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Our last few releases have included a number of organic Oudh Oils with the aim of showcasing the potential of organic now in comparison to the past – and many of you have noted the results are amazing. Our expertise coupled with good-quality organic Oudh has produced some breathtaking oils over the years, even winning awards for the best Organic Oudh oil.
However, whilst we have released a number of Organic Oils, we haven’t released many Organic woods – the reason being many Organic woods just don’t deal well with or shine with heat, particularly charcoal heat. But…then came along cultivated kynam (CK). Whilst CK also doesn’t do great with charcoal heat, it does incredibly well on electrical heaters, especially on low heat. A couple-days-incredibly-well!! steadily releasing euphoric vanilla and cinnamon waves. This has piqued the interest of many a connoisseurs; of course there’s the element of the beauty of smell aspect, but as important just how long a small sliver lasts on the heater. I have literally had it go for a number of days, and as long as you get the temperature right, you don’t get charred notes either.
Due to renewed interest there are now an increasing number of growers saturating the scene with many directly accessible for small quantities by the end user via Alibaba, Etsy, Ebay and different social media platforms. From here on, you know the rest of the story. Once interest in a market is established then the good, bad and ugly all jump in to cash on the wave and it can begin to get very difficult filtering the rubbish from the cream. Especially when you start considering the technical aspects of agarwood cultivation; the chemical kits, fertilizers and other dilutants that can be used in the process.
After all, not all cultivated kynam are created equal.
As part of our initiative into Organic Oudh we have been keeping a close eye on the development of CK and have our preferred specialists in China who we regularly sample and study their progress. We also provide one particular cultivator with advice and consultation on how to grow the most premium CK. This grower has been working with us closely for ten years and are one of the oldest cultivators of Kynam in China, if not the oldest. We opted to work closely with these growers as they were keen to learn from our experience which we had developed working with Organic Oudh plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Australia.
With their farm at a location that housed a large number of wild kynam trees in the bygone years, with some of ‘mother’ trees still standing among the cultivated trees. Interestingly, many of the cultivated trees are pruning from the mother tree. This to us, was very unique because of two aspects, the botanical gene pool and the environment of growth of previous wild trees. In addition, they do not use any chemicals- not even for the initiation of the trees defense – rather they employ hot rods or nails in place of chemicals.
That is a little education about the background and process… but here is something that only we have access to and we are proud to share this with you. On offer is old harvest, bespoke CK, hand selected for Al Shareef by the grower, then further regraded and sorted by myself. These are not off cuts or left overs from a primary process that was intended for something else – these are harvested directly from the tree, cleaned and graded for Al Shareef.
These pieces are the chunks that are harvested from the immediate area around the wound in the tree and where the most concentration of defense activity takes place. The oil and resin content is clearly visible with dark blue/green nearing black in colour. The photos don’t do it justice.
These pieces are fragrant at room temperature. Opening the jar you are met with an instant whiff of cherry blossom note and a delicate vanilla, floral, earthy, and slightly bitter scent.
When chewing, you get a bitter-taste with the numbing after-affect on the tongue, a little nose and head tickle to go along with it.
When you place it on the heater, and I recommend starting very low, there are multiple layers and levels to these wonderful pieces. Starting off with a delicate vanilla, floral, earthy, and slightly bitter scent the journey begins, then comes along a touch of apple peel with some cinnamon coupled with a beautiful dark powdery resinous note, with a touch of cool menthol, before it settles to a wonderful long lasting flow of resinous vanilla note that will literally go for at least 24hrs on low heat.
There isn’t much so I will portion these in 5gram batches so that as many people can try them. It is going to be both a fragrant and educational experience, After all, not all cultivated kynam are created equal. If you wish you add multiples in your cart.
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.