I love deep wood fragrances, the deeper the better. I'm trying to think of a fragrance with too much wood for my taste, and probably one exists but offhand I can't think of what it would be. You can pile on the cedar or the redwoods or the sandalwood: bring it on, I'm happy. Few woods are deeper and richer than agarwood (aka aloeswood, and sometimes called oudh). Agarwood is now threatened in the wild due to overharvesting, and scarcity and high prices mean that much of the "oudh" used in incense and perfumery today is synthetic or adulterated to one degree or another.
The French niche line Montale specializes in oudh perfumes, and their Aoud Roses Petals is a favorite of mine. Aoud Roses Petals is a study in contrasts — a light, dewy rose brightens deeper wood notes of agarwood, teak and cedar. It is rich and spicy but not at all overwhelming, and the later dry down is beautifully soft and enveloping.
Black Aoud also features rose and oudh, but the notes are handled quite differently here. As with many agarwood perfumes, a bitter medicinal haze (rather like medicated bandages) seems to float over the top notes; here, the medicinal notes are joined by heavy leather. Unless you adore leather, and the more of it the better, you may find that the first 10 minutes are rather hard to take. The blend softens considerably as the opening notes dissipate and are joined by sandalwood and rose. In keeping with the general noir atmosphere, the rose here is a dark, murky rose, nothing at all like the fresh, rosewater-ish rose of Aoud Roses Petals.
Black Aoud is dark, earthy and dry, with light but dusty spice notes. It has a rawness about it — even late into the dry down it remains essentially undomesticated, and Aoud Roses Petals, while not exactly something you'd wear to tea, smells comparatively tame and well-mannered. I find anything with oudh sexy, but Black Aoud, with its animalic notes, is more overtly so than some of the others in the Montale line. I should add that my husband would most strenously disagree with "sexy": he finds anything with appreciable amounts of oudh intolerable. You can imagine his dismay as I walked around the house last night with Black Aoud and White Aoud on one arm, Aoud Roses Petals and Aoud Lime on the other. He swore he could smell me from anywhere in the house, and perhaps it was so.
Black Aoud in particular doesn't feel heavy, but it is potent stuff, and perhaps not for the faint-hearted. I still like Aoud Roses Petals better but it would be nice to have both, although for my husband's sake, perhaps it would be best to wear only one at a time.
Montale Black Aoud is approximately $150 for 50 ml, $210 for 100 ml of Eau de Parfum. The lasting power is excellent. For buying information, see the listing for Montale under Perfume Houses.