Questions for the experienced.

Discussion in 'Artisanal Oud: Start Here' started by Heartistry, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    Hey good day oud family.

    I have questions that may help me and other new beginners on their journey, keeping integrity and offering the right support.

    Question 1,

    Does all oud get better with age?

    Is it worth saving any ouds purchased for longer periods to increase the depth of experience?

    Do plantation ouds age well? And is it worth aging them to even make them more of a in depth oud experience? Do they get more complex?

    What is Prachin? A region?

    What is the difference between hindi and India oud?

    And more questions to come. Yet don't want to over bear you guys.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely all love.

    Heartistey
     
  2. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Well-Known Member

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    Here’s my two cents...
    The conditions of aging affect aging,
    aging does affect oils,
    wether it is for the better or for the worse
    is a preferential thing.

    I think that a new distill should be aged,
    just enough for settling, beyond that,
    it should be up to the consumer to enjoy the oil in it’s different stages as it ages, or cap it long term.

    Aging will round off the scent, so with some oils, you may get more depth than acrobatics, but with the wide variety of distillation techniques nowadays, the differences in the effects of aging is likewise more varied. When I look back, and average out my experiences, I prefer to observe the oil as it changes, rather than put it on hold for years and years.

    There are mediocre plantation oud and then some good stuff. Complexity will lie in the wood itself, before being distilled, so you get what you cook.
    I would consider aging only a good plantation oil.

    Prachin Buri is a Province in Thailand.

    Hindi and Indian oils....they’re synonymous,
    but there are many regions of Hindi oils.
     
  3. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    @Oudamberlove ,

    That is a good to know. My common speculation was of such. That it depends in what experience someone looking for when it comes to aging.. As well important to age a little after distillation, I am guessing for water evaporation...
    What has made me ponder about age, is advertising for aged oud. 20 year aged. 4o year. I even found someone promoting 80 years aged for 3ml.

    I knew Prachin is a region. But didn't understand it, because from what I have been learning region doesn't always matter as much as the distillars technique and so forth. For the most part regions can smell similar, yet sometimes be transcended into new territory. I am guessing this is a observation I am noticing between commercial product and artisanal.

    Do most prachin smell the same? And are they barn like or fruit like? ( generally of course)

    And thank you for clearing up my question about hindi and indian.

    With my experience having to guess what ouds smell like long distance, until my travels east. Questions answered, like this, are very helpful upon my appreciation, spiritual and collectors journey. As a well also where I am best to put certain investments for my perfumery and keep the business well and alive.
    Thank you for the feedback. Respect

    Sincerely
    Heartistry
     
  4. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    Heartistry said: "For the most part regions can smell similar, yet sometimes be transcended into new territory. I am guessing this is a observation I am noticing between commercial product and artisanal."

    I don't think this is necessarily true, at least in my experience. In fact there is much less typicality with oud oils than I ever imagined when I started in late 2018. I strive to experience, assess and enjoy an oil on it's own merits, semi-independent of geography.

    Lastly, I have learned there are only a small handful of distillers/ sellers I feel are trustworthy enough to rely on any information provided about an oud oil. I hope you enjoy your oud/ agarwood journey!
     
  5. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    Thank you guys.

    It is confusing In some ways because many ouds are advertised by region without much independent descriptions of the batch itself. Ensar does a good job on independent discriptions. And I greatly appreciate it.

    All ouds I have experienced, I have appreciated. I want to make sure the questions I ask add to my desernment and navigation through the world of oud.
    Especially in the idea of purchasing oud from less descriptive sources and to the experience of these fragrance held for my family in the future. And if I have the ability to buy ouds that are adored by many, for us in the future, whether they increase in value or not; But for the the sake of keeping their beauty around. I will love to do this and do it properly.

    I appreciate all humble guidance and love here. Thank you
     
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  6. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    @Heartistry I didn't want to jump right in as I really love hearing from everyone else from their perspectives, but I hope what I share will be valuable to you.

    Not all oud gets better with age, and as Lieutenant @Kruger stated sometime long ago, one of the biggest criteria for an oud oil to get better, is that it was good to begin with. There are also many 'techniques' which large oud distributors use to 'force age' an oud for those of the opinion that thicker is better (although clearly that's not an accurate indicator, just look at Oud Extraordinaire)

    This is a kind of loaded statement :) as the answer is a resounding YES, though perhaps not why you think.

