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  1. #361

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post

    I purchased some oud and sandalwood from Ham Firl, here are my reactions (take them with a grain of salt):

    Cheap Indian ($24.50): some nice oud notes, but a bit too sweet and cloying for me. I would like to believe it is real, but you know...

    Papua (plantation) ($50): a decent oil (I think?) but I would guess somewhat cut - the aroma did not quite seem intense enough, I think. The aroma is somewhat like a cross between the Lao oud and some ouds I have tried from Ajmal. Nothing amazing, but a decent oud perfume. Dries down to a nice, woody, earthy smell.

    Royal (Borneo): Wife loves it, I think it smells too much like tobacco to be a pure oud. Still, a really nice oud perfume (or else I may just be revealing my ignorance) and my wife likes it, so I am happy. I really need perspective on this - so many say this is "Royal" oud, but I just have a hard time believing it.

    Mysore "aged" sandalwood: NOT even close - some kind of neutral oil with cedar and a tiny smear of some synthetic perfume on the lid, perhaps by mistake. Not even worth the price of the bottle it was poured into - it is garbage, I promise. I have no idea why this got any positive reviews.

    Royal super-duper (etc..) sandalwood: this is definitely nice, pure sandalwood a lot like what was available about 6 or 7 years ago. A surprisingly nice oil, but not a bargain by a long shot.

    So, I am happy to share my opinion but REALLY hope to be educated by others here. It is hard to come by objective information that is not geared towards sales these days...
    I have the Royal Borneo, but it's not his current stock. For the price, it's really nice. AFAIC it's very much a "real" oud. By that I mean I don't believe it has been cut with any aromatic substances to enhance the scent. I can't comment on whether it's been adulterated with some sort of dilutant, however. With regards to the "Royal" moniker, well, one man's prince is another man's pauper. It's just marketing AFAIC. What he's trying to say is, "it's the best stuff I have", and while it may not be royal, it is indeed good value IMHO.

    Remember, just because you perceive a scent note in an oud which you have not come across before doesn't mean it's been cut. I had trouble believing Borneo 3000 was "real" oud when I first sampled it simply because it was so unlike anything I had experienced before. In truth, there are so many variations on the aloeswood theme that I personally learn something new from every oil I purchase.

    I think the cultivated Papua he's selling used to be listed as Meraukee, but I'm not 100% sure. Is the oil you bought a pale yellowish color? Another real oud, I think. It has a quite pleasant, woody aroma, but it's nothing to write home about. That said, it's cheap, so for the price I wasn't complaining.

    The $24.50 oil he sells is garbage, but then again, you get what you pay for. It's nauseatingly sweet because it's been stepped on with some synthetic aromatic to round out the oil's (very) rough edges. This sort of rock-bottom cultivated Indian has a tendency to be very stanky which tends to put a lot of Western noses out of joint ('scuse the pun). He's gone way over the top with whatever he's added and the end result is something that is "oudy" but definitely not true oud.
    Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 3rd August 2008 at 10:13 AM.

  2. #362

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    MrP It's great reading your experiences! I was wondering how you compare Ajmal's Oudhs to Haramains Khussosi..I haven't tried that one but I'm guessing they are not very dissimilar.
    Last edited by Taz; 3rd August 2008 at 12:01 PM.

  3. #363

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    Remember, just because you perceive a scent note in an oud which you have not come across before doesn't mean it's been cut.
    Good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    This sort of rock-bottom cultivated Indian has a tendency to be very stanky which tends to put a lot of Western noses out of joint ('scuse the pun).
    Very true...To add to that, I've found cultivated & CO2 oudh to be wholly unimpressive and basing a dislike for all of oudh on either of these is silly

  4. #364

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    I'll be closing down the Combodi Classic buy by sunday next Aug 10th. So far we have 6 confirmed. If we have 12 by then I'll go ahead and purchase. If we don't make it I'll send a consolatory sample to all who have confirmed their interest.
    Last edited by Taz; 3rd August 2008 at 04:57 PM.

  5. #365

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Mr P:

    Is this the Bolisat we're talking about?

    http://www.xaiudom.laopdr.com/

  6. #366
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    it is!

  7. #367

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    I don't see a two tiered price structure. I mean, there's the price for the 6ml/12ml and the 1 litre.. (1 litre of oud... Man. Imagine spilling THAT in your bedroom!)

    Or is that the two tiered? I don't understand.

