own many fragrances.
I haven’t smelled any fragrance that smells exactly like Amiri. However, there are certainly fragrances out there that will give you a similar experience.
First and foremost, I should mention two other fragrances by Arabian Oud itself: Al Fareed and Sultani. Both are similar to Amiri in different ways. Al Fareed is darker, with a base of oud and ambergris, and more floral, while Sultani is spicier, fruitier, and more floral as well. Al Fareed goes for around $225 USD, while Sultani goes for $270 in the US.
Another Middle Eastern perfume with a similar concept and feel is Chic Shaik No. 70 by the house of Shaik. This is another rich woody fragrance with an emphasis on cedar, sandalwood, musk, and patchouli, with a citrusy opening.
Finally, a Western fragrance similar vibe would be Chanel’s Bleu de Chanel Parfum. The parfum concentration of the popular Bleu de Chanel features a big dose of sandalwood, and has a similar emphasis on citruses with a warm, elegant drydown.
Pros & Cons
- High quality and appealing fragrance.
- Excellent performance.
- Opulent presentation.
- Not the most exciting scent.
- Expensive, though discounts are available.
- Only available in a select few countries.
The Final Word
Overall, Arabian Oud’s Amiri is a classy, smooth, manly, fresh, spicy, and clean fragrance that is suitable for all occasions and seasons. It has excellent performance, an incredibly lavish presentation, and, although it is expensive, there are several discount options available.
I do enjoy Amiri and wear it often, but there is something about it which just doesn’t excite me. I much prefer the other two Arabian Oud fragrances I own, Resala and Kashmir. It is great as a grab-and-go fragrance that you can throw on and know that you smell great. However, it doesn’t really engage me in any way, and if I had to sum it up, I would say that it’s a nice, solid 7.5/10.
However, I’m not using a score out of 10 system here, so I’ll leave you with this.
★★★☆☆ 3.5 stars out of 5