Interviews The House of Oud: New Empathy Pre-launch

The House of Oud: New Empathy Pre-launch

03/18/17 07:15:39 (2 comments)

by: Evgeniya Chudakova

Not so long ago in Moscow we greeted the new fragrance by The House of Oud called Empathy. Our Sanja announced it  in mid-February, but officially the fragrance will be launched at Esxence 2017. But Moscow was among the cities where Empathy was pre-launched, so I had a chance to meet the perfumer Andrea Thero Casotti and to try Empathy.

Empathy bottle

EMPATHY is an olfactory incarnation of a moment that can't be described by words. When your eyes are delighted by the colors of an amazing garden, your thoughts and steps slow down and strong emotions embrace you. EMPATHY tells about the moment when two sister souls meet and recognize each other. It feels like holding your breath, closing your eyes tightly, instinctively because of the storm of emotions. The silence reigns over you, making just a physical appeal into something bigger, a certain energy.

Olfactory interpretation of Silence

Like an intermission in a music score, EMPATHY tells a story of such a silence: this is a cloud of perfection when the words are unnecessary, everything speaks for itself. The colors disappear, the wind calms down and the tension goes away: the emotions change, recalling the songs of water. 

Giving yourself

EMPATHY pays tribute to the nobility of the souls of those of us who – in friendship as in love – give ourselves without reservation. In a world dominated by the emptiness of words and increasingly devoid of real presence, EMPATHY is a reset: it is a chance to settle down and listen to another’s soul, making a gift of our emotive attention. The result is a new awareness, as delicate and profound as the composition. Sweet notes of pear and raspberry flowers open to the fruity heart, spiced with tobacco leaves. 

— The House Of Oud press release

EVGENIYA: Good morning Andrea! If the official premiere of Empathy will be at the upcoming Esxence fair, could you tell me where it was pre-launched besides Moscow?

ANDREA: Untill Esxence the fragrance is exclusive to a very few shops — except for Moscow it's available in one shop in Milan and in Parisian Jovoy where it was shown to the public for the first time at Valentine's day, 2017.


EVGENIYA: The inspiration behind the fragrance and it's idea is clear from the official presentation, but what I found interesting and want to discuss is the similarity between Empathy and Dates Delight. These two fragrances have very similar structures and development where the fruity accord being light as it should be at the start, later penetrates the heart and base accords staying noticeable until the end. Is it characteristic for infusions? (in Empathy there's an infusion of raspberry and in Dates Delight there's an infusion of dates.)

ANDREA: Infusion is something that is not common in the business, it's not what perfumers usually do for normal juices. When you make an infusion, you need time. But the effect it has in a composition makes it immediately recognizable, so, I think, that's why you caught this feeling. Infusion cannot be used in every composition, but when you can use it — it's amazing. I love to do it.


EVGENIYA: You also talked about pear flower...

ANDREA: Well, when playing with the main accord of Empathy, which is tobacco leaves, we wanted it to be fruity. Fruity top notes usually are apple, pineapple or such kinds of things. This time we were looking for something that could create a special moment and the sweetness that pear flower has is totally different from the other fruits. For me it's a feeling of total enjoyment and I thought that it was the right time to use it in order to emphasize the joy that this fragrance should carry.

The House of Oud perfumer Andrea Casotti and Evgeniya Chudakova

The House of Oud perfumer Andrea Casotti and Evgeniya Chudakova

EVGENIYA: And to process pear and raspberry flowers what technique did you use?

ANDREA: It was distillation and Headspace.


EVGENIYA: And how do you get the fruity infusion?

ANDREA: Ok, we are from Italy and we love wine...


EVGENIYA:...ah, ok, I see. [smiling] It's the spirit infusion.

ANDREA: Yes. And the raspberry infusion isn't added in the oil, it's added directly to the methanol water and fragrance. So, we are really experimenting with infusions and I'm happy that you noticed it. It means that it works. Also, pay attention to the new color of the cap — it's not yellow, it's pink gold, because pink is the color of the smoke of the shisha.

The House of Oud perfumer Andrea Casotti and Evgeniya Chudakova

EVGENIYA: By the way, one more thing I wanted to note: the tobacco here really creates an impression of smoking shisha. And the shisha smoke is more like vapour rather than smoke, which is reflected in the tobacco accord of Empathy that is nicely balanced with musk in my opinion. [not so long ago I noticed the smell of fruity shisha at one Moscow terrace and the feeling was really similar to Empathy] Maybe my impression isn't totally right, but the feelings when you notice shisha smoke and cigarette or pipe smoke are different, the shisha one is more humid and smooth.

ANDREA: Yes, it's like a white fog or white cloud. In Empathy we used the fruity tobacco very close to the one that I love for shisha — extremely fruity. And the smoke here doesn't smell like smoke. It smells fruity, it smells watery. Moreover, it's not a hot smoke, it's a cold one. And to the composition we added some birch wood that has a "burnt" touch in order to create the feeling of burning charcoal and some leather effect. And of course we didn't forget to use oud - this time it is from Kiriam, from the west of the country. This oud is very sweet. It's a fantastic ingredient. But again, we want to use oud just as one of the ingredients: we want to let the fragrance dominate the oud, not vice versa.

House of Oud's Empathy

Talking about Empathy, first of all I need to warn the hunters for a tobacco accord — in this case it's for you only if you don't mind bright fruity sweetness present here as a a big-big bowl of raspberry yogurt. All the tobacco-leathery shades are just a background that can be brighter maybe on the very hot skin. On my colder skin, I got raspberry yoghurt and transparent musky smoke far at the background. That's why I'd prefer to feel Empathy not on skin, but as a home scent (which is harmonious with the fragrance's legend).

As a perfumer Andrea has innate good taste and it helps him, dealing with such sweet and bright components, to avoid the cheapness and chaos in fragrant compositions. 

Photo: The House Of Oud, official Russian distributor — Obsidiant.

Evgeniya Chudakova

Executive Editor

Evgeniya studied French and English phylology at the  Linguistic University of Pyatigorsk. 

In 2013 she joined the Fragrantica team as an author and editor. In 2015 she became  Executive Editor of

At this time, Evgeniya resides in Moscow.

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What im delighted to see is a thoughtful idea come to fruition, and not a gourmand note in sight. Ill be testing this house soon.


I need to sample this one and I need to find a perfume from House of Oud that I love because they are beautiful bottles. I tried Almond Harmony and liked it but have similar ones already. I tried Grape Pearls and not really for me. So I will put this on my list, thanks.


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