Blind Oud Test - Results And Discussion

Discussion in 'General' started by powdernose, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    The end of the journey,
    I present the results of the Blind Oud Test.

    Here is a link to the full results, one file, separate tabs.
    Each reviewer's result sheet is included, with their questionnaire and notes (if any) appended to the bottom of their result sheet.
    Then there are the collated results for each panel. In the summary of Panel A I also included the Habzoud results on the right margin, and in the summary of Panel B I included the total result for Sweet trat, i.e. the averages of all 10 reviewers: Oud Test Panels.2.xlsx?dl=0

    For the sake of quick presentation here is a picture of the Panel A Results cleaned up to essentials:

    Blind Oud Panel A Results.jpg

    The panel converged nicely to give clear separation and winners :)

    And here is the picture of the Panel B Results:

    Blind Oud Panel B Results.jpg

    There was a bit of clashing in this panel, to create a hot beautiful mess :). Only marginal wins.

    Before the discussion or reactions begin, I would like to remind everyone to be cordial and polite. A lot of work and generosity went into this endeavour.
    The reviewers went into this completely blind, and unless you've ever tried blind testing you may not realise just how hard it is to be stripped of all information and all helping crutches, it takes some courage to tackle this task. Each and every one of the reviewers did a fantastic job, and I thank them for their time and efforts; I defend all their reviews 100%.
    The same consideration should also go for all the benefactors/vendors; the generosity shown was unprecedented. Each and every sponsor put their faith in the community to review their oils, they showed confidence in their products, and great patience and trust in the overall process. A huge thank you gentlemen!
    With regard to the participating oils though, every comment is fair game. The point was to see how a set of oud oils would be received if we stripped them of all extrinsic information.

    I also hope that we don't stop at the result sheets. Just because the process is over, doesn't mean we can not discuss and continue to learn from both reviewers and vendors.

    I am open to all and any questions regarding this process, with the provision that you have read through the process before engaging:
    There are plenty of answers in that thread and I have no intention of repeating myself :)

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Fahad, EHV, Tarik and 11 others like this.
  2. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan

    @powdernose thanks for all your efforts you really have done a great job and so much detail and transparency. Just looking over the results did the Habzoud oils come top of the charts? Sorry for the confusion of sending you the wrong ammounts of oil, hopefully next time its correct :thumbsup:
    powdernose likes this.
  3. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Hey Habz, no worries.

    All three Habzoud oils scored very well, but they only had one review each,
    it would have been interesting to see how they averaged out if there was full representation.
    Also, looking at which styles did well, I feel if Zamarad had competed it would have done really well.
    Joe King, Aleata and Habz786 like this.
  4. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan

    @powdernose yes i think it would have been very interesting, hopefully next time i will fully participate. This is the best way for non vendor biased views. A big thank you to yourself as you put in alot of time and effort into this great initiative and all those who contributed :)
  5. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Thank you for recognising the time and effort that went into this!
    Aleata and Habz786 like this.
  6. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    @powdernose and all the respected referees and reviewers

    All's well that ends well. I strongly recommended this Blind Test Project. Just to brush away my ever escalating perplexity and doubts about oils and olfactory.

    Rating calculated from the reviews by Panel I and Panel II is interesting. More than stunning. What has the oil Fajr done!? Savagely dynamited certain paradigms. And Oud Trat by PureOud is a new story.

    Dear powdernose, I thank you for all what you did to make me think rationally and logically.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  7. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    In Panel 1, there are four well experienced participants, and one, as per my inference, is a bit less experienced. While in Panel II, three participants are well experienced, and two participants are comparatively less experienced. One thing is interesting for me, I feel there are only two participants out of ten who belong to the regions where Oud has not been introduced by someone. Both of those participants are in Panel II;).
    PersonelHigh, Arsalan and powdernose like this.
  8. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    O my goodness, I just read the perceived value, prices of the oils:eek: but ;). PureOud is going to revise its price list.:Roflmao:
  9. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Dear Rai,

    Yes, Fajr has done exceedingly well! It is a smooth oil with nuance.
    I find it doubly interesting because of the stigma that the 'cultivated' descriptor carries.
    Personally, I'm happy to see that cultivated (done well) can produce such results. In truth, as users I think we should be a lot more supportive of such sustainable approaches.

    I hope not! :Cautious:
    It was a bonus to receive an oil that is actually decent and solid. I was pleasantly surprised.
    And as for another cultivated Trat, Peche, even though it did not perform that well in the test, I think it is evident from the 'notes' list that it has a good range of scent and has a unique facet to it.

    The 'perceived value' is one of the more speculative values of the test,
    but nonetheless it remains useful in providing perspective and context.
    I also think it hints at the collective conditioning we have received regarding how oud pricing should scale.

    Yes, the plan was always to have at least one nose per panel that was newer to oud.
    That intention was made clear in the origin thread.
    If you recall, we discussed 'virgin' noses. In a way I'm a bit regretful I didn't get Woodland Note earlier :p

    Interesting point.
    If you see my invite list, you'll see that I was all inclusive, and that I always tried to keep this test, worldwide.
    Also, I don't think there is any trend to be found in the point you bring up :)
    Let me know if you spot something I don't.