    It's definitely worth saving some of the oud you purchased for increased depth of experience, but the ultimate reality might very well be that it is you that is changing, not the oud. One's perception varies based on so many factors not the least of which is your mindset, your mood, and for me, even my diet. Foods that I am slightly allergic to like milk lead to minor inflammation, and slight sensory deprivation.

    And I think all the veterans here will agree that in order to really know an oud you have to experience it in various environments and seasons. You can't really say you know an oud if you've only smelled it on the most humid day of Summer. @mikhalil I think for example Oud Royale 2004 is going to have some pleasant surprises come spring just like Green Papua, 2014 did!

    But perhaps what you really meant was will all oud oils develop and mature into deeper more complex profiles, and I believe the answer to that is no.

    I'm pretty sure @Martin is of the opinion that the older the oud oil, the less 'oomph' it has, is that right Martin?

    Although I think there is some room for discussion here because for the most part I believe all the really old oud oils that exist these days are from the same regions... So it might not be their lack of one thing or another but more so their Malaysianess, eh?

    I second what @Oudamberlove said about this and just want to add that artisanal oud oils sourced from plantations that have nuances to begin with will likely further harmonize with time exhibiting a unique chord from the applicator and seamlessly unfurling thereafter. Oud Ehab is a good example as is Oud Yaqoub.

    I am also not personally of the opinion that plantation oils will develop complexities, rather they must be there from the start, and maturation may highlight some notes and subdue others.

    Aging an artisanal oud oil after distillation allows the oud oil to breath, to 'off gas' if you will, the notes imparted from the still. When you hear of oud oils referred to as 'young' or sometimes as 'green' meaning 'new' it's indicative of a 'fresh out the pot' kind of smell. Think of a 'new car' smell... some people really like it, although personally I'd rather air it out :confused: (unless it's fine leather)

    With oud it's not that bad, but there is a distinct 'freshness' that will go away with maturation, and so artisanal oud producers may wait to peak maturation before releasing a distillation, unless from my experience they want to share the aging process with others.

    Aging is not to get rid of water. That should be done loooooong before an oud oil is considered ready, and that process is called 'curing.' Many distillers however will intentionally not fully cure the oil, as water adds weight to the bottles...

    Technically it's possible, and likely it comes with a story of 'my family's been doing it for generations...' well, we all know how the game telephone goes, sometimes passing things around leads to, well things being a bit distorted.

    "I put a drop of 80 year old oud in that kilo of oil" becomes "That's 80 year old oil..." o_O

    Unfortunately that is a sad truth, at least with the big distributors. One must stop and contemplate, how do they have all the same oud oils in all of their storefronts... Like mainstream fragrances, formulas and compounding houses have more to do with it than what meets the eye...

    Best bet is to find a reliable source for oud wood from various regions, as all the oud you'll smell in the markets of the East will be pretty generic. Plantation oud is big business, which is also why they sell by the region, their production formula is like one ton of 30% resinous Thai, or Cambodi, or Vietnamese, or even Laos and China, yet all plantation, and for the most part, crassna.

    I think this is really great, and should be everyone's approach to their oud, although for single origin oud oils geography is a major factor and though there are techniques to elicit nuances and subtle notes from certain woods I'm talking artisanal oud oil here, and not Cambodian, I-mean-Vietnamese attars. :eek:
     
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  7. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    Wow, superb reply Adam. Thank you for the download.

    I guess, like most things, it takes experience to know. And as it sounds I am connected with the right people to co create and relate with upon The topic of oud.

    It definitely is a interesting market. And as a person who comes from other connoisseur artistries that demand transparency to keep integrity of products, like that in the artisanal chocolate world, cannabis and hemp worlds. It is not as easy in those fields to miss label one variety as another for profit. With the right experience one can easily tell. Plus the industries thrive off of keeping lineages in integrity. And it creates a more solid market all around for everyone. Especially plant breeders like myself.

    I do want to mention as a note: after my month away from oregon, experiencing my ouds in Colorado and oklahoma, as well on different planes. Back here in Oregon, with all the beautiful smells around. I have determined so far, this environment breeds the best out of each bottle. Could be all the other subtitles in the air here in oregon. But all the oils are way more vibrant in this environment.

