Last year, at Pitti Fragranze, African perfumer Catherine Omai presented her first, oud- based scent: Contagious. It was our instant love – and today we are coming back with more details, “He says, she says” review plus the international sample draw.

Catherine Omai with her Contagious fragrance – the line of four candles: Igi, Omi, Ewe and Ata has been also showcased. Photo by Persefume.

About Catherine Omai: My journey into the world of perfumery was accidental but predestined, my childhood had a major role to play in my passion and love for fragrances, when I was little girl the trail and silage of fragrances that my father left in a room after exiting was always fascinating to me and as a chubby child growing up , fashion wasn’t really a path for me to express myself, so I believed the only other way to make a statement and to boost my confidence was to wear very nice perfumes, not being able to afford those type of fragrances at a young age, my parents dressing table became my little lab, pouring and mixing different fragrances into small vials so they wouldn’t notice their fragrances depleting, but as I grew older my curiosity and quest for fragrances became prominent.
I wanted something more, something unique, something that made me stand out, something detailed and outstanding, I started going to The Perfume Studio in central London after much research to curate my own unique fragrances the more I curated the more my fragrance pallet yearned for more, after a couple of years of curating my own fragrances I decided to go study perfumery at the Galimard School of Perfumery in Grasse, shortly after I moved back to Africa and started a business in bespoke perfume creations under the brand name Mystiquee Bespoke Perfumery, curating individual fragrances for thousands for people across Africa for over 9 years, it was exhilarating and exciting meeting different people every day from different cultures and backgrounds, that journey has brought me to where I am today, to tell the story behind the strength, passion, perseverance, love, and peace through the sense of smell bring forth the spirit of the African people that is so courageous in its simplicity and contagious in its depth, it has to be experienced by all, to watch, to learn, to grow, to explore, this is what has brought to life the fragrance line “Contagious”. (edit: Catherine Omai has just been nominated as new member of Fragrance Foundation UK)


An unrivaled blend of cultures just like the rich tradition of the African continent where “heart” is everything. Contagious is a gender-neutral fragrance that contains a fabulously indulgent and rarely extracted Oud in its natural state, this remarkable and unique material has been skilfully cradled in a base of Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Ambergris and Labdanum to create an unforgettable experience.
The bottle of the new fragrance is wrapped in pristine Aso-Oke, the traditional fabric handcrafted and popular among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, It is reserved for very special occasions. Encased in wooden box enamored with a luxury lacquer finish, preserving the story embodied in the fragrance.

A strong, deeply passionate,intense and long lasting fragrance that encapsulates the animistic culture of the African Safari to traditional medicinal believe of plant extracts to the coastline of the sea, the fragrance takes you on a remarkable and invigorating journey of history and culture.

Notes: Oud, Oakmoss, Labdanum, Ambergris, Castoreum, Civet and Musk

Our short impressions:

Jakub: What a quality! Real oud, nothing synthetic here! It has been masterfully combined with dry incense. resins and slightly animalic base. The name has been so properly chosen – Contagious fills in the room with its aroma bringing the feel of both nostalgy and power.

Aleksandra: Pretty straight oud. Dense, sour, lots of dry woods as companions. Traces of bitter smoke and animalic ingredients. Nothing surprising, but maybe that’s why I can wear it with pleasure.

Catherine Omai Contagious is available as rich EdP 100ml, £375.00. Samples are also available via the official e-shop.


Thanks to Catherine Omai, we are offering two 2ml spray samples (one per each winner). Are you curious about Contagious? What are your favourite oud creations? Just comment under this article to enter the draw (comments are being moderated and will appear after our approval). Two winners will be chosen via on 08 July 2020, announced under this post day later and also informed by us via email. Best luck and follow our socials not to miss the next draws!

Pictures, samples and quotes by Catherine Omai. Opinions – our own.