  8. #368
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Ok -

    I check from time to time and the web site has not been updated in about 6 years - that is the same page that was there when I bought the oil 4 or 5 years ago. You will find out about the options if you contact them by email (they are friendly, willing to share information, and true enthusiasts, so I recommend you send an email and ask them what they have available). I may be naive, but I think this is the place you are most likely to get a truly pure oil (I know anyone who says this about oud risks sounding like a fool).

    Here's what I received when I made an inquiry on June 19th:
    <begin quote>
    All our oud is still from wild trees, but not long anymore, some Vietnamese selling infectet wood from Vietnam to the distilleris in Laos.

    We still have some oil simmilar to the quality we soold some years ago. but 6 ml. cost 220.-$ include shipping.

    The standard oud we sell for 150.-$ 6ml. The smell is ok, the only problem is, it is getting hard at lower temperatures.
    <end quote>





    Going back to some previous comments, I appreciate the feedback and reminder about the surprising nature of oud.

    I am glad to hear that Ham Firl's Royal Borneo is/could be the real thing. I certainly like the aroma and it is a great perfume in its own right. Again, to my nose there is something in the dry-down of the oil that seems off, and more reminiscent of a mixture than a pure oil, but this may be nothing more than evidence of my ignorance and limited experience. I can literally count the number of ouds I have smelled on two hands, after all!

    When I contacted the Lao distiller, he pointed out that smaller quantities of his oud could be purchased from Enfleurage in NYC, though the price of 2 ml from this seller is so close to 6 ml from the distiller, I don't know why anyone would go for this unless they were in NY and trying to save on wire transfer charges, etc..

  9. #369

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post

    Going back to some previous comments, I appreciate the feedback and reminder about the surprising nature of oud.

    I am glad to hear that Ham Firl's Royal Borneo is/could be the real thing. I certainly like the aroma and it is a great perfume in its own right. Again, to my nose there is something in the dry-down of the oil that seems off, and more reminiscent of a mixture than a pure oil, but this may be nothing more than evidence of my ignorance and limited experience. I can literally count the number of ouds I have smelled on two hands, after all!

    When I contacted the Lao distiller, he pointed out that smaller quantities of his oud could be purchased from Enfleurage in NYC, though the price of 2 ml from this seller is so close to 6 ml from the distiller, I don't know why anyone would go for this unless they were in NY and trying to save on wire transfer charges, etc..
    Don't worry about being inexperienced! I've tried around 50 different ouds. I have well over 30 in my collection now, and I've barely scratched the surface.

    As for the Enfleurage oil, perhaps she is selling the $220/6ml quality oil, but just in 2ml quantities?

  10. #370
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    MrP It's great reading your experiences! I was wondering how you compare Ajmal's Oudhs to Haramains Khussosi..I haven't tried that one but I'm guessing they are not very dissimilar.
    Hi -

    FYI, the Ajmal's I have are no longer sold by them. A comparison... well, the Haramain is a similar type of oud - musky, animalic, a little bit of the barnyard aroma, with some of that wonderful bitter-sweet aroma eventually in there if you sniff around. I think an excellent oil for the money, not the longest lasting but to me it does not smell cut or chemical in any way - it smells just right, and is of the same odor profile as the Lao oud I have been talking about. No doubt it is a blend of different ouds, and for all I know may be partially or mostly cultivated (?), but this is one I will use to make my more precious oils last longer.

    I somewhat prefer the two Ajmal oils I have, but as these are about 10+ years old, this may not be fair.

    To me, the Khussosi is a good everyday oud, but it is not one that will appeal to the typical western nose - my wife, who loves the Green Papua (as I said I already) does not like anything about the Lao / Ajmal / Haramain type.

  11. #371
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Ok - I will settle down eventually. I just have a lot of pent up Oud communication waiting to come out - something that would go absolutely no where in the circles I find myself inhabiting off of the internet. Sorry for taking up so much bandwidth (or whatever you want to call it) here.

    Funny, I don't think the agarwood CO2 total is as bad as people here seem to feel (opinion, and worth no more than anyone else's, granted, and no disrespect intended). Of course I would feel robbed if it was ever sold to me as a distilled oud oil, but I see it as an amazing presentation of a different aspect of oud - not that of the aroma resulting from the chemical changes of heating and/or distillation, but rather a presentation of the smell of the wood itself. I don't wear it often, but I think it is a truly important part of my oud collection, something of be judged in its own right since it is not comparable to distilled oils. I just get such a great damp, earthy, mineral-like forest floor aroma from this oil - a valuable and evocative aroma from my perspective.