    Bless, Oud Fam!
     
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  8. Rasoul S

    Rasoul S Well-Known Member

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    Great discussion. Great stuff. Just fantastic. I actually have different point of view than respected experienced oud brother: Martin. My eyes are crossed already from excess screen time (work). I’ll be back.
     
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  9. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    @Heartistry thanks brother, I do hope the words were helpful.

    Keep in mind however, that there is one major difference between the artisanal chocolate, hemp, and cannabis world and that of authentic artisanal oud oil, and that is the former goods are all easily reproducible and 'sustainable' in the general sense of the word.

    The raw materials for artisanal oud oils on the other hand are nearing extinction.

    Eventually once the 'industry' reduces agarwood to only a few varietals it also won't be easy to label one variety as another, and with experience usually one can easily tell, unless they're drunk on ego and the Kool aid served to them behind closed doors.
     
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  10. ~A Coburn

    ~A Coburn Well-Known Member

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    @Martin I think this is very valuable info Martin, so for those new to the oud scene could you share who those distillers and vendors are? And also from which source do you mostly find the oud oils to be atypical of their origins?
     
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  11. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    Hi Adam, I have a good relationship with many reseller/ distillers. Many of them are good people who I’ve had no purchase problems with. Some have been very helpful. I’ve evolved to become a more discriminating oud/agarwood consumer so my buys outside the two leading companies are now infrequent.

    Because of the unfortunate and dastardly politics within the oud community I don’t want to name any outfit or single anyone out in an open forum when a serious transgression to me has not occurred. I will say that IMO beyond the two leading companies there’s quite a gap to whomever might be third! Lol.

    With vendors sourcing premade oils via the Internet they are mostly reliant upon whatever the distiller or middleman tells them. Misinformation can and does occur.
     
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  12. Rasoul S

    Rasoul S Well-Known Member

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    so much to say, little time and not the best medium to say it. here is my attempt:

    typicity (carrying telltale aromas and qualities of the cultivar and subregion) is of utmost importance in the world of wine. in vino veritas or in wine is truth is an old saying. it is in fact quite true in oud as well. having said that just like int he world of wine, exceptions and contradictions exist in the world of oud.

    for example in the old world in a place like burgundy, the winegrower (they dont beleive you make wine, but rather grow it) is NOT interested in "making" the best wine or impart much of their ego or house style, but rather they are after transfering the intrinsic qualities unique to that sub-region. they know how to make a technically speaking better wine, but refrain from that. on the other hand, places in the new world, say F%$# that. why not utilize techniques and technology, clever use of this and that to make a "better" wine. the debate for both sides goes forever. most real passionate wine lovers tend to firmly stay in camp 1 (grown not made) but to each their own.

    same thing in world of oud. there are oils that are made to be the poster child of a region or cultivar and those that go above that. ouds made like nigiri sushi and ouds made like jambalaya!

    agar aura and their gen 3 oils (lets say pretty much anything made in last 2-3 years) are ones that try to show the wearer the intrinsic aromas of the wood. direct translation if you. having said that, taha did release a series of oils that were meant to showcase anomalies and less before seen or associated with a certain region oils. think of hindustan 1 and its "blue note". not typical hindi, yet very authentic especially if you smell the wood itself. ditto au luong (an ultra zesty, citrus peel cambodi). there were many more...

    from ensar oud, you have experiments like oud mostafa series, mostafa 4 or 5 coudlnt be more different from one another and showcase artisinal prowess and skill. then you have what is to my nose very typical of their origin oils like b50k, orsl, tigerwood oils, and countless others.

    in sum, for me, with more exposure to oud and more so familiarizing yourself with the wood itself, you will gain more insight and see better for yourself which notes are derived from the technique which from wood. dont get me wrong, hand of distiller like winegrower or maker will always show. but the idea is how much? is it kept at a minimum or was it meant or ended up being so heavy-handed that it obscured the origin/grade, etc.

    for me after extensive study (still a student and will be for life), and trying to see past the techniques and makeups, more often than not (never an exact science) i can drill down to region and or cultivar or both, regardless of how it was made. i find this to be truer even with higher grade oils. they speak more confidently and can manage to show their intrinsic personality despite the many added layers of notes via technique.

