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.
Thread: Agarwood (oud) oil!
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.
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.
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.
Is this the Bolisat we're talking about?
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.
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:
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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" !!!
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.
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.
Last edited by Taz; 4th August 2008 at 01:57 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
To be sure, DOP is not only toxic but it is a carcinogen that has been banned by certain industries, as well as the European Commission.
You can look it up on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEHP.
All but 100% of Oud oils sold on the market contain amounts of DOP.
But, on the brighter side of things, just look at the "value" you get from buying such oils! You can save yourself a ton of cash!
Ensar (or anyone confident in their knowledge of pure oud) - in your experience, do any oud oils take on the dark coloration seen in oils like Indian Ruh Khus? I know that the metal of the still can make a big difference in the color of some oils, like vetiver and patchouli, and I find myself wondering what is the typical range of colorations one can expect to see in genuine oud oil. For that matter, do any oud oils come out very pale - say like sandalwood?
Actually, DOP has not been shown conclusively to be a carcinogen in human beings and there is considerable debate regarding its use. The EU is reviewing the situation as it is now believed to be far safer than originally thought. There is also a difference between a substance's carcinogenicity and its toxicity. DOP has been shown to be many times less toxic than sodium chloride ie. salt , btw.
Now, whether or not buyers want their oud cut with DOP is another matter altogether. I would prefer my agarwood oil not be cut with anything at all, whether natural or synthetic. But to suggest that using Ham Firl's oud will lead to deleterious health effects is a stretch.
I've been trying to research this... DEHP is not the same as DOP, though in some cases DOP is used to designate two different materials: 100% pure genuine DOP (joking) and the substance, DEHP, you reference in this article.
I would love to see more data on toxicity - I know pthalates have been used to denature certain perfume alcohol (SDA 39-C used Diethylpthalate), and I see European perfumes formulated with this alcohol.
Provides another perspective. So, who do you believe? The folks trying to scare us away from it or the person trying to tell you it's ok? Both extremes are widespread on the web based on the few minutes of research I have done. I find this same situation for any controversial substance these days, be it a food additive, a drug, etc..
I even noticed that you can get pure DOP and pure oud from the same, convenient site: alibaba.com Now that is convenient!
Ensar - given the difficulty in detecting DOP, and the amazing value of even a smidgen of true oud, how do you ensure your products have not been stretched, since you don't distill them yourself? Do you get GCMS reports on your oils?
One company I buy from (kobashi essential oils) actually invested in GCMS machinery and test each individual batch of their oils. It is interesting to read what they discovered about jasmine oils - and there is much less incentive to adulterated these than oud, given their relatively inexpensive nature. Definitely a "buyer beware" marked, it is sad to say.
Last edited by MrP; 4th August 2008 at 10:03 PM.
Have you read some of the descriptions of aromas at some of the ebayers? Some have not one reference to actual fragrance profiles, but rather implied promises about spiritual this, that and the other thing. It is frustrating.
I have found your oud descriptions to be pretty useful in predicting the aroma of ouds.
As for Ham Firl, I have found decent oils from him, but his descriptions absolutely do not help me predict what I am getting.
Last edited by MrP; 4th August 2008 at 10:02 PM.
I say "almost" exclusively, because there invariably will be batches which we cannot put the Oriscent name on, and which consequently must be wholesaled to the Arab buyers.
Whatever our distilleries produce, is distilled following only the strictest guidelines as laid down by us.
How else would we be able to offer oils that are so obviously different from everyone else's on the market?
It was by following one of our distillation practices (which I can't mention here) that we discovered Assam Kinam -- and many others that are coming your way.
Last edited by Ensar; 4th August 2008 at 10:42 PM.
For example, what am I supposed to make of this:
"... the perfume of the mystics, the wise and the aware. Top notes open the realms of thought and spirituality; Mid notes discernment - positive and negative balance, harmony, truth & justice. Base notes earthy & warm, sweet, rich heart notes that leads to the path of atonement and acceptance of the One - the final goal. Sample this true, treasure and come to understand how such prophets & sages."
Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 5th August 2008 at 01:44 AM.
Ensar has lowered his prices for the ouds using the new bottles which contain only 2.7 grams of oil. A great move for which he deserves to be praised . I know many of his customers will appreciate it
Has anyone here tried any of the oud oils sold by WNF (world of natural fragrance) out of Singapore? They used to have a web site with a wide range of oud woods and oud wood samplers, but their site has shut down. I see they are using eBay as an outlet, and I have heard decent reviews of their woods and one of the oils they used to sell.
Aside from speculation about what eBay sellers may or may not put in their various oils, does anyone have any actual first-hand experience with their ouds?
One of these days, I hope to save enough to sample some of the oils from UNS - I have heard nothing but positive reviews of this seller (not just from this list) and I am under the impression that they are one of only a handful of places providing truly high quality oud.
Last edited by MrP; 5th August 2008 at 09:53 PM.
I am new here and this is my first post on this forum. I am also a die hard Oud lover. I just recently purchased the borneo 3000 from oriscent and wow probably the best oud i have ever smelled!
OK - add the following eBayers to my question:
What, if any, personal experience do you have with which of their oils?