  12. #372

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post
    Funny, I don't think the agarwood CO2 total is as bad as people here seem to feel (opinion, and worth no more than anyone else's, granted, and no disrespect intended). Of course I would feel robbed if it was ever sold to me as a distilled oud oil, but I see it as an amazing presentation of a different aspect of oud - not that of the aroma resulting from the chemical changes of heating and/or distillation, but rather a presentation of the smell of the wood itself. I don't wear it often, but I think it is a truly important part of my oud collection, something of be judged in its own right since it is not comparable to distilled oils. I just get such a great damp, earthy, mineral-like forest floor aroma from this oil - a valuable and evocative aroma from my perspective.
    Don't worry about getting it out of your system! Once you are hooked, you are a lifer .

    The CO2 Total sold by Liberty Naturals is just as you describe, and I really quite like it. But the stuff sold by Eden Botanicals is a different beast altogether and simply quite awful, IMHO. Also, there is a difference between "normal" CO2 and CO2 Total extraction, so the same wood will smell markedly different if processed via these 2 different extraction methods.

  13. #373
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    MrP, don't settle down! Your impressions are most welcome. I know next to nothing so far and all of this talk is truly appreciated.

    BTW, I see Oriscent has added another oil, Assam Kinam. With just about every new addition, the prices climb. I am a mere mortal and things like the mortgage have to come first. It's a bit discouraging. Add to that no real ability to sample all of these treasures.

    I've been having dreams where I am bathing in oud oil. What would Freud have said about that?

  14. #374
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    Don't worry about getting it out of your system! Once you are hooked, you are a lifer .

    The CO2 Total sold by Liberty Naturals is just as you describe, and I really quite like it. But the stuff sold by Eden Botanicals is a different beast altogether and simply quite awful, IMHO. Also, there is a difference between "normal" CO2 and CO2 Total extraction, so the same wood will smell markedly different if processed via these 2 different extraction methods.
    Right - I am indeed talking about the LIberty Naturals CO2. I had a small dab of the Eden one time - it seemed off to me as well - it has been so long that I don't remember the details, but I think it was a kind of rancid note that I associate with fixed oils. I may have to order a sample again to compare.

    I also have a smidge of a CO2 oil extracted from wild harvested wood - it was sold (all too briefly) by White Lotus Aromatics. It is somewhat like the Liberty in overall character, but has a resonant depth the cultivated oud lacks - I could say reminiscent of certain frankincense oils, but this would give you the wrong impression as it is a small aspect of frankincense, not its heart note.

  15. #375

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Re: the new Assam Kinam from Oriscent...

    Comes in the new Oriscent crystal bottle, which is designed to safely preserve your oud for decades. Introducing an extra glass layer which contains the oil, it provides complete protection from oxygen, as the oil is always only in contact with glass. Glass encasement and a glass applicator rod ensure your oud will be as good as new thirty years from now. Because of the additional glass layer, the new bottles contain 2.7 grams of oud. We hope you’ll enjoy the new bottles!
    Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 4th August 2008 at 05:20 AM.

  16. #376
    MrP
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    Unhappy Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    Re: the new Assam Kinam from Oriscent...

    Comes in the new Oriscent crystal bottle, which is designed to safely preserve your oud for decades. Introducing an extra glass layer which contains the oil, it provides complete protection from oxygen, as the oil is always only in contact with glass. Glass encasement and a glass applicator rod ensure your oud will be as good as new thirty years from now. Because of the additional glass layer, the new bottles contain 2.7 grams of oud. We hope you’ll enjoy the new bottles!

    My 2 cents (about what I will have left if I don't get a grip on my oud addiction): I would way rather have a cheap bottle, and re-bottle it as needed if it means 10% more oud oil and $20 off the total price. This bottle sounds great, but this is essentially a 10% price increase if you do the math. I know Oriscent reads the comments here (as any good businessman would) so if my opinion is of any use to you as you plan your future product lines, I have always preferred the humble packaging. Also, unless you have a glass float or plunger that rests on top of the oil, oxygen is still going to get in there - is it that you are concerned about avoiding the rubber, metal, and adhesives in the other glass flasks?