    in one short sentence if you ask me: there is more typicity than not in the world of oud. wood or oil. bare in mind anomalies exist.

    at the end if oud is looked at for hedonistic visceral enjoyment, then who care. go for an oil that you like the scent. for me on the other hand, is about the study, the dissection and detective work of cause and effect. what brought on xyz note. is abc note from wood or process. etc etc.


    happy exploring
     
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  13. Rasoul S

    Rasoul S Well-Known Member

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    with regards to age:
    to each their own. sometimes i like the sharp, piercing, diamond-like top notes of fresh oil. but more often than not i prefer that round, gentle, caresses you quality over everything else.

    the fresh, young, top note heavy oils are like sniffing gasoline or glue! there is a mind buzz effect that many like. yet this buzz is not the same as that seen in oils made from true incense grade and better grade wood. oils like kyara ltd may not excite like a resh sri Lankan oil at first, but the buzz does of the former keep building up and stays forever, while the latter camp shits the bed a few minutes in.

    then you have oils like oud ahmad for example that are so well-aged that basically the base is yanked to the top and that's all you see from getgo till the oil dies on yoru skin many many hours later.

    the mood calls for different experiences. some days ONLY very very well-aged oils do, other days fresh oils, other days in-betweens. for the most part i prefer in-betweens closer to mature side. best of both worlds...
     
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  14. Rasoul S

    Rasoul S Well-Known Member

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    respectfully (there is no wrong or right) i am on polar opposite. typicity means a great deal to me. i go to an italian restaurant. i ask for bolognese pasta, they bring me the single greatest amatriciana i have ever had. FAIL. thats not what it was supposed to be. i wanted something else. aside his, from a philosophical and nature-respect point of view, for ME (i do not for a second believe this should be for everyone and here is one way to enjoyment), i care very much when distiller tried to capture the essence of that region with perhaps very minor improvements, than totally obscure it. my enjoyment of a technically great oil if it doesnt carry strong regional and cultivar signatures, massively diminishes.
    again to each their own. no one way of skinning a cat.
     
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  15. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    Such a good point. I want to clarify to respect, my comment in it being a interesting market, is more defined as the amount of false advertising I see. And It is a humbling experience to see that side ofnoud and saddens my heart.

    In cacao world, there are a few varietals, like heirloom criollo's that are being guarded with life, to preserve their rare and unique bean. All though in deep respect they do not wiegh against the rarity as 60 plus year wild old agarwood tree, now of current wild endagerment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020 at 10:12 AM
  16. Heartistry

    Heartistry Member

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    Thank you for your time and words brothers, Bless. @Adam Oud @Rasoul S

    And oudept I am for sure, and to be humbly educated is deeply honored and appreciated. Catching the era of oud in where it is, even as it sounds has changed tremendously, I am deeply honored. And em slowly starting to learn regions, and qualities of resin and how they transpire into the oil.

    Currently wearing Peoples Silani, and I am deeply impacted and graced . To me it is a very beautiful, elegant, and yet subtly wild masculine scent. To experience that next to a bottle of Nag Layyen, the difference is highly evident, in region and age of wood was used. I personally bought the Nag Layyrn for perfumery ingredients, as other oils I am wearing for personal. I am still getting use to the hay and barn note In Nag. All though, I appreciate it for what it is, and even being raised around a horse farm; I still not sure if I can find myself digging my nose into Nag, like my nose and heart wants to be saturated with Peoples Silani. Both are good oils, amazing oils for the price and sacredness.

    Quality of oud, as in resin percentage over wood matter, age of resin, region and varietal of the tree, I can see so much more now on how it transpires to unique compartmentalized fragrances. Excited to keep learning. And if in God's wish, I may learn how distillation refines the process even more.
    Either way, my heart truly feels when there is a more clean activated distilled spirit, or a more wild ( not in the sense tree) wild as in all over the place unsettled non mature scent from woods. And the experience it gives my soul, is a good sign what quality and depth of wood the oil came through. Still open to that though.


    What creates a barn note? Is it fermentation and soaking of wood, or specific varieties of tree?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020 at 10:17 AM

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