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Al Shareef humbly presents AL MALEK AL MALAKI The Angelic King. An Oudh specimen of the highest grade AL MALEK AL MALAKI is a work of love, a life’s companion, the toils of youthfulness.
Al Malek Al Malaki experience is an out-of-world experience. Opening with a touch of spice, a woody Oudh-like spice which isn’t overbearing but possessing just the right amount to bait you into wanting to sniff deeper, with a deep dark heart of herbaceous garden; bamboo, fern and green plums enveloped in a silken thin layer of leather and honey balm. If you are one of those people who experience mind buzz with Oudh then right now you are already entranced… and the journey has only begun… this oudh is meditative, relaxing, soothing and elegant. It is a masterpiece. Fragrant and grand.
Top; Spice, Wood, Herbs
Middle; Bamboo, Fern, Green Plums
Base; Leather, Honey Balm, Oudh Woods
Let us take a step back and rewind to 1999.
Before the Chinese craze for Oudh had taken off in the world, the main market for Oudh was the gulf states. When Oudh was discovered across the Oudh-producing world chances were it would eventually make its way towards the gulf market either as solid or liquid gold. Supply was abundant with little competition. In fact, in those days you could even find solid black logs of Oudh the size of your forearm in the old markets in Makkah and Madinah.
In those days, Oudh wood would be shipped to Jeddah and Makkah to be distilled by ASQ at their HQ facility because it was that cheap, though they had already began to establish distilleries in South East Asia specifically for their demands. It was an era where the ease of mechanical tools combined with the art of the Oudh hunters. The hunters had better tools and rides with which to source the Oudh riches from the deep jungles, though in those days they didn’t have to go so deep to get wonderful oudhs.
As I wear Al Malek Al Malaki reminiscing upon those days, I am struck by how lucky I am to possess a timepiece of that history today. We distilled this gem from incense logs you wouldn’t be able to find today even if you wanted to. Even if you had all the money at your disposal these logs are simply no longer available – not as aged, not as rich in aroma and not as plentiful. From the depth of the most pristine Island jungles of Indonesia, namely Sumbawa, an island located in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain with Lombok to the west, Flores to the east, and Sumba further to the southeast.
Traditionally, the island is known as the source of sappanwood in addition to honey and sandalwood. Its savanna-like climate and vast grasslands are ideal to breed horses and cattle as well as to hunt deer. Oudh from this unique environment carries the traces of its habitat, it is the most deeply fragrant, woody-with-gentle-touches-of honey-soaked species of oudh you will ever have the pleasure to smell.
This project of ours was a private distillation for personal family use only, not intended for sale. The logistics involved, the time, costs and artistic labour that went to producing this oil meant this would have to stay within private ownership as this quality of Oudh simply does not exist in the public sphere. After distillation was complete, we coveted this liquid gold for over two decades not even opening it for personal use. That is enough time for a young man to grow white hairs, for a new born to complete the teenage years and enter their twenties.
It is important to reflect on the passage of time as it is a science forgotten in modern perfumery where many are releasing perfumes every other week. Aging plays a pivotal part in Oudh and is a distinguishing factor between newbies and those who have passed the test of time. In the last 2 plus decade I am not aware of any such under taking as Al Malek Al Malaki.
So after all these years why am I releasing this gem? The whole world has gone through so much. Every community, neighbourhood and family – no one has been left untouched. In these difficult times it is important to have moments of light that give us energy and encouragement to persevere and push through.
Here you can watch the opening of the cannister that was holding this gem.
The fragrance of middle eastern royalty, natural, niche and luxury.
When used in a perfume composition, Oud is most often a base note, which tends to remain on the skin long after the others dissipate. Since they form the perfume’s foundation, base notes are very rich, heavy and long-lasting (up to six hours and more). They serve to enhance the scent of other ingredients; and, in some cases, they impart a fragrance all their own. While most wood notes are known for their earthy qualities, Oud provides a pleasant sweet scent and is often featured in a synthetic version because it is so costly to harvest.