Oud Sultani: The Heart and Soul of Agarwood

Oud SultaniOud Sultani opens with the profound smell of resinous bubbling Oud chips. It is the unmistakable agarwood aroma–deep, resinous, woody, sweet, and everything in between I cannot describe. Catch a whiff and everything is suspended in fragrant exaltation. And I caught just such a whiff when I went to apply Oud Sultani. The fragrance immediately blossoms into an aromatic flurry reminiscent of the finest perfumes, with notes of ambergris and myrrh, and a pronounced floral sweetness that is so high you might think it is a Borneo oil.

As I walked outside, I could hardly tell if I was smelling Sultani or the floral breeze of Kauai. I checked my wrist repeatedly before realizing Sultani’s astonishingly floral element. My eyes close as I catch the aroma of Sultani again, sweet and melodious. I am left with feelings of gratitude for copper pot distillation.

Yes, it’s true–Oud Sultani does smell almost exactly the same as Oud Royale No. 1. And this alone is a remarkable fact. Both oils exude a classic royal agarwood fragrance–smooth, rich, luxurious, soft, deep, resinous, and balanced. When smelling these oils, I mindlessly know it does not get more Oudy than this!

So is Oud Sultani better than Oud Royale No. 1? Is Oud Sultani the greatest Oud oil Ensar has distilled?

These are difficult questions for me to answer. I have a small amount of Oud Royale No. 1, and I have been comparing the two Ouds. They are, for the most part, identical in terms of scent profile. Both oils come from jungles not too far from one another, and both oils were distilled from sinking-grade wood. One notable difference is that Oud Royale No. 1 has a remarkable depth and serenity. Royale has a darker woodier character, compared to Sultani’s lighter, livelier, sweeter, and more floral vibrancy. Ultimately, they are two sides of the same coin–yin and yang, the sun and the moon, like male and female twins. I can see myself reaching for Royale on some days, and on other days, Sultani would be my first pick. It is hard to place the oils against each other. However, I feel that Royale has the advantage of age–being over 30yrs old now. Sultani is only 12yrs old in comparison, which still makes it one of the oldest oils in my collection. I’m sure it will be a marvel to see where Oud Sultani is 10yrs from now!

Bubbling Oud chip

Bubbling Oud chip

As for being the best Oud oil ever offered by Ensar Oud, Sultani surely ranks at the top of the list, in terms of sheer quality and purity of agarwood scent. It is Oud as incense, the smooth, delicious, and resinous fragrance of sinking grade chips–but on your wrist instead of your burner! When ordinary people come across chips of this quality, they save it for their burners. But when the artisan puts it in the stills, what we receive in the form of an oil is miraculous. In my opinion, Sultani is Oud oil of the highest possible calibre. It represents and epitomizes the heart of the Oud fragrance like no other oil I have smelled thus far. And I find Its purity is irresistible.

I also greatly enjoy the tenacious and resinous funkiness of Indian Oud, the fruity-sweetness of Cambodian oils, the light-woody-sweetness of Borneo oils. To me, those oils are diverse and have lots of character. And, to be honest, Oud Royale and Oud Sultani are in a different class altogether. In my opinion, they are not as accessible or “entertaining” as other Oud oils. There is no fruit here, no typical barnyard scent, nothing that you would superficially associate with Oud oils. Sultani and Royale are a pure agarwood scent, perfumes in and of themselves, offering only the truest agarwood scent possible. With these oils, you smell the heart of Oud directly, without anything in between. These are truly rare and worthy oils for the agarwood connoisseur to savor and appreciate.

Oils such as Sultani and Royale are suited for royalty, no doubt. They are completely uncommon distillations from wood that you can (typically) only dream of smelling in the form of an oil. They epitomize the luxuriousness, elegance, and sophistication that has kept Oud oil in the palaces for generations.

What is always amazing to me is how Oud oil–one essential oil–is just as rich, complex, and multi-faceted as the finest perfume. Perfumes generally consist of many different oils, artfully layered upon one another, from base to middle to top. And yet, one drop of Oud oil gives you that and much more. Oud Sultani exemplifies the reality of Oud as perfume. When I smell Oud Sultani, I feel as if I am smelling a finely crafted perfume that is at once sensitive and bold, luxurious and soft, exalted and rich, complex and unified.

Sinking Grade chips

Sinking-grade Oud wood

While Sultani begins with its lighter and more floral notes, in its dry down it reveals a warmer, more balsamic and woody character, without losing any of its floral tonality. The oil is perfect. All of the notes and tones bind together seamlessly into a single note, and nothing even remotely clouds the purest agarwood aroma. If you smell Oud Sultani, you will know why Ensar thinks more seriously about oil than his burner when he sees incense grade chips. Truly, nothing can compare. I believe it is the peak of agarwood distillation. Artisans and connoisseurs alike know that this is as good as it gets–and its better than I imagined.

1 thought on “Oud Sultani: The Heart and Soul of Agarwood

  1. I have recently gone back to the website Omiscent and have such a greater appreciation for oud than I ever did before. When a person can read the process and know that it is a tedious heart felt journey that leads to the making of such a scent, then a person feels as if they will be blessed to simply smell it. Before I went to sleep, I read quite a bit on Oud Sultani and others and I woke up wondering if there were options of payment plans :). Your review further enlightens the inquiring mind and causes one to desire what the maker described as having ” incomparable olfactory profile” and ” sheer beyondness”. Masha’Allah, Tabarakallah. – H. Abdulmajid

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