- 31st January 2010, 05:02 AM
I get a kind of oud "after image" that may be what you refer to. Usually when transitioning from indoors to outdoors, but not weeks after applying it or anything. So, I smell an oud indoors intensely for a long time, become anosmic to it practically - I am surrounded by it - then I walk outside and the clean fresh air, in its ABSENCE of that oud smell, creates a sensation of that very oud in an intense way. Again, like a visual afterimage.
I also find the aromas of some oils act almost like complimentary colors and intensify the scent of certain ouds. There have been times I have applied some rose, and suddenly an oud I applied earlier in the day just sings out in response to the wash of rose aroma.
I wish I had the phantom oud smell, though. Now THAT would stretch my oud budget considerably. I would be picky though - no phantom Ham Firl $25 Assam, please. Just phantom UNS Borneo select. )
- 31st January 2010, 05:07 AM
"Lots of herbs, vetiver, patchouli...... TOBACCO. Yep."
Taha - something I struggle with due to my limited oud experience: how does one know when smelling such notes that they are from the oud itself, and not from added oils or attempts to stretch oud? I sniff one of my Meraukes, and I am not sure if it is natural, or if that slight patchouli note is ACTUALLY a little patchouli. Honestly, I have the same doubt about those ouds that have such a strong tobacco note. I wish I could tell the real oil from that which has been adjusted. I am going to guess that part of your answer will be about relationships with producers and trust...
- 31st January 2010, 05:15 AM
"And, I can smell the same oil a week apart and I pick up notes I didn't before, or can't smell something I was sure was obvious the last time [snip] I really wonder if I'd smell the same notes today. Maybe the oil has developed, maybe the oils I've smelled in the intervening months have affected my perceptions, perhaps my body chemistry is altered etc."
These are really, really important points to keep in mind when discussing ouds or evaluating them. I have found my reaction to change DRASTICALLY over time. All of these are very real in oud perception. If I had to pick I would say the biggest switcheroos in my impressions of oils has been due to the experience of additional oils over time. My reaction to what I had dismissed as cheap Indonesian oud from Magnifincense, for example, has completely changed since purchasing a few Malinau oils. Some of those oils were FANTASTIC, but I could not appreciate them at the time.
- 31st January 2010, 06:05 AM
I think I mentioned before that Shoyoukh is a lot like a "Malaysian Dark" sold by Magnifincencense (but the AO seems more refined). I know EXACTLY what you mean about the jeckle-and-hyde that type of oil presents. My version (Magnifincense) has a wonderful oudy dry down IF I can stomach the first hour of its development. Some days its first hours are revolting; on others it... well it doesn't delight, but it isn't disgusting either.
By the way: I am REALLY missing Magnifincense. Their stuff was a gamble, but well worth it. Their $40 - $60 1/4 tolas were at times some beauties I have realized. I know we all like the top-shelf, high priced, exclusive vetted ouds, but I miss the lottery of those cheap ouds.
- 31st January 2010, 06:11 AM
Here's the rub: So I revisit an oil after a year off. It smells worse, or better. How do I know if the oil has changed, or if I have changed, or both? Experience I guess, but still... there's some kind of philosophical paradox here that someone with a better tuned mind than mine can perhaps elucidate. I am certain that a huge part of scent perception is cognitive, not sensory, and so I know that changes in perception are as likely to be due to changes in my nervous system as they are to changes external to myself... can this be sorted out? Does it matter, as long as I am having fun?