Oud Yusha: Cambodia’s Fruit Bowl

Oud Yusha. A very fruity Cambodian oil that is deeply resinous and honey-sweet. If you can hear and feel the word “Yusha” then you have an audible allegory for its fragrance. It is very much like strawberry jam. The notes of amber are really nice and bright, making this an upbeat and lively oil.

Yusha smells nearly identical to Agar Aura’s Oud Kampuchea. But Yusha’s fruits are darker, and its amber notes are more pronounced. Altogether, Yusha is a livelier and brighter oil–a younger sister of Oud Kampuchea.

What is really worth noting here is that Oud Yusha was distilled from organically cultivated agarwood, and that Kampuchea was distilled from wild agarwood that was approximated to have an infection of 7-9 years. The mere facts of these oils would have one envisioning two totally different scents. And yet, we have nearly identical oils.

This is not to say that organic oils are identical to wild oils. That is a unique play between these two oils in particular, somehow. But it is deeply suggestive of the potential of organic Oud.

Oud Yusha lets me forget about “organic” and “wild”, and just revel in the beauty of artisanally distilled Oud oil of the highest quality. A fruity gem–I recommend Oud Yusha to all lovers of fruity Cambodian oils, as Yusha epitomizes the fruity-Cambodian profile. Start your day with Oud Yusha, you won’t regret it!

Cultivation: Trat
Crafted: July 2010
Yield: 22 tolas
Price: $250 (currently on sale for $229.95)

Oud Yusuf: A Floral Dream

Oud Yusuf is an instant favorite, leaving me immediately spell-bound and constantly wanting more of its rapturous aroma. What a gentle Oud with so much character. Yusuf is a distillation masterpiece. The ethical standards and sheer artistic vision that went into Yusuf, make it a shining example of artisanal Oud oil. The fragrance is clean, clear, and elegantly punctuated with the freshness of florals. This is the floral Oud of my dreams.

I have never smelled lilacs or lilies, but there are clear and watery floral notes in Yusuf that are impossible to miss. In its higher register, there is a note of Violet Leaf piercing through the body of the oil, but so subtly that it even seems to barely lurk there. The florals are white, purple, and light blue.

However, Oud Yusuf is unmistakably Cambodian in its harmony of sweet juicy fruits. Apricot pervades the oil and remains constant amidst its evolution. Peaches lurk and mingle behind it. Ensar’s mention of honeydew is also very accurate.

Yusuf is “light” in the sense that it has a very feminine quality. It is soft, it nearly caresses its wearer, and draws one into a sensual domain that even epitomizes the finest Borneo oils. But this oil is potent and is definitely not invisible on the skin.

I can now resonate with why Ensar was applying Yusuf four to five times a day. It is among the most addictive Oud oils I have ever smelled. Absolutely delicious, succulent, beautiful. Yusuf gives me visions of a lotus pond under a cool night, surrounded by the air of plumerias, and mist of a freshly-fallen light rain.

Easily one of the finest Oud oils I have smelled, I can see why Ensar projects its maturation equaling and perhaps even exceeding that of Borneo 3000. Oud Yusuf is an oil to remember, an oil to truly enjoy and savor. The “powdered woody finish” was most unexpected, but Yusuf does ultimately yield a sweet powdery woodiness that does not leave behind any of the fruits or flowers. Absolutely gorgeous. No one should miss out on Oud Yusuf, especially for its price, it is a gift to the agarwood world and a sign of ethical harvestation.

Cultivation: Trat
Crafted: 2011
Yield: 115 tolas
Price: $250 (on sale for $229.95)

Oud Idrees: Sunshine In A Bottle

Oud Idrees is an oil that deserves a worthy introduction. A truly unique offering to the agarwood world, Oud Idrees represents a hallmark in the history of Oud oil. I did not know much about this oil when Ensar first mentioned it to me. All he said was that it was one of his favorite Oud oils, and that it was like “sunshine in a bottle”. His words were striking and left me curious. Sunshine in a bottle? I tried to imagine the fragrance of the vision, but could not even scratch the surface of it. I reserved my bottle soon afterwards, sensing the uniqueness of the oil. It was not until reading Ensar’s description of this recently-launched oil that I began to feel a reverence for this sacred oil.