    Any thought of offering less opulent packaging for a discount? Perhaps this is absurd given your clientelle - no one is exactly bargain shopping when dropping... let's see $490 / 2.7 g = $181.50 per gram! I suppose one could say "Who haggles when buying a Rolls Royce"? or "If you even have to ask about this price, you can't afford it!" (The last one was actually used on me by someone selling oud)

    On another note (NOT directed at Oriscent or anyone else): In reviewing this thread, I think you could substitute any expensive illicit drug for the word "oud", and have a perfectly plausible conversation. We find ourselves buying products of questionable purity, from dealers whose claims are all the most florid, discussing how oils are cut by middle men with products that may ruin the effect, may or may not be toxic, etc., etc.., yet we buy minute quantities of them at the end of long supply chains with unbelievable markups taken as a matter of course. There has GOT to be a better way to do this... now if I could just figure out what that is.
    Last edited by MrP; 4th August 2008 at 06:46 AM.

  17. #377

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    I think the illicit drug analogy is perfectly suitable. I found myself chuckling reading your comparisons. I guess you could refer to oud as olfactory "crack" !!!

  18. #378

    Thumbs down Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    It looks like Oriscent's Borneo 3000 and Borneo 4000 join the recently released Assam Kinam in being housed inside the new "special" bottle which holds 2.7 grams of oil . Of course, Ensar is selling the oils at the same price as before, except now you receive 10% less oud which effectively means a 10% price increase .
    Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 4th August 2008 at 10:48 AM.

  19. #379

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post
    Funny, I don't think the agarwood CO2 total is as bad as people here seem to feel (opinion, and worth no more than anyone else's, granted, and no disrespect intended).

    ...but I see it as an amazing presentation of a different aspect of oud - not that of the aroma resulting from the chemical changes of heating and/or distillation, but rather a presentation of the smell of the wood itself. I don't wear it often, but I think it is a truly important part of my oud collection, something of be judged in its own right since it is not comparable to distilled oils.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    The CO2 Total sold by Liberty Naturals is just as you describe, and I really quite like it. But the stuff sold by Eden Botanicals is a different beast altogether and simply quite awful,
    You're right, comparing distilled oud to CO2 is not right. My impressions were based on the eden botanicals CO2 which as u say Abdul is a different beast...It's like one of those valerian or tube rose absolutes..What you wouldn't wear often or ever by itself. Another departure from fairness is comparing cultivated CO2 to wild distilled oil. Whole other ball game.

    CO2 certainly presents a peculiar dimension of Agarwood and claims a necessary part in a healthy collection Now if only I could find a worthy one..The Liberty Naturals sounds interesting. Perhaps I'll give it a try.
    Last edited by Taz; 4th August 2008 at 10:52 AM.

  20. #380

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by evogel View Post
    I've been having dreams where I am bathing in oud oil. What would Freud have said about that?
    Probably something around the lines of being massaged in baby oil as a todd one day and accidentaly popping off the bottle cap spilling the contents all over yourself and pooing at the same time. Basically your ordinary early fecal oil experience.
    Last edited by Taz; 4th August 2008 at 01:57 PM.

  21. #381

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    You're right, comparing distilled oud to CO2 is not right. My impressions were based on the eden botanicals CO2 which as u say Abdul is a different beast...It's like one of those valerian or tube rose absolutes..What you wouldn't wear often or ever by itself. Another departure from fairness is comparing cultivated CO2 to wild distilled oil. Whole other ball game.

    CO2 certainly presents a peculiar dimension of Agarwood and claims a necessary part in a healthy collection Now if only I could find a worthy one..The Liberty Naturals sounds interesting. Perhaps I'll give it a try.
    Taz, don't forget there is a difference between CO2 extract and CO2 Total extract. The latter is solid at room temperature and usually quite earthy as it contains both the resin and the wood ie. the total extract. "Normal" CO2 extract looks like distilled oil for all intents and purposes, the only difference being that the wood is not subjected to the rigors of water or steam distillation and therefore it should theoretically give a truer representation of the agarwood aroma.

  22. #382

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Liberty Naturals has two total / supercritical CO2 agarwood oils...One of them from wild crafted wood which is about 8 times the price of the other which is from cultivated wood.

  23. #383

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post
    Hi -

    FYI, the Ajmal's I have are no longer sold by them. A comparison... well, the Haramain is a similar type of oud -
    I somewhat prefer the two Ajmal oils I have, but as these are about 10+ years old, this may not be fair.

