As stated in earlier posts, the wild Aquilaria Crassna trees of Cambodia are a thing of the past. However, the Crassna species has been experiencing serious cultivation efforts in Thailand. Ensar Oud’s most recent organic releases (Oud Yusha and Encens d’ Ankgor) are oils distilled from Cambodian Oud wood that has been organically cultivated in Thailand.
However, Agar Aura has recently released a 100% wild-harvested Cambodian Oud oil, named Oud Kampuchea. The claim that Kampuchea was 100% wild-harvested absolutely intrigued me. Knowing it to be a rare specimen, I asked Taha what the story was behind this oil, and I received the following very informative reply from him:
TAHA: Wild Cambodian Oud is indeed extinct. However, there is statistical extinction and there’s all-out extinction (e.g. there are animals which do exist on Earth, but they are considered ‘extinct’, because their numbers are small and chances of their continued existence too bleak).
In the case of Cambodian Oud, wild trees are so few that their existence is of no statistical significance. They are either close to borders (and we know how dangerous they can be in that part of the world), or hidden away in extremely hard to reach areas. (We, in the West, fail to realize how HARD it is to spend even a single day in one of these jungles. Some hunters are in there for months).
Statistically speaking, Indian Oud has also been extinct for LONGER than Cambodian Oud–since about the 1940’s or so. However, there are still wild trees present there today, albeit very few. Oud Khidr is an example of an Oud that defies stats, so to speak. Speaking of Oud Khidr, I’m disappointed that people haven’t been giving it the attention it deserves.
Anyhow, back to the point. Wild Oud is extinct in Vietnam, Cambodia, and India. However, there is still wild Oud coming out of their jungles. Its just soooooo little that their numbers are of no value. Did you know, for example, that even today hunters in Vietnam sometimes stumble upon legendary grade wood? Don’t even get me started on the cruelty that follows thereafter (including life threats, torture, etc.). But the point is that they are there, even if they’re very few.
That’s why cultivation is such a great idea. So far though, cultivated Oud hasn’t been all that wowing. I can tell you though, after I smelled Thai Encens 2*, I had to change my mind. : )
The trees from which Oud Kampuchea was distilled were actually not that old. Maybe around 2 decades old . But the infection was estimated to be older (7-9 years) based on the resin formation. I think maybe that’s the reason why Kampuchea is more potent. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter how old the tree is, beyond a certain point. When you’re talking about cultivated Oud, your focus has to be on the age of the resin, not the age of the tree. Then there’s the issue of diminishing rate of return (smaller and smaller % yield of oil), as the resin gets older and denser. That opens up a whole new cans of worms, ha ha!
In short: me getting a hold of Kampuchea was something God had destined. Something The Most Merciful was Gracious enough to gift me with. I didn’t expect it. I can’t count on always being able to get oil like it. I consider myself very fortunate for having acquired it. : )
*Thai Encens 2 is a privately released organic Oud from Ensar Oud. It is the second distillation from incense-grade wood of the Aquilaria Crassna variety. Due to its similarity to the fragrance of fine Japanese Incense, the oil has been named “Thai Encens”. Additionally, those who have smelled this oil have remarked on its striking similarity to the legendary Kyara LTD. A bottle of this oil has been set aside for me, and will be reviewed on this website.
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