Oud profiles by region/scent

#1
Hi all,
Just a bit of background.... I have been interested in fragrance for as long as I can remember. I have large collection of niche fragrances which I appreciate. I started to read further into how they are made, the ingredients involved, and as such, last year sometime, I bought the legends sampler pack from Ensar. (This was after buying some incredibly cheap 'oud' oils from the internet, let's not talk any further about that!)

Over a period of time I tried them out. What a journey it's been! So many different aromas and so many nuances to them all. Clearly i have a lot still to learn and i seek some guidance.

I appreciate there is another thread almost identical to this but I am keen to revisit the topic as what was available then is no longer available now. I wish to understand the different profiles and gain a deeper appreciation of this wonderful gift from mother nature.

What, in your opinions, are the best examples of their region and why?
For Example;
Vietnamese: Kinam Rouge- tobacco, spices, Kinam!
( I have a bottle of this on the way to me as a type, an early 40th birthday present!)

Maybe further to that.....What are the best examples in two categories. Still available and say 'legendary' or no longer available.
HINDI:
CHINESE:
THAI:
CAMBODI:
VIETNAMESE:
BORNEO:
LAOS:
MALAYSIAN:
MAROKE:
NEW GUINEA:
SRI LANKAN:
Thanks to all in advance if you take the time to educate me in this fascinating world.
Feebes
 

~A Coburn

Well-Known Member
#2
Hello Feebes, and welcome!
I'm happy to see you here, and hope that the information that follows is still useful given the time that has elapsed since your post.
I can only speak from my personal preferences and experiences, but here we go:

Hindi or Indian ouds were the first ouds that I was introduced to, and I believe this is often the case and why so many are turned off oud to begin with:(
As you know the traditional profile is 'barnyard' as it's so delicately put these days, and the very first I experienced from this region had me dashing for the soap and hot water, ughf. But, then you have artisanal distillations, and a lot of effort has gone into honing in on the nuances of the wood and leaving the funky fermentation behind.
To me the traditional Hindi profile is best exemplified by Assam Organic 2007, or Oud Yunus also 2007. They pack a powerful Hindi punch and are not lacking in the undertones, a lot of horizontal complexity within.
As of late, I haven't experienced many Indian ouds with the same potent opening, rather they have been refined and the sublte sweet grass, delicate oud, and baked clay profile is highlighted. For me Indian oud is some of the most energetically grounding of all ouds, and many find it highly meditative!

Chinese, well those who know me can guess what I'm going to say here, Hainan 2005, no contest! Others would argue that Yunnan Exclusive more fully showcases China, but I can't get past the incredible oriental zest within Hainan 2005 =)

Thai: Here you would have to go way back to find a wild Thai, and my guess is if you asked Ensar he might just share one with you, however to me the foundation of my oud experience and the oud that best represents Thailand is Oud Yusuf, with Jing Shen Qi coming in a close second, although the latter is too unique to represent the entire region because the dark incense character which it portrays isn't found in all Thai ouds.

Cambodi: Well now it gets tough... To me there are three specific Cambodi profiles, the most famous of which is Koh Kong, that deep rich profile bordering red, and for this Oud Mostafa No 5 is my favorite. There are two other profiles within Cambodia, the second most renowned is the tooty fruity profile, best represented by Pursat 2005. And the last profile, the bitter-sweet medicinal profile I've come to relate to Kampot, and I'd suspect Kambodi 1976 which Ensar just shared largely originates from there. Although only faint echoes of it remain in the modern distillations.

Vietnamese: Without getting into Kinam and ORISCENT oils like Nha Trang LTD, I'd have to say Kinam Rouge, because as you've observed it encompasses such a vast scent spectrum which highlights many of the regions most desirable profiles.

Borneo can hardly be mentioned without the infamous Borneo 3000 coming up, which is actually the oud that brought me back, however the region is so great any number of ouds can show you just how amazing it is. Kaliman Kala, Borneo 2000, Borneo 50k to name a few. Those portray the original dry, spicy, woody profile that I love so much, however there is another face to Borneo that's a jaw dropper best represented by Kinamantan. The profile is deep incense green, with a spice undertone, I can just sit and smell the bottle for hours to enjoy it, no need to even apply it, lol...

Laos: Pusong LTD, enough said!

Malaysia: Starting out in oud I found this to be the quintessential region of oud, the dark resinous profile exudes royalty and opulence, both of which I associate with oud. Tigerwood Royale and '95 are perfect examples of it, as is their sinking grade Kelantan cousin, Oud Ahmad... Oh how I wish I could wear that everyday!

