There’s a reason why the Arabs love Merauke – and no it isn’t just because of the size of the Merauke Oudh Nuggets. Being one of the most common counterfeit woods available in the market unfortunately the gulf market is extremely saturated with fake (Sana’i) material – so much so that some governments have even noticed the ill effects on health and have been compelled to issue warnings to their citizens.
Real Merauke Oudh is in high demand, and it isn’t easy to come by regardless of what that pushy Oudh trader is trying to sell you. For all other Oudh the hunters hunt for Oudh trees across sprawling jungles and occasionally the floor of the jungle where the trees have dropped, but real Merauke Oudh isn’t found on the surface of the jungle but rather below the ground buried beneath the jungle floor. This is why when the chips are recovered and cleaned, the outer layer flakes off easily due to it underground weathering. This is also why it is rarer than other types of Oudh because digging them out is a lengthy labour of love much akin to the excavation of a heritage site.
You must have heard of red soil and yellow soil Vietnamese woods, they are woods that had similarly been buried in the jungle floors. Merauke however are much older in age and are buried for much longer than the Vietnamese woods.
So why do the Arabs adore Merauke? To put it simply, Oudh in our culture is not to be just ‘listened’ to. Don’t get me wrong there are many who have an Oudh space where they will go and relax and enjoy high-grades of Oudh individually or with like-minded colleagues, but the primary purpose of Oudh in the Islamic Arab culture is for hospitality of the guests. Guests are received with the fragrant burn of Oudh and are scented with both Oudh oil and the heating of woods as they relax and get comfortable. The guests are fumigated with Oudh after a meal and a generous chunk is left to simmer away in the corner of the majles for as long as the gathering continues to exonerate the guest – AND there is nothing that packs a punch like the Merauke in open spaces and on clothes.
Lying hidden and preserved perfectly, sandwiched between layers of earth and bio matter under tonnes of compressing jungle decay this Merauke was excavated by chance when scouting the jungles of Western Papua for none-oudh purposes. I have broken many pieces rigorously splitting them open to test and have found worm hole which would have been the initial fungal infection before the trees fell and were buried but then I also found fine tree roots running through the holes.
These nuggets are STUNNING and they pack a WOODY punch. Where the Sri Lankan walla patta has a cool green banana top note, these Merauke nuggets have a green walnut note with the lightest touch of baby shoot ginger. These nuggets are not shy of heat, crank them up right from the get go and they bubble away giving off smooth waves of olfactory satisfaction. The heart notes are filled with aged wood notes but not swampy. It conjures up for me the earthy note that wooden structures in the desert give when the first rain falls on them. At the end when the pieces turn coal black, there is a fleeting dried lime note except it is more smooth as though touched by some cream.
Some of these nuggets are half sinkers and others slow sinking, with the majority being triple super.
As you know I am not one for all these generic grades and I prefer to focus more on the scent. Here are some of the oldest and finest Merauke woods you will ever have the joy to possess and we are delighted to present them to you.
10 Grams, 20 Grams, 40 Grams