Agarwood oil thread.

  1. MrP
    I see now, sjh. Thanks.
  2. MrP
    Organic1 - I'd like to think some magnifincense-quality sellers are out there... I got a couple of blah oils from them but 80% were just great and priced as you say. Can't figure out where prices for such oils should be today. I know this is not a popular view here, but i do think reality is being distorted a bit by the high-end luxury niche sellers that get so much focus here, just not sure how much. $200 1/4 I am convinced is a bit steep (not talking about the luxury custom oils) but I'd be wary of stuff at $20 per 1/4 tola.
  3. MrP
    Next time I have some spare $, I will try that first source and report back. They also stock a Lao and Cambodian Oud. Their scent descriptions are generic and copied from Baieido ad copy, but maybe there is a language barrier...
  4. tahasyed
    tahasyed
    The $20/tola oil is something I myself had the good fortune of acquiring and smelling in the past. I say 'good fortune' not because the oil smells great, but because I smell the same thing in other oils I smelled in Dubai as well as Indonesia itself. So it was educational, in a way.

    When I say $20/tola, I am talking about the cost price. You know how much it sells for? $350/tola. Yep, that's what I paid for it. But I happen to know the person who distilled it (met him in Yogyakarta), and the person I had bought it from back in the day told me the cost price.

    So yes, $20/tola is indeed possible. And the same oils are then further 'modified' by the Chinese and/or Singaporeans in West Kalimantan, or they are sent to India and they are mixed with various things and sold as Indian oud. You know that burnt pungent note you smell in a lot of Middle Eastern oud oils? Well, guess what it is. : )

    The reason why $20/tola IS possible is because of simple math.
    sjh, you are absolutely correct in stating that 0.1% yield is pretty much standard. Now, you get the cost of the cheapest possible grade of wood, look at the price, multiply that by 12 (1kg = roughly 12 ml), and you will see that $20/tola is not just possible.... its a reality. And 3 other people who frequent this thread have smelled such an oil (myself, and two more people).

    Oh, and Rasasi's "Dehn Al-Oud Al-Malaki" sells for 70 Riyals per 1/2 tola. That's $36/tola, and that's retail price.... which means they're making a profit selling it. Guess what it smells like? The $20/tola oud.
  5. tahasyed
    tahasyed
    My point is that you might be happy with a $200 or $300/tola oud, but even that has been radically marked up.
    So, are only western retailers worthy of criticism, or those distillers/suppliers whose markups are not just 100%, 200% or 500%. Sometimes the oils are marked up over 1000%! And believe me, some suppliers in the East are make good money selling oud. Much more than what I make in my day job as a Data Intelligence analyst at PwC. And for them to make that kind of money there is equivalent to me charging prices for oud here in the West which would make me a multi-millionaire.
    So are they overcharging? Is it fair? How do we define 'fair', and how's it different for retailers vs distillers?

    MrP, there are many wood sellers whom you can contact directly on B2B websites, and ask them the price of various incense-grade woods (I already posted some names earlier). Then you can assume a yield of 0.2%, add $100 for gas, $100 per tola for distiller's fee, and $20 per tola for cargo, and see the cost for yourself. No mystery, just simple math. Now you know the cost of high-grade oils, without it having to come from a North American retailer (me).

    Also, I posted the words of my East Kalimantan distiller here, word-for-word, and the cost price was mentioned very clearly. Not my selling price, but my cost price.

    May I ask how you think reality is being distorted? I can't claim to be a seasoned distiller with decades of experience under my belt. However, if there's anything I learned or saw/heard with my own eyes/ears, which could help in any way, I'd be happy to share such info.
  6. MrP
    MrP
    I don't mean reality is distorted in a dishonest sense. What I mean is that a lot of people here favor the excellent and (appropriately) expensive stuff, so the general sense one gets from reading stuff here over time is that Oud is a nearly unaffordable luxury item where one needs to pay $150+ per 1/4 tola to just get low end oil.

    I think that in fact, with a little effort, those who can't afford such items can get decent, enjoyable oud for much less than this. Make sense?

    It is clear there is a desire for and need for justifiably expensive luxury oud. It's not for me, but that is my problem. It is nice to know it exists and to get the occasional whiff!
  7. tahasyed
    tahasyed
    One last thing - I know it sucks. It sucks really bad. But the fact is that the majority of the oils, even if purchased from distillers are NOT pure.
    Now I'm big on organic food, and to someone like me its troubling to see preservatives and pesticides being a 'normal' part of everyday life.

    Its the same with oud. Adulteration is a common (and more importantly an) accepted fact among distillers, suppliers and retailers. To me, its the same as conventional food vs organic food. It has just become so much a norm to eat conventional pesticide-soaked produce and cruelly-kept and killed animals, that we find the price of organic food to be outrageous.

    With ouds, there are two deciding factors for the price: purity, and the quality of the wood. Not just one, or just the other, but both.
  8. MrP
    MrP
    Yeah, it's too bad. I don't think of Oud in the same way I think of good mint oil or clove oil - I mean I would NEVER use it as a medicine or allow it to get into my mouth. I just treat it as a beautiful aroma of uncertain purity and safety. I know this makes the whole "pure affordable Oud" question difficult but that's just the way it is sadly.
  9. masstika
    masstika
    While we might not eat the Oud Oil but it is transmitted by our skins. Profumo, a Natural Perfumer said " natural ingredients often absorb more quickly into the skin. This is because heavy molecules such as macrolitic musks are very stable and are not easily processed by our body. The problem is when they are not easily eliminated because they then accumulate in the body fat, in the liver, kidneys, brain ecc... " And even though we use very little each time but overtime and with consistent use one has to think what one is putting on ones skin. The $20/1/4 tola that I bought has that burned, pungent smell that Taha is talking about and it has a consistency that is more watery than oily with a light yellow color and high sheen when applied to skin. If I may put in my thought on the matter of purity and the Arab Prefume Houses and as an Arab American user of Oud and Mukhalats myself. A lot of Arab Colleagues of mine do not see the artisnal aspects of Oils distillation as it is considered a "dirty job" in jungle labs as oppose to the artistic inspiration and that special "nose" required in mixing the different ingredients to come up with that Mukhalat(Mix) perfume that is going to sell thousands of units. They value the "Good" smell more than if the Oil is 100% pure or a bit mixed. So whether the Oil is pure or not is mute. The same attitude can be found towards Organic food vs. conventional one. Although I would say that the attitudes of the young people is changing and becoming more aware of their environment. @Taha, thank you for the information regarding prizing. I have 2 questions regarding distillations; the first is what is the done with the wood chips after it has been boiled/ steamed in the process of distillation? is it discarded or is it recycled? the second is you have mentioned that "There are essentially two aromatic substances in agarwood: the oil and the gubal, or resin". Isn't the oil is extracted from the resin? and if the oil is extracted from the "white" wood fiber and not the resin isn't that boyha oil?
  10. Abdullah
    Abdullah
    Sorry about the interruption but ,anyone tried http://royaloudh.com/ ?Any comment?
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