    To me, the Khussosi is a good everyday oud, but it is not one that will appeal to the typical western nose - my wife, who loves the Green Papua (as I said I already) does not like anything about the Lao / Ajmal / Haramain type.
    MrP (P for pink from reservoir dogs? ) Thanks for the comparison!! I think there's not much difference in quality between Haramain and Ajmal when it comes to the same grade names and as you say with the ones you have it is not a fair comparison...I've found most of the higher end ouds being sold at major mid east perfume houses rounding out to roughly the same smell type.

    Oriscent's oils are very different from theirs with more variety of course and a certain luster. Red Sulphur adds to that The words remind me of ' The quest for Red Sulphur'. A book on the life of Ibn Arabi, the controversial sufi mystic and philosopher.

  24. #384
    evogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    Probably something around the lines of being massaged in baby oil as a todd one day and accidentaly popping off the bottle cap spilling the contents all over yourself and pooing at the same time. Basically your ordinary early fecal oil experience.

    All right Taz, now I'm kinda scared! :-)

    When I check Liberty Natural's website, it appears the only oud they have is a steam distilled Indian oil.
    I don't find any listing of a CO2 oil. ???

  25. #385

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Yea, I couldn't find it at first either.. If you look above the list of Essential Oils. There's a link for Bulk Ingredients Menu. You'll find them in the SCO2 extracts section.

    Interestingly enough the wild CO2 also costs more than the distilled one..I guess the CO2 procedure is a costly one.

  26. #386
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    It looks like Oriscent's Borneo 3000 and Borneo 4000 join the recently released Assam Kinam in being housed inside the new "special" bottle which holds 2.7 grams of oil . Of course, Ensar is selling the oils at the same price as before, except now you receive 10% less oud which effectively means a 10% price increase .

    An equivalent process happens in the packaged foods sold at supermarkets. Customers react more strongly to price increases than quantity decreases, so the price of a bag of whatever seems to be the same but in reality the prices keep increasing. A kind of creeping inflation. This is of course a legitimate way to increase prices, but something consumers need to watch out for.

    Another thing: selling oils by mass vs. volume. 3 grams of oud is a better deal than 3 ml, since 1ml weighs less than one gram due to the low density of oud oil.

    So 2.7 grams from Oriscent may be the same as 3 ml from someone else. For that matter, Ham Firl sends way more oud in a 3 ml bottle than other suppiers - perhaps he is just generous.

    Splitting hairs, maybe, but we are now talking about oils that people are trying to sell for $180,000 per kilogram!

  27. #387

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul_Qa'im View Post
    It looks like Oriscent's Borneo 3000 and Borneo 4000 join the recently released Assam Kinam in being housed inside the new "special" bottle which holds 2.7 grams of oil . Of course, Ensar is selling the oils at the same price as before, except now you receive 10% less oud which effectively means a 10% price increase .
    Abdul: Reducing the amount sold by 10% equals a price of increase of 11.1111%

    Just fyi!

  28. #388
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrP View Post
    So 2.7 grams from Oriscent may be the same as 3 ml from someone else. For that matter, Ham Firl sends way more oud in a 3 ml bottle than other suppiers - perhaps he is just generous.
    Or maybe the low cost of DOP enables him to do so.... Just a thought.

  29. #389

    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Is there a way to tell whether an oil has been cut with DOP or anything else? It would be great if there was a way. I'd love to buy more oud, but I'm hesitant about this DOP issue. I really don't want to be putting that toxic stuff on my skin.
    Currently digging: Le Labo Rose 31 and Oud oils.

  30. #390
    MrP
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    Default Re: Agarwood (oud) oil!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ensar View Post
    Or maybe the low cost of DOP enables him to do so.... Just a thought.
    Maybe to be fair, we should offer Ham Firl the opportunity to respond to this allegation - especially since Oriscent seems to be the main competition, from what I can see on this list. No offense, but it seems wrong to be making specific claims about what he does or doesn't put in his oud oil, unless you have specific information (in which case please share it - I hate the idea of being sold garbage).

    Hey - if we pooled our resources, we could easily afford to get some GCMS reports on oud oils from a couple of suppliers. I would be willing to kick in some cash towards this - it would be interesting to move beyond speculation in this respect.

    By the way, I'll put my money on there being something funny in the Ham Firl ouds. Some seem too soft to me, others have a base note (wherein the truth is revealed, in my opinion) that is off.

    Oh - and I appreciate the fact that you sell your oils by weight, Ensar - it tends towards the more generous, and is more objective than simply filling bottles to some arbitrary level (which invariably differs from bottle to bottle).
    Last edited by MrP; 4th August 2008 at 09:21 PM.

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