Chinese Exclusive

Chinese ExclusiveChinese Exclusive makes me feel foolish. Foolish for not having bought this oil when it was selling in the $300 range a year or two ago! Now an LTD oil, Chinese Exclusive has finally commanded my attention. Having been lost in the worlds of Indian, Cambodian, and Indonesian oils, I never even thought about China. Having finally tried more than my fair share of Indian, Cambodian, Indonesian, and even Bhutanese Oud oils, it was high time to see what China had to offer. 

At first sniff, Chinese Exclusive smells exactly like I want it to smell. It smells like a fully developed profile right at the start. Oud oils tend to develop quite a bit once they are worn. I notice the development is most dramatic with Indian oils. When I smell an Indian oil and then once I’m actually wearing it, the emerging profile becomes very different from my initial impression. Some oils I put on, I sort of “hope” for a bit of development, curious to see what it has to offer, how it will unfold, what its fragrance really holds. With Chinese Exclusive, I am totally satisfied at the first sniff. In fact, for the first time, I am bit afraid of an oil’s potential development.

The first smell of this oil was a wonderful whirl of soft vanilla with tobacco’s earthiness, and a sharp edge of musk slicing through. The muskiness of the oil captures me immediately. I love that spiciness–and yet its not the spiciness of an Indian oil, nor the spiciness of conventional musk. It is more akin to genuine deer musk–a soft spiciness that has a floral tinge to it. The oil’s effect is grounding and earthy, much like an Indian oil would be, but not nearly as robust. Chinese Exclusive has higher notes and maintains a delicacy, like a breeze blowing from below to above the clouds.

This oil smells like a perfect blend of Oud and deer musk, in which the alchemy of the two oils creates a scent completely unique to itself. When genuine deer musk is used as a fixative in perfumery, it completely transforms the scent, it reveals and “creates” notes that you could not have predicted or imagined (see Borneo Zen). In this sense, Chinese Exclusive exemplifies the essence and grandeur of true perfumery. But it was crafted entirely by nature, in the jungles of China, within a single tree, where all the elements uniquely combined to create this wonderful oil.

A hint of pungency will leave Indian Oud lovers satisfied, but the real barnyard element only emerges toward the dry down. Even then, it is not “fecal”, but it has similarities to the base and heart notes of Indian Oud. The mid range and top notes smell very similar to Ensar’s organic Cambodian releases, leaving no doubt that the oil was distilled from Aquilaria Crassna. The oil is very complex, hard to dissect. Its anatomy is constantly shifting and is truly multi-dimensional. I cannot describe it from the bottom up. It has sides, angles, and curves. In the end, it has a fantastic sweetness to it that is just right–somewhere between Cambodia and Borneo. Its vanillin sweetness is all too reminiscent of the best Borneo oils, but it is not clear and pronounced enough, and thus allows itself to be nicely blended with earthy, musky, and floral tones in the body of the oil. Although lacking in fruit, there is certainly some orange peel in here.

All in all, I have to say that Chinese Exclusive is one of Ensar’s hallmark releases. It is primordial and sensual, deep and exotic–and as Ensar wrote of it, “pheremonal”. It stands among his more unique offerings to date, truly one of a kind. Highly recommended to connoisseurs who will most certainly appreciate this nuanced oil.

1 thought on “Chinese Exclusive

  1. Pingback: OUD SERIES: The Smell of Oud by Terroir | The Fragrant Man

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