I just pulled out my little smidgen of the sweet china oil oriscent used to carry. The fragrance of this oil is just amazing to me - it has a certain spicy earthiness reminiscent of certain types of fragrant mulch and earth, even some ambergris-like notes. I regret not buying a bottle of this when I had the chance. If anyone has a little and would consider a sale or trade please pm me. I wonder if the China exclusive has any noted in common and if it could be blended with another oud to reproduce this fragrance?
The exclusive and the sweet are quite mutually exclusive...The latter is as you describe it and the former akin to a loatian fecal. I don't have the sweet chinese on me so can't possibly recreate it.I tried blending some ouds to approximate a brunei for Domingo...A dismal failure..
P.S. Straightscurious & WNF..Got a link?
I'd love to see a list of Oud sellers compiled by people in the know. Trusted sources that people have purchased from and would definitely do so again.
My main criteria would be #1) Pure oil (to the best of the educated oud lovers opinion)
#)2 Quality ( " ")
#)3 Customer Service
Following this thread has been an education and maybe this is a pipe dream but as an oud newbie, it's certainly something I would love to see.
If I were a betting man,after some determined (random) study, I'd say Oriscent and UNS are at the top but where to go after that?
Lastly, I follow the no samples policy Oriscent will likely be adopting but what I beg for from these sellers is to offer the option of purchasing a smaller amount of the oil. I'd be happy if 1gram/1ml were offered for every oil sold. Again, this is probably a pipe dream and very naive of me to request.
I gotta say, I've only purchased from Mr. Firl, Thai Arcade and a sample from a forum member. In all, I've spent less than $200 total, and I'm very glad I did and here's why:
Altho the samples/attars I bought from Ham are not of the best quality ($12 shipped for 6 ml!) the two I bought that I liked are so good, that even tho they are effectively triple the price, they still are a bargain.
That said, I'm sure a decant circle of Oriscent and other ouds will spring up. Personally, I'd LOVE to give someone, say, $200 and get 3 drops of every low and medium quality oud they have.
What did you get from Ham that you like so much?
I'd like to try a bit of everything as well. The problem is that after that, I'm sure I'd want to own a bottle of almost everything I sampled.
Thanks in advance if any of y'all can make this!
"Faites des bÍtises, mais faites les avec enthousiasme !" Colette
I think his Indonesian and Malasian Attars ($15 each, shipped) are spectacular.
They are considered "Floral" or sandalwood-y rather than woody, leathery or cow-dung-y.
The Burmese was very sweet. (ugh)
the Cambodian smelled like rotten wood... and so did the vietnamese. But they both settled down after a while.
His Khus ain't bad either. $10 shipped.
I've got the indian plantation on order. Then, I'm going to give Sharif some money.
I also wish there were some way to leverage group buying power to purchase oils in less of a "seller's market" manner - that is, where the buyers set conditions, costs have been stepped up fewer times, and buyers and are not entirely at the mercy of the oil seller or distiller. One extreme example: to purchase larger lots after examining samples, with final payment conditional on favorable GCMS reports on the exact batch/bottle in question. I imagine this kind of scenario is only available to someone with a couple of dozen grand to get the thing started - a level of financial liquidity and access to technology and resources that we just don't have, and that the current oud market might not support in the US.
It sounds like Oriscent may have established something like this, but what we need is some diversity and competition to make it a healthy market. Fantasy, perhaps?
Maybe it also is something where the demand globally is so high that sellers or wholesaler's will find it more convenient to just sell to someone less concerned with quality or price.
Oriscent carries the best oud I have tried, but pricing is prohibitive. If you want purity and quality, you simply have to be prepared to pay a high price for it, I'm afraid. That's why every oil I've purchased from Oriscent (aside from cheaper attars) has been in conjunction with a friend. We've bought several bottles over the last 2 1/2 years and split the costs. It's been well worth it, I have to say.
Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 7th August 2008 at 01:56 AM.
Don't waste your money on the $24.50 cultivated Indian, Philalex. To be blunt, it's crap. If you buy something like his Cambodian @ $70, you'll get something quite decent for your money, but I wouldn't purchase any oud <$70 from him as you'll simply be wasting your cash. He has some very good value ouds (I know, value is relative) in his 'Double Super' (or super-duper-super Royal ) but you'll be paying $110-120 per 3ml (less if you email him directly).
Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 7th August 2008 at 02:04 AM.
Btw, has anyone tried Haramain's Dehnal Oudh Shuyookhi ?
I'll add the Bolisat Lao PDR as a source of some of the best oud I have experienced. While I am not fond of the Lao fecal type of oud, it seems every bit as pure and potent as any oud I have experienced from any seller, including the more expensive ones.
The thing is, it does not have the pleasant aroma characteristics that I have found in Oriscent's oud, so though I think the Lao oud I have is a great sample of pure oud oil, I would not feel comfortable wearing it around like I do the Green Papua or Borneo 3000. A slight decrease in the cheesy/fecal notes, and it would be great. I am hoping it will age well.
I bought it over 5 years ago, but apparently they still carry good oud distilled from Vietnamese and perhaps still some Lao oud.
I too am curious about the Haramain Shuyookhi, so I look forward to any info. on this oil.
Last edited by MrP; 7th August 2008 at 03:59 AM.
I wrote bolisat a few days ago. No answer... yet.
Abdul: Some other people on this board liked the $25 oud. In any case, it's worth a shot. But I appreciate your candor.
Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 7th August 2008 at 05:19 AM.