Maroke: This is another region that is found challenging because not many have experienced the moist peat, moss covered rocks, and lichen dangling from dense canopies of tropical jungles. A current example would be Maroke Asgon, or for the more resinous profile Sultani 1990.

New Guinea: Here I'm going to cheat a bit and talk about my favorite spring and summer oud, Green Papua. My first experience was perhaps the first psychoactive experience I've had with oud, not in a psychedelic way, however it brought about vivid imagery which I can describe and remember clearly to this day. Since that first experience it has evolved and blossomed with the seasons. Next to Archipelago it is my favorite of the southern region.

New Guinea: For this region one must turn to the Sultan Series, the ocean-blue, salty profile has never been more pristine. True artistry and an incredible experience.

Sri Lanka: This is perhaps the most invigorating region. The bright profile is like a cool tropical sea breeze, with creamed honey, and green apple sweetness. I've yet to experience a Sri Lankan oud that I didn't like, although the late Suriranka Senkoh encompasses all that is Sri Lanka in an incredible essence.

Just my two scents =)
 

Rasoul S

Well-Known Member
#3
Hello Feebes, and welcome!
I'm happy to see you here, and hope that the information that follows is still useful given the time that has elapsed since your post.
I can only speak from my personal preferences and experiences, but here we go:

Hindi or Indian ouds were the first ouds that I was introduced to, and I believe this is often the case and why so many are turned off oud to begin with:(
As you know the traditional profile is 'barnyard' as it's so delicately put these days, and the very first I experienced from this region had me dashing for the soap and hot water, ughf. But, then you have artisanal distillations, and a lot of effort has gone into honing in on the nuances of the wood and leaving the funky fermentation behind.
To me the traditional Hindi profile is best exemplified by Assam Organic 2007, or Oud Yunus also 2007. They pack a powerful Hindi punch and are not lacking in the undertones, a lot of horizontal complexity within.
As of late, I haven't experienced many Indian ouds with the same potent opening, rather they have been refined and the sublte sweet grass, delicate oud, and baked clay profile is highlighted. For me Indian oud is some of the most energetically grounding of all ouds, and many find it highly meditative!

Chinese, well those who know me can guess what I'm going to say here, Hainan 2005, no contest! Others would argue that Yunnan Exclusive more fully showcases China, but I can't get past the incredible oriental zest within Hainan 2005 =)

Thai: Here you would have to go way back to find a wild Thai, and my guess is if you asked Ensar he might just share one with you, however to me the foundation of my oud experience and the oud that best represents Thailand is Oud Yusuf, with Jing Shen Qi coming in a close second, although the latter is too unique to represent the entire region because the dark incense character which it portrays isn't found in all Thai ouds.

Cambodi: Well now it gets tough... To me there are three specific Cambodi profiles, the most famous of which is Koh Kong, that deep rich profile bordering red, and for this Oud Mostafa No 5 is my favorite. There are two other profiles within Cambodia, the second most renowned is the tooty fruity profile, best represented by Pursat 2005. And the last profile, the bitter-sweet medicinal profile I've come to relate to Kampot, and I'd suspect Kambodi 1976 which Ensar just shared largely originates from there. Although only faint echoes of it remain in the modern distillations.

Vietnamese: Without getting into Kinam and ORISCENT oils like Nha Trang LTD, I'd have to say Kinam Rouge, because as you've observed it encompasses such a vast scent spectrum which highlights many of the regions most desirable profiles.

Borneo can hardly be mentioned without the infamous Borneo 3000 coming up, which is actually the oud that brought me back, however the region is so great any number of ouds can show you just how amazing it is. Kaliman Kala, Borneo 2000, Borneo 50k to name a few. Those portray the original dry, spicy, woody profile that I love so much, however there is another face to Borneo that's a jaw dropper best represented by Kinamantan. The profile is deep incense green, with a spice undertone, I can just sit and smell the bottle for hours to enjoy it, no need to even apply it, lol...

Laos: Pusong LTD, enough said!

Malaysia: Starting out in oud I found this to be the quintessential region of oud, the dark resinous profile exudes royalty and opulence, both of which I associate with oud. Tigerwood Royale and '95 are perfect examples of it, as is their sinking grade Kelantan cousin, Oud Ahmad... Oh how I wish I could wear that everyday!