    We should all strive for such thinking. :)

    Thank you for your feedback,
    always a pleasure
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  10. Edward Muller

    Edward Muller Oud Fan

    Thank you so much for organizing ! The experience was really enjoyable - it went from just wearing an oud, to really dissect and study them.
    Really surprised by the Fajr from ASO ! That was the second oil that pegged my interest after FHI, very beautiful
  11. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

    Hats off to powdernose, I have to say as a perfumer and someone who is also involved in oudh and perfumery at an academic level the way powdernose has carried out this testing is professional, transparent and educational. If the forum had more of such content I know many people would flock to this forum to gain educational benefit beyond reviews and oudhs of the day. I hope we see more of such initiatives where the members can really engage, get benefit learn and shake off preconceptions.

    Talking about preconceptions, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of Fajr. To see Fajr as the winner was beyond our expectations knowing there would be many wild oudhs. I always knew that organic oudh carried with it a kinda of 'cheap' stigma. This was further confirmed every time we released an organic oil, the sales would not be anywhere close to the wild oils. It would take a long time before people would warm up to it and multiple reviews confirming it's excellence, only then would people take the jump.

    With Fajr it is no different, looking at the stats, all the sales to date for Fajr have been to non ouddict members apart from one. When you see the results for Fajr being the clear over all winner in a blind test, yet no interest for it from the community that says a lot about the power of preconceptions. We need to change our outlook as a community and evaluate organic oudh on merit and not habbit if we really want a future of oudh for our kids.

    What is really surprising whilst the Arabian gulf oudh market gets a regular beating on forums, they are much more accepting of organic oudh, to the extent that if the scent quality is present they don't even question whether organic or wild.

    great work to all involved and especially @powdernose!
    jensz, EHV, rojas and 14 others like this.
  12. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

    Thank you all for all the work involved, especially powdernose! This was such an interesting test to read about. Awesome that a cultivated oil was the best rated. Makes me even more excited to try the different cultivated oud oils from the vendors. I was actually most interested in these from the start of my oud journey but could never find any reviews of these on the forum. So this was a really pleasant surprise.
    jensz, Joe King, Aleata and 3 others like this.
  13. Nadeem

    Nadeem Resident Artisan

    @powdernose has pulled off an amazing bit of work here. It’s initiatives like this that make this community what it is.
    rojas, Joe King, Aleata and 5 others like this.
  14. alcolado glacial

    alcolado glacial Oud Fan

    Really well done powdernose! It's a pleasure reading the results not the least to say very surprising:thumbsup:
    Sproaty, Woodland Note and powdernose like this.
  15. Arsalan

    Arsalan Oud Fan

    Awesome contribution @powdernose !
    Great work by all involved!

    Impressive response to ASO Fajr indeed!

    Another standout for me was the overall rating and specifically responses by @Shabby & @Rasoul Salehi to IO’s 2002 excellent well priced classic...
    Thanks for sharing a great find @Faheem, @Faizal_p & team IO!

    Would have been nice to see the wider response to @Habz786’s offerings...guess we will have to wait for the next round!
    jensz, Aleata, Habz786 and 4 others like this.
  16. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Thank you for participating :)

    Thank you! :praying:

    Also thanks to @Nadeem, @Grega @alcolado glacial and @Arsalan

    Excellent points, both about challenging preconceptions, and also about how we need to consider the future of oudh.

    Yes, good catch. It also took 3 out of 5 'time factor' marks.
    The Cambodi is a nice comforting classic, and it was good to see a more traditional oud get some love.
    I've noticed lately there's a trend to snub traditional ouds, they have almost become passé, or at least are no match for the excitement that 'ethereal' ouds garner.

    Are you organising? :Roflmao::Roflmao::Roflmao:
  17. PersonelHigh

    PersonelHigh Whats this Oud About?

    You did an amazing job POWDERNOSE, much work. I hope you will do it again. Although you probably won't be in the mood for awhile. I'm still digesting. Can't help thinking how psychological much of this, the smells of our childhood, early memories, at least for me. I look forward to learning more and seeing where this all goes. I still maintain love is personal.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  18. Aleata

    Aleata Oud Mood

    You did such an exceptional work Powdernose!
    Thank you very much, it has been a great pleasure to participate to this experience!
    The results are very interesting indeed. I personally loved "Fajr", it was my 1st choice.
    I hope that this test will helps us to progress and relativize.
  19. Shabby

    Shabby Junior Member

    @powdernose, you were phenomenal old chap.

    How amazing to see these results. Humiliating in some ways and liberating in all ways!

    As a reviewer I have to say above all what caught my attention was the 'artisanal' aspect. That was what excited me or bored me about the sample. It was not necessarily the quality of the raw materials, but the 'life' in it.

    Thanks to all who took part and especially @powdernose and the benefactors. An amazing step forward in the oud world. Please count me in for the next one!!
  20. Joe King

    Joe King AttitOud

    Big thank you to all who helped set up and took part in this :clapping:
    As a relative novice nose I found this challenging but rewarding and comparing my observations with much more talented noses I have some hope that I can get some of the notes/regions etc right.:rolleyes: I think going forward this has helped how I evaluate oils.
    The results were very interesting, my first observation was pricing, especially of how cultivated oils were perceived to be of higher value :Geek:and second how one vendors oils were both more than double their perceived value :Cautious:.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

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