Head to Head: Borneo 3000 vs Borneo 50K

Discussion in 'Oud Oil' started by ~A Coburn, Apr 9, 2019.

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Borneo 3000 or Borneo 50K?

  1. Borneo 3000

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Borneo 50K

    5 vote(s)
    100.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    (originally posted in "Borneo 3000, Legend or myth?!?")​

    Would a Malinau by any other name still smell so sweet?

    Before we start the comparison, a fun little fact about Borneo 50K:

    The oud was distilled in 2005, and when it was released in 2014, oud of the same quality which it was distilled from was going for $50,000 per kilo!!!

    In a sigh of relief and with contained joy it was aptly named "Borneo 50K."

    There are many factors to consider when comparing ouds from the same region, of course the raw material is crucial, but you can't tell that from looking at the oil, nor can you base an impression on whiffs from the applicator alone, top notes might be similar, but what about the rest of the underlying profile?

    Externally the most obvious factor is the date, and Borneo 50K has been maturing for 10 years longer than Borneo 3000.

    So: same artist, same region, different quality of raw material, and 10 years difference in age... How do they compare?!?!


    Borneo 3000, 2015 and Borneo 50K, 2005 head to head:​

    Today April 7th 2019 is approximately 21 degrees Celsius.

    The majority of the observations were taken within a South facing apartment with a cross breeze from the West. The building stays relatively cool given the materials. My hands unfortunately are also quite dry today due to my use of an industrial soap while out and about likely containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which will dry out my hands like a puddle in the Sahara (On a side note this is also the ingredient within toothpaste and shampoo that dries out your mouth and scalp)

    Ok, I won't start a rant... onto the oud!!!

    Application 9:08 am

    A single drop which is again .01 gr is directly applied to my pulse point where the thumb meets the forefinger. For observations this is my choice spot although yesterday when observing Borneo 3000 I couldn't resist taking a bit from the dot before rubbing in and applying it behind my ear lobes on my neck. (My favorite spot for wearing an oud.)

    The pre-rub aromas are very similar however Borneo 3000 is visibly darker, more reddish and slightly more viscous retaining its shape more wholly. Borneo 50K is more yellow and disperses itself on the skin.

    Rather than dabbing I rubbed the oils into my skin which covered about a 1 1/2" area.

    Immediately after the 'rub in' Borneo 3000 was smooth and very creamy. However the profile didn't blast off as before, rather it was slightly subdued.

    Borneo 50K on the other hand (literally) took off with a high pitched piercing and sharp blast! -Reminiscent of the Oriscent oils and their medicinal potency, by 'medicinal' here I mean a vaporous tone with the penetration (not the scent) of eucalyptus, I don't mean that balmy band-aid formaldehyde like smell.

    9:27
    Borneo 3000 has emerged, though gently to a solid profile.
    The fumes have cleared from Borneo 50K's take off and it's come down to about the same level as Borneo 3000.
    Both giving off a creamy vanilla pollen profile, gotta love those sesquiterpens =)

    9:32
    Borneo 3000 has become an amalgamation of deep woods and cream with hints of a light vanilla tinge.

    Here Borneo 50K sets itself apart, it's heightened with a pristine crystalline structure and crisp distinct notes indicating the high quality of the oud used for the distillation. One may speculate it's an attribute of age, however to me age imparts a tone to the ouds profile and does not effect the individual notes within.

    Case in point, compare Oud Ahmad to Tigerwood Royale... both from 2001 and both have a vintage tone, the nuances however within each come from the quality of the oud distilled not the maturation.

    10:29
    Both ouds seem to be following the same bell curve exhibiting similar developmental phases, Borneo 3000 has turned more musky and creamy, leaving the woody notes behind, and Borneo 50K though a similar profile has a higher brighter pitch.

    10:47: A quick observation in passing.
    Borneo 3000 smooth creamy and mellow.
    Borneo 50K Piercing, bright and invigorating.

    At 11:41 Borneo 3000 is three notches lower in hue than 50k which is going strong with a distinct yellow powdery note.

    After my fourth hand washing of the day at 11:54 Borneo 3000 has warmed to a hue of red blood-orange with a metallic aldehyde note;
    Borneo 50K has mellowed into a cool pear flesh tone, still yellow but now cool and passive.