Oud Idrees is the only Oud oil to come from Bhutan that I am aware of. As Ensar describes, Bhutan’s government has strict policies that protect its jungles, making it nearly impossible to distill Oud oil from their trees. Here we have the first great wonder of Idrees: How did Ensar and his distiller manage to acquire trees from Bhutan? 

However, this is not the only wonder. The jungle in Bhutan from which Idrees originates is home to pristine Aquilaria Agallocha trees, at least 100 years old. Due to the government’s policies, the agarwood trees in these jungles have been untouched, and have been allowed to mature indefinitely, not subject to the gross consumerism that now pervades the Oud world and threatens the future of the oil. In Oud Idrees, we have Oud oil from trees that are at least 100 years old. The wonder is that it is actually true, and not a superficially stated marketing ploy. The number “100” has become a standard form of reference in the Oud world to give the superficial impression that the oil is necessarily superior. To my knowledge, Idrees is the only oil I have come across that can be confirmed as having been distilled from the wood of trees that were at least 100 years old.

But there are 100 year old trees still standing that may or may not have any infection, and thus may not have any aromatic resin at all. In that sense, the age of the tree is completely irrelevant. How do we know that Oud Idrees is the most mature Oud oil we may have ever seen? One word. Ghubal. What is ghubal? “Ghubal” is the term used to refer to the ultimate maturation of the resin in the heartwood of the tree. This maturity is evidenced in the semi-hardening of the resin. This is what “sinking-grade” wood actually refers to.  As Ensar writes of Idrees, “Rather than Oud oil, Idrees is pure ghubal, bottled.” That itself is another wonder. But one more perplexing fact remains: Ghubal is nearly impossible to extract. And so we have our final wonder: how was Idrees distilled?

These wonders remain a mystery, and these wonders do not necessitate knowledge. The fragrance is truly wonderful, a wondrous aroma, aromatically transmitting with it the mysteries that fill it.

So what does Oud Idrees smell like? Idrees boldly expresses its Indian profile, leaving no room for speculation or doubt that it is an Indian oil. Idrees opens with notes of deep delectable resinous bliss. My attention moves upwards and I feel moved beyond the world, held in the arms of this intoxicating fragrance. The more I smell, the more I feel drawn into contemplation, as if the smelling of the oil itself were a meditation. Its effect is immediate and unforgettable. My mind sings its praises. Truly, that first smell is everything. What a moment!

Idrees is a very mature and full-bodied oil that develops in pronounced phases. After revealing its resinous succulence, Idrees begins to show its bright heart. Sunlight. Yes, this is what it is to smell sunlight, to feel its brilliant rays pervading all the senses. Idrees has a very bright and expansive energy, it is the one Oud oil I could characterize as having  the strongest quality of radiance. Oud Idrees is pure light. Its fragrance fills the body and mind with visions of gold and all-encompassing light. Idrees has a mood that is completely unique and absolutely contagious. It is the mood of happiness, of delight, joy, wonder. And yet it is not naive. Idrees is the fragrant vision of the Romantic poets–a beautiful meadow under a clear sky of brilliant sun, grassy hills active with the silent mindless purity of animals and the song of birds symphonic all-around. But the idealism of the Romantics is met with a wisdom and groundedness that gives Idrees its balanced expression. The inherent unity of the outer world and the intuition of its resonance with our deepest heart is brought to fragrant life in Oud Idrees.

Indeed, Idrees comes from a tree, a life-form that has been deeply rooted in the Earth for a century, nourished by sunlight. Oud Idrees is a profound expression of the inner dimension of the natural world, and its fragrance opens an intuition in us all of the Divine Sustenance in which this world is non-separately arising.