Maroke: This is another region that is found challenging because not many have experienced the moist peat, moss covered rocks, and lichen dangling from dense canopies of tropical jungles. A current example would be Maroke Asgon, or for the more resinous profile Sultani 1990.

New Guinea: Here I'm going to cheat a bit and talk about my favorite spring and summer oud, Green Papua. My first experience was perhaps the first psychoactive experience I've had with oud, not in a psychedelic way, however it brought about vivid imagery which I can describe and remember clearly to this day. Since that first experience it has evolved and blossomed with the seasons. Next to Archipelago it is my favorite of the southern region.

New Guinea: For this region one must turn to the Sultan Series, the ocean-blue, salty profile has never been more pristine. True artistry and an incredible experience.

Sri Lanka: This is perhaps the most invigorating region. The bright profile is like a cool tropical sea breeze, with creamed honey, and green apple sweetness. I've yet to experience a Sri Lankan oud that I didn't like, although the late Suriranka Senkoh encompasses all that is Sri Lanka in an incredible essence.

Just my two scents =)
Pusong what now? Spill the beans brother adam. You can’t just casually put words ltd. And Pusong and get away with it ;)

By the way the above totally resonates with me as well.

Malaysia is tricky place. It gives us radically different oils like Ahmad, purple kinam, the two tiger woods... other distillers renditions can sometimes come across as cambodi and at other times Sri Lankan.
 

Smelly Vision

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Hello Feebes, and welcome!
I'm happy to see you here, and hope that the information that follows is still useful given the time that has elapsed since your post.
I can only speak from my personal preferences and experiences, but here we go:

Hindi or Indian ouds were the first ouds that I was introduced to, and I believe this is often the case and why so many are turned off oud to begin with:(
As you know the traditional profile is 'barnyard' as it's so delicately put these days, and the very first I experienced from this region had me dashing for the soap and hot water, ughf. But, then you have artisanal distillations, and a lot of effort has gone into honing in on the nuances of the wood and leaving the funky fermentation behind.
To me the traditional Hindi profile is best exemplified by Assam Organic 2007, or Oud Yunus also 2007. They pack a powerful Hindi punch and are not lacking in the undertones, a lot of horizontal complexity within.
As of late, I haven't experienced many Indian ouds with the same potent opening, rather they have been refined and the sublte sweet grass, delicate oud, and baked clay profile is highlighted. For me Indian oud is some of the most energetically grounding of all ouds, and many find it highly meditative!

Chinese, well those who know me can guess what I'm going to say here, Hainan 2005, no contest! Others would argue that Yunnan Exclusive more fully showcases China, but I can't get past the incredible oriental zest within Hainan 2005 =)

Thai: Here you would have to go way back to find a wild Thai, and my guess is if you asked Ensar he might just share one with you, however to me the foundation of my oud experience and the oud that best represents Thailand is Oud Yusuf, with Jing Shen Qi coming in a close second, although the latter is too unique to represent the entire region because the dark incense character which it portrays isn't found in all Thai ouds.

Cambodi: Well now it gets tough... To me there are three specific Cambodi profiles, the most famous of which is Koh Kong, that deep rich profile bordering red, and for this Oud Mostafa No 5 is my favorite. There are two other profiles within Cambodia, the second most renowned is the tooty fruity profile, best represented by Pursat 2005. And the last profile, the bitter-sweet medicinal profile I've come to relate to Kampot, and I'd suspect Kambodi 1976 which Ensar just shared largely originates from there. Although only faint echoes of it remain in the modern distillations.

Vietnamese: Without getting into Kinam and ORISCENT oils like Nha Trang LTD, I'd have to say Kinam Rouge, because as you've observed it encompasses such a vast scent spectrum which highlights many of the regions most desirable profiles.

Borneo can hardly be mentioned without the infamous Borneo 3000 coming up, which is actually the oud that brought me back, however the region is so great any number of ouds can show you just how amazing it is. Kaliman Kala, Borneo 2000, Borneo 50k to name a few. Those portray the original dry, spicy, woody profile that I love so much, however there is another face to Borneo that's a jaw dropper best represented by Kinamantan. The profile is deep incense green, with a spice undertone, I can just sit and smell the bottle for hours to enjoy it, no need to even apply it, lol...

Laos: Pusong LTD, enough said!

Malaysia: Starting out in oud I found this to be the quintessential region of oud, the dark resinous profile exudes royalty and opulence, both of which I associate with oud. Tigerwood Royale and '95 are perfect examples of it, as is their sinking grade Kelantan cousin, Oud Ahmad... Oh how I wish I could wear that everyday!

