The Story Begins
My first encounter with Oud left an indelible imprint on my memory. The start of prayer at the mosque was announced by the recital of the Iqama and the congregation gradually rose to their feet to stand shoulder to shoulder in neat lines, row upon row. In the brief moment between the Iqama and the start of the prayer, I noticed a strong and unique fragrance whose wearer, I could not quite pinpoint. My nose told me that it was a person standing somewhere close to me, but I couldn’t identify who.
The scent was unlike any other I had encountered before and the strong, barnyardy scent was overwhelming and I could not ignore it. Although initially unpleasant, the fragrance started to grow on me and now and again, a subtle breeze would carry wafts of this intriguing and complex aroma past me. The smell drew me in further and I found myself wondering what kind of perfume it was and why it had this hold me.
To be honest, I was perplexed as no aroma had made such an impact on me previously. After all, it had this initial barn note that was not exactly associated with high quality perfumery! The prayer ended and I found myself looking around for the source of this strange, but alluring scent, but it rapidly disappeared along with most of the congregation. After the prayer, I looked around to find the person, but he was gone and had taken the enchanting fragrance with him. That was the first time I came across Oud.
After a few years, that experience with Oud was a distant memory as I found myself on a plane to the country of my birth, Bangladesh where I planned to search for a potential wife. However, the months passed with no progress and my psychological state hit a nadir to the extent that considered moving to Thailand to pursue my interest in Mixed Martial Arts. I was not simply looking to get married, but I was looking for direction in my life and hoped that marriage would help steer me in the right direction with its associated responsibilities. After a particularly different day where I had hit rock bottom, I decide to leave things to God and sought solace in prayer as my final attempt at making progress. That was a defining point for me as things turned around swiftly and emphatically and not only did I find a wife, but I found myself at the open door of the Oud trade through this marriage.
A few months later I found myself in the house of my in-laws and as my mother-in-law entered the room carrying a mudkhan (burner), I immediately recognised a familiar aroma! There it was again! The wonderfully complex aroma I experienced in the mosque from years ago and I was intrigued. My mother-in-law noticed my interest and brought out some Oud oil to show me and patiently answered my questions about this mysterious oil that had entered and lay dormant in my subconscious for years. Very quickly, it transpired that the family I had married into had been engaged in the trade across generations spanning decades. Fate or destiny had united me with my wife and with this wonderfully complex fragrance and I couldn’t resist asking my mother-in-law to source me some of the best Oud oil possible. It turned out to be an expensive interest and within a few weeks, I had given my mother-in-law a little over $1000 to purchase some Oud for me. I was so intensely addicted to this exquisite resin with its aroma, intensity, complexity and unique olfactory properties. How could one essential oil have so many different, varied and shifting layers and scent profiles? Flowery, fruity, leathery, smoky, minty, vinegary, the list was never ending! The more I smelled it, the more it seemed to be a powerful force that operated beyond the normal parameters of the sensory.
Shortly after my second encounter, I decided not to wait for years again and instead, took the adventurous steps of entering world of the Oud trade myself in order to share this wonderful product in the West. I was faced with a number of challenges and there have been many lessons learned in order to set up OudBase.
Where We Are Now
Launched in 2019, we are currently operate out of London, England through our online store and events and are setting up distilleries in the UAE and Bangladesh. The mission to share the love of Oud with the world continues!
Our Vision Moving Forward
Oud is truly special. Like most things, there are businesses who abuse the trade and take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Our goal is to provide excellent value and quality assurance by distilling our oils or when unavoidable, offering vintage oils straight from the source, rather than a middleman.