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About this product
Opening with a mind-perplexing elusive note that weaves between ripen fruits or florals, it twists and turns making it very difficult to catch. I have worn this Oil numerous times to pin down this very note but I am still searching. It is like the bottom of white florals dare I say a sensual jasmine note, with the indolic touch and a top of ripe cherries and tamarind. There is a meditative feel with the sense of dark fruit bitterness and the calmness of mountains herbs, strong and clear. Clearly age plays a pivotal role based on how smooth the transitions are from slight ethereal top to the rich velvety heart and woody base. There is something unique about Oudhs from high altitudes; they seem to have the grandeur and stoic nature of the mountains to support you.
Top; Indolic Florals, Rip Cherries, Tamarind
Middle; Mountain Herbs, Dark Fruits, Sensual Jasmine
Base; Velvet, Wood, Bitter Fruits
I have held onto ARAKAN – the Warrior Oudh for some time now. I delayed releasing this oil because I knew this might be one of THE last ethical Oudhs from this region. The world is aware of the oppression the people of this region, the Rohingya, have suffered. Prior to the oppression of the Arakan natives, the Rohingya had resided on this land for centuries. They held a unique way of life, cultural practices and religion, they also happen to have an old appreciation of Oudh.
You need to know two things about ARAKAN. One, this is an outstanding oil and two, this is most likely one of the few ethical oils from this region. It is difficult to assert the ethical status of new Oudhs that come from Burma as the junta have their fingers in everything. ARAKAN is a different story I acquired it from a colleague in the region prior to the oppression of the Burmese state on the Rohingya. Whilst ARAKAN is an Oudh I did not distil I was overjoyed to possess it and to me it is a tribute to the history of this great civilisation.
Arakan is a historic coastal region in Southeast Asia whose borders face the Bay of Bengal to its west, the Indian subcontinent to its north and Burma to its east. The Arakan Mountains isolate the region and making it accessible only by the Indian subcontinent and the sea. The region now forms the Rakhine State in Myanmar.
Arabs were some of the earliest people to travel to the east by sea and were in contact with Arakan even during the pre-Islamic days. The Arakanese first received the message of Islam from the shipwrecked Arabs in 788 A.D. Such shipwrecks were frequent occurrences in the coasts of Arakan and Chittagong. These trade ships brought goods for trade to this region returning with spices and fragrant Oudh back to Arabia.
This Arab presence, with the message of Islam, made up the nucleus of Muslim society in Arakan. Thus in Wesali the Arakanese practiced Hinduism, Mahayanist form of Buddhism and Islam. The Rohingya are a product of this rich culture and heritage long before Burma even entered the region.
I decided to release Arakan this week after one of my mentors suggested we should celebrate the culture of the oppressed as a means of solidarity with them. Prior to this I had forgotten about this Oudh and I had no intention of releasing it but here it is – Arakan – the warrior oudh. A gem to celebrate our Rohingya brothers, their struggle, steadfastness, culture and art.
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