    After a couple more hours both have become skin scents, perceptible, but flat. I neglected to note the time as my observation was in passing.

    After lunch at 3:30 I took an afternoon walk through the neighborhood to drop something off to Sheikh @ehab of Morning Oud, in our hilly neighborhood that's enough to get the blood pumping, both profiles became alive, leaping once more from my skin, and both portrayed a similar characteristics of woods, cream and vanilla. Individual notes were not so discernible from either one at this point but rather a fragrance as a whole.

    They settled back down as my body temperature cooled and the scent of Italian Roast filled the air as I opted for an afternoon espresso...

    Overall the performance of Borneo 3000 was over 6 hours and 30 minutes for a single drop, that's some serious performance in my book, even with dry hands and 7+ hand washes...

    Borneo 50K was a true delight, an overall feeling of purity and benevolence exudes from it and I look forward to wearing it more as a fragrance, rather than for observation.

    There's just no overdoing a Borneo. Certain profiles like Aroha Kyaku and Tigerwood Royale can be overwhelming and with them less is more, however I can really slather on Borneo 3000 and 50K and the experience will just be proportionately better.

    In the end Borneo 50K came out the winner, its performance is a step ahead at every stage with the notes of the profile being ultra crisp and clean. That said Borneo 3000 only lagged a couple steps behind and is an exemplary specimen of Malinau, keeping up with Borneo 50K after all is no small feat!

    Everyone's criteria for 'better' or 'superior' is different though, so which do you think is better? And what are your criteria for comparisons?

    Choose which you prefer in the survey at the top of this page, Borneo 3000 or Borneo 50K?!?!?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  2. Micheal Smith

    Micheal Smith Active Member

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    Great analysis and interesting read!

    Thanks Adam.
     
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  3. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Micheal Smith,
    During today's decants of Borneo 3000 I realized the profile I commonly refer to as 'vanilla' within the Malinau ouds, is exactly like the ambient aroma of Hainanese Kyara Skins, and it's a far more apt comparison because the vanilla isn't really vanilla, and the cinnamon isn't cinnamon, Borneo 3000 hints at those notes, and Borneo 50K portrays each very distinctly, but the experience is far beyond just vanilla and cinnamon.

    The speckled hazy texture of Borneo 3000 is also an aspect I find incredibly appealing, it's almost like sipping a carbonated beverage it's so alive!
     
  4. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Not so much “either/or” but rather “both/and”! Both have their unique and shared merits. Both help to sharpen focus and awareness.
    B3000’s notes:
    Top: apple mint, almond blossom, citrus, feijoa, raspberry, sage.
    Heart: jelly bush honey, butterscotch, vanilla, camphor, eucalyptus, hops, frankincense.
    Base: santal, ambergris.
    3000’s overall colour profile tends towards a cooler, light green.
    B50K’s notes:
    Top: lilies, vanilla, raspberry, linseed, almond blossom, camphor.
    Heart: wild honey, citrus, cinnamon, sage, cardamom, ambergris, chrysanthemum.
    Base: santal, clove, frankincense, Corsican mint.
    50K’s overall colour profile tends more towards warmer apricot.
    Another distinction between the two is in the vaporous/ethereal activity of 50K being evident earlier after application (and dryer/sharper earlier) than 3000 which has a more delayed release but is just as enduring and a little sweeter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  5. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I'll be cracking open my bottle of Borneo 50k a bit earlier than I thought! Gotta give it a full swipe and experience it in all its glory!!!

    Your observations lead me to a point I've been mulling over, which is how much is enough?!?! As detailed, I usually just use a single drop when 'testing,' but for it to really open up, and to experience the full spectrum, I think a full on swipe is necessary. Much like how wood doesn't give everything at once, I'd assume a single drop of oil doesn't actually contain the full aromatic spectrum.

    With my personal use oils I throw caution to the wind and take gracious swipes; and give them to everyone around, but I'm a little more conservative with other people's oils =)

    What about you, what's your ideal amount? And does it differ from occasion to occasion?

    @Anthony great to have you here!
     
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