Maroke: This is another region that is found challenging because not many have experienced the moist peat, moss covered rocks, and lichen dangling from dense canopies of tropical jungles. A current example would be Maroke Asgon, or for the more resinous profile Sultani 1990.

New Guinea: Here I'm going to cheat a bit and talk about my favorite spring and summer oud, Green Papua. My first experience was perhaps the first psychoactive experience I've had with oud, not in a psychedelic way, however it brought about vivid imagery which I can describe and remember clearly to this day. Since that first experience it has evolved and blossomed with the seasons. Next to Archipelago it is my favorite of the southern region.

New Guinea: For this region one must turn to the Sultan Series, the ocean-blue, salty profile has never been more pristine. True artistry and an incredible experience.

Sri Lanka: This is perhaps the most invigorating region. The bright profile is like a cool tropical sea breeze, with creamed honey, and green apple sweetness. I've yet to experience a Sri Lankan oud that I didn't like, although the late Suriranka Senkoh encompasses all that is Sri Lanka in an incredible essence.

Just my two scents =)
Thanks for sharing this Sidi, which would be your favourite region currently then?
 
#5
This is quite intriguing to me. In my humble experience with oud, I never smelt two same oils even if they are from same region. Although Malay, Tigerwood and Oud Ahmed are way too different than they are similar. Same is true with a lot of Assam belt oils. I think the woods are truer to their respective regions not the oils. The oils wear the distiller's name on the sleeve. The artisan has his stamp on the oil. There are numerous tricks and tweaks while distilling which may or may not affect the way the oils comes out. I tend to smell the oils before and sense the overall feel before going into details like region. In my opinion, the artisan/distillation technique are far more imperative than the region.
That's how I feel at this moment. My perception might change with time, as I smell more oud and undergo olfactive evolution.:)

Having said that if somebody puts a gun to my head today and asks my favorite profile, I would say Papua New-Guinea without a second thought.
@Smelly Vision I know it is a hard question, What's your favorite profile and your favorite oil ?
 

Smelly Vision

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
This is quite intriguing to me. In my humble experience with oud, I never smelt two same oils even if they are from same region. Although Malay, Tigerwood and Oud Ahmed are way too different than they are similar. Same is true with a lot of Assam belt oils. I think the woods are truer to their respective regions not the oils. The oils wear the distiller's name on the sleeve. The artisan has his stamp on the oil. There are numerous tricks and tweaks while distilling which may or may not affect the way the oils comes out. I tend to smell the oils before and sense the overall feel before going into details like region. In my opinion, the artisan/distillation technique are far more imperative than the region.
That's how I feel at this moment. My perception might change with time, as I smell more oud and undergo olfactive evolution.:)

Having said that if somebody puts a gun to my head today and asks my favorite profile, I would say Papua New-Guinea without a second thought.
@Smelly Vision I know it is a hard question, What's your favorite profile and your favorite oil ?
Ahhh that’s such a difficult question for me, as it is for us all. Some days I love that bitterness and tea like quality synonymous with Vietnamese oils. Other days I love that cooling blue nuance associated with Sri Lankan’s, then again I have been known for my love of Indonesian oils especially from Borneo which for me tend to have a thick earthy jungly sweetness which drives me crazy. I also love a good hindi also, providing the pre distillation work is tastefully done (like oud mostafa for example) probably my favourite is Borneo. It just seems to have it all for me.

My opinion may change tomorrow though lol.

Sultan Mehmet has cemented my love for Borneo.
 

~A Coburn

Well-Known Member
#7
Thanks for sharing this Sidi, which would be your favourite region currently then?
When it comes to quality oud, my favorite tends to be whichever I'm wearing at the moment. There's always a reason I reach for a particular oud, and in most cases it's because it's the oud that will satiate my crave and match my current mood and the vibe I feel like exuding that day (or moment.)

I agree to a certain extent with @Himanshu Sharma about the distillers signature, and it definitely impacts the question of regional favorites... Just because an oud is Sumatran, doesn't automatically qualify it as an excellent scent profile, rather all the variables have to be just right. So more than the region it's about the quality and who's behind the distillation.

The scent profiles are each limited by the spectrum of the region, but I believe favorites and ranks should be limited to specific Oud distillations because of the impact of the aesthetics of the artist and the level of quality they hold as a standard.
 
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