While revealing the experiential truth behind Ensar’s statement that Idrees was “sunshine in a bottle”, this oil also perfectly matches Ensar’s description of it as “the embodiment of sheer sunlight and fragrant pollen“. Yes, the notes of pollen are quite astounding. I have never encountered the smell of pollen in an Oud oil, or any oil for that matter. And it is not the smell of honey. It is far more earthy than the essential smell of honey. It is the sweetness of the natural world in play, the sweetness that precedes the nectarous essence of honey. A beautiful fragrance. This sunlight-pollen note is the heart of Oud Idrees.

The resinous current flows up and around and all through this lighted heart. After some time, the resinous aspect of the fragrance becomes noticeably similar to amber. Suddenly, we have a beautiful mix, a converging of notes in a perfection of spontaneous harmony. Resin, sunlight, pollen, amber–all at once and moving, pulsating with an irresistible life. As the amber becomes apparent, the balsamic bottom of the oil also comes to surface. If I were to summarize the notes in Idrees: Resinous-amber, sunlit pollen, balsamic spiciness, and a powderiness in the dry-down.

To my nose, the orchestration of notes in Idrees sing a tuneful melody that is irresistible. Since receiving my bottle, I have worn it twice a day for two days. Never have I applied an Oud oil so frequently as Idrees.

While Idrees is unabashedly Indian, it has a totally unique scent profile, if one is to examine it as a totality. It opens with notes of deep resin that keep rising from the oil, and this is a shared characteristic with legendary Indian oils such as Oud Mostafa, Oud Nuh, and Oud Khidr. Idrees does not display any barnyard notes, as do the aforementioned oils. Nor does Idrees exhibit any fruity notes, as in the case of Mostafa.

Idrees matches Mostafa in its aromatic profundity, maturity, power, and resinous delight. Idrees matches Nuh in its balance, its perfection, its sense of harmony and gentle unfolding, and its royal elegance.
Idrees matches Khidr in its depth, its raw and primordial character, and deep distinct resinous notes.

Oud Idrees is the most unique Oud oil I have come across so far. Truly, it defies categorization and mere description. Idrees stands strong among the greatest Oud oils ever distilled, and is one of my favorites. I highly recommend all Oud lovers acquire and get to know this oil, it is a true gem to add to a collection, especially for lovers of Indian Oud. Idrees is an Oud to cherish for ages to come.

Above the clouds, There Is Always The Sun–Forever Free Of Earthly weather.
–His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Jungle: Bhutan
Crafted: May 2009
Yield: 15 tolas
Price: $550
Status: LTD

Oud Khidr: The Fragrant Heart of India

Oud Khidr. Thick. Black. Potent. Indian. This is Oud. This is why I love Oud. This is what I am always searching for. The rich and deeply resinous aroma of Oud Khidr freshly permeates the air, exhibiting the darkest barnyard character that I have smelled in an Indian oil so far. And yet it is so clean and smooth. There is even a sweetness tingling in its resinous purity. Tone down Oud Mostafa’s fruitiness, deepen and darken its Indian notes as much as possible, and you have something similar to Khidr. Both are epitome Oud fragrances–Khidr moreso in the sense that its scent profile is more classically Indian.

Khidr is a strong and powerful fragrance. It’s aroma hovers above my wrists. The inhalations are not deep enough to reach the bottom of this scent. There is more that I cannot express. Creamy in the mid-range, but only subtly. The body of this oil is the core of the fragrance. I return to my wrists to go back for more–and there is always more. Khidr ultimately dries to down a pristine nutty-spiciness that is a fresh breath of jungle air with hints of cardamom.

Oud Khidr takes me back home, to the sacred and fragrant heart of India. A breath of Khidr is a fragrant taste of sacred history. Khidr is the Oud spoken of since ancient times, the primordial and timeless fragrance used in many different religious and Spiritual traditions for its absolutely powerful, rich, deep, and penetrating aroma. Khidr is the Oud that has perplexed mystics for ages with its uniquely complex and living aroma.

A must have for all lovers of Indian Oud oil, I deeply recommend Oud Khidr to everyone who is interested in tasting the essence and epitome of pure Indian Oud oil of the highest calibre. Wild-harvested from trees at least seventy to eighty years old in the jungle of North Cachar.

Junge: North Cachar
Crafted: January 2009
Yield: 20 tolas
Price: $550
Status: LTD