Dear readers, FeelOud is a new vendor that has recently appeared on the online Oud scene. While I personally prefer to purchase oils from more experienced distillers, I feel it is commendable that FeelOud’s intentions are to make lower priced oils available so that more people can become familiar with the fragrance of Oud oil.
Truly, the nature of agarwood distillation is complex and difficult, with raw materials verging on extinct to nearly impossible to afford that hardly anyone can perform such an undertaking in the present-time–at least with the hopes of making it into a business. Nonetheless, FeelOud has ventured into this challenging territory with great enthusiasm.
FeelOud has kindly sent me samples of his first oils for my review, which I much appreciate. In opening the sample vials, I really had no idea what to expect. For one, I must admit that I was surprised to find that someone was attempting to become a vendor of Oud oils, as it is such a difficult, nuanced, and rarified affair. Nonetheless, I remained open, without any expectations as to what I might smell in the samples.
There are three classes of Oud oils on FeelOud, “Economy”, “Business”, and “First”. The Oud oils I received are from the “First Class” category, and are described as, “only pure Oud Oils of the highest quality. Exclusive, wild, aged oils or oils made by custom distillation.” And now to my impressions:
Saudia: This is advertised as a mukhallat. The notes of frankincense are quite obvious, as are spices, and some rose. It is a decent blend, and those who enjoy the typical smell of Arabian perfumes will enjoy this mukhallat. However, the Oud is not all that detectable.
Manuka Moataqq: This oil clearly smells Indian. Notes of sweet hay and a slight funkiness. The description states it is 20yrs old from Manipur, but the oil does not smell like it was distilled from wood that was sufficiently resinated. It does not have depth or a resinous profile.
Yangu Kingu: A Thai distillation of trees that are supposedly 20yrs old. The description states that the wood used in distillation is “black, brown, and white” agarwood . However, it lacks the resinous profile that is the signature of Oud oil distilled from essential oil rich wood. However, the oil is fruity and sweet and exhibits a typical Thai profile. But it lacks a base to support its top notes.
Thai Prince Kinamo: Top notes of fruit that make you think you are about to smell an oil like Oud Yusha or Yusuf, but then you are left hanging, because there’s nothing at the bottom. I do not believe this oil was distilled from sufficiently resinated agarwood. However, the oil does exhibit a pleasant fruity aroma.
Assam Blood: Top notes that are true to Assam Oud, but that eventually only lead into a flatter smell.
I truly applaud FeelOud’s efforts and ambitions in agarwood distillation. FeelOud is clearly not merely reselling oils, but is venturing into distilling his own oils–and I will be interested to see how his oils develop after he has really grown in the art of distillation. In the future, I sincerely hope that he decides to use higher quality raw materials, even if it means having to sell oils at a higher prices.