By Jacqueline Gifford
June 08, 2015
Diana Vreeland Oud perfume
Credit: Courtesy of Diana Vreeland

I’ll confess: I’m a perfume junkie, someone who hoards bottles on her nightstand like a crazy person. But it’s for a good, travel-related cause: one spritz of a standout perfume, and I’m instantly transported to another place. With Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino, it’s to the shores of Italy, where I imagine myself gliding on a yacht, cocktail in hand. With Chanel No. 5, it’s to the streets of Paris, a city I love for its wine, cheese, and, yes, couture.

With Daringly Different, the new oud-based scent from Diana Vreeland Parfums, I’m brought to the Middle East, where I grew up. When creating the scent, Pascal Gaurin and Alexander Vreeland looked to Ms. Vreeland’s own travels: the legendary editor of Vogue often visited the region and developed a deep love for North Africa, particularly Morocco and Tunisia.

Oud—a heady, exotic, almost primal essence—is actually sap harvested from agarwood trees. It’s has become synonymous with the Middle East, where many women prefer heavier fragrances and use oud in their beauty arsenals. But this new scent from Diana Vreeland is balanced by surprising floral notes of iris, Turkish rose, and lily, giving it a fresh, light twist. I typically avoid wearing oud in the summer months, because it can be quite overpowering, but this perfume is practically heat proof.

If you want to get in on a major beauty trend, snap up an oud-based fragrance for yourself. Over the past few years, major brands, including Tom Ford, Dior, and Ralph Lauren, have seen a shift in the preference from overly sweet perfumes and colognes to heavier, more exotic scents—and have started created standout scents that always turn heads. The price? $250.

Jacqueline Gifford is a senior editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @jacquigiff.