Philip B Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer ~ scented hair product review

Philip B Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer

Are you still following the oud trend in Western perfumery? Can we really even dismiss it as a trend anymore? I'm not sure how we should describe the appearance of oud (or oudh) as a note in perfumes in every category and at every price point. Now our favorite fungus-fighting resin has made its way into the marketing of luxury hair products: this week I tested Philip B Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer, a styling product for wavy and curly hair that not only "leaves curly hair super soft, glossy and beautifully defined — and easier to control than ever," but is "laced with Pure Oud Essence for a light, unisex, sweet-woody scent." 

First, the good news: this product is one of the best curly-wavy styling products I've tried (and I try many!) in a long time. It's a non-sticky cream that applies smoothly and dries without any crunch or greasiness, and it really does define curls without weighing hair down in the process. Even though this isn't a haircare blog, I want to give this testimonial: Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer delivers beautifully on its functional promises.

Second, the news that could be good or bad, depending on your personal taste: Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer does not smell like oud. (For me, this is good news. I'm not an oud fan.) Its ingredients list includes "styrax benzoin resin oil" and vanillin, as well as "fragrance (parfum)," but I can't spot any mention of oud (or any of its aliases, such agarwood or aloeswood). The "sweet-woody" part of the official description is accurate: this product's scent suggests benzoin and tonka bean and synthetic sandalwood and a little bit of cedar, but it lacks oud's dirty, animalic nature. This blend is a gourmand with a light resinous undertone, not a raw woody scent. The fragrance is also remarkably long-lasting: it endures through a work-day, an evening, and a full night's sleep, until I can smell it again in the steamy air of my morning shower.

Last of all, the bad news: Philip B's products are unnervingly over-priced, and Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer is no exception. I suppose the word "Royal" serves as a warning to commoners like myself. (On the other hand, it looks affordable in comparison to Philip B Russian Amber Imperial Conditioning Cream, which rings in at $150 for 6 ounces.) But if you're looking for an excellent styling cream for your curls, and you love woody-vanillic scents in your haircare products, you may wish to pick up the smaller-size version, at least.

Philip B Oud Royal Mega-Curl Enhancer is available in 2 ounce ($18) and 6-ounce ($50) tubes. The Oud Royal line also includes shampoo, conditioner, and other styling products. For more information, visit the Philip B website.

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  1. Stacey C says:

    I love Philip B products, but agree they are overpriced. The good news is they are offered on Gilt Groupe all the time at discounted prices, so I stock up everytime there is a Gilt sale.

    • Jessica says:

      Ah! Good information; thank you!

      I also have a little sample bottle of Philip B’s Peppermint & Avocado shampoo, which I like using once a week for clarifying. I wouldn’t mind owning a big bottle someday, if I can find it on sale!

  2. Dilana says:

    I was also going to notify folks of how to get these products on sale. They are, scent aside, really good hair care products.

    I have not tried the oud, but the lavender one (which is significantly lower in price) is an excellent product and smells nice. It is however, not so heavily scented as to interfere with actual perfume.

    • Jessica says:

      I agree — the quality of this line is good! and the scents are often interesting — the Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner has a tomato-leaf fragrance. The Amber line probably has a very luxurious scent!

      I wish this product were a little less intensely scented, but maybe I’m noticing the fragrance more than anyone around me is.

  3. galbanumgal says:

    Good info, thanks Jessica. Alas, the scent puts me off–hate when I can smell my hair product all day! Currently using Living Proof’s nourishing styling cream, and the scent dissipates quickly.

  4. jovejove says:

    With all this Oudh, I miss the pepper trend. Too many pieces out there now that it just doesn’t have that “well kept secret” feeling of being special anymore. From low quality to high quality, Oudh is getting boring.

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