Let’s rewind to not so long ago, before Ensar went organic and began his distillation efforts with cultivated agarwood. Let’s rewind to when there were a lot more wild Oud oils being offered on his website, and when there was no “Organic Oud” section at all. Even before all of these recent developments, Ensar had already proven that organic Oud can equal or even surpass wild Oud, when properly (artisanally) distilled. And how did he do that? Assam Organic.
With Indian oils being my favorite, I do not know how I missed this one for so long, but Assam Organic is truly an oil worth raving about for many reasons. From my memory, this oil has been available on Ensar’s website for quite some time. In fact, now that I have smelled it, I’m surprised it has survived there for so long, without selling out. In fact, aside from Oud Yusuf, Crassna Cha, and Oud Yunus, all the oils I have reviewed on this blog have completely sold out.
I currently have a collection of wild Indian oils that I consider to be the heart of my Oud collection. I feel that within those oils is the true essence of Oud, its power as a fragrance, and the reason why it has been sought after for hundreds of years. And now there is Assam Organic, a cultivated Indian oil that is every bit as deep, complex, and sophisticated as the wild oils. It begs a worthy comparison.
Assam Organic opens with a delicious flurry of notes, all opening together so fast that all the individual notes fuse together to a majesty of a single primordial note that is at once whole and multi-faceted. At 3 years old, it is the youngest of Indian oils I have tried, and yet the closely-bound and well-developed notes show the sign of a properly aged Indian oil. I can only begin to imagine where this oil will be a few years from now.
This oil is rich. It is deep and puzzles the senses with its playful harmony of notes. Assam Organic has a slightly fruity tinge to it that is very similar to Oud Mostafa, although not nearly as pronounced or developed. In general, the notes in Assam Organic are more of a fluid song than an orchestrated composition. Its melodiousness reveals a feminine side that is rarely found in Indian oils. I believe this is what Ensar is referring to when he writes that Assam Organic has a “translucency and etherealness that is only comparable to Borneo Kinam”.
It is very translucent and smooth, light on the skin, as if one were wearing a Borneo oil. Usually, Indian oils have a much “heavier” and thick feel. However, this is not to imply that Assam Organic is a “light” oil, in terms of fragrance and sillage. It is just as powerful, loud, long-lasting, and robust as one would expect an Indian Oud to be. But it has a certain finesse. Do not be mistaken, Assam Organic is your characteristic Indian Oud. Animalic, but not quite fecal. There is more of a bitter-woodiness mixed with slight undertones of grapefruit all swirling in the deeply resinous heart of the oil. Overtones of suede permeate the fragrance, just when you think it could not get any better.
It is a true testament to right cultivation and artisanal distillation that Assam Organic comes from a mature 20-yr old tree that was cultivated and yet remains comparable to Indian oils from wild 80-yr old trees. This is astonishing to me. And above all, I am quite pleased to find an Indian oil of such quality for only $279.95. Highly recommended for established Indian Oud lovers, Assam Organic also makes an excellent introduction to Indian Oud for those who have not yet ventured into its luxurious territory.
Cultivation: North Assam
Crafted: June 2009
Yield: 10 tolas