A Journey into The World of Oud

Part Twelve

New Agarwood oils from Ensar Oud

I just received five small samples of new Oud offerings from Ensar Oud.

They are completely different from both each other and from any of the 100+ Ouds I already have.

Which highlights just how unique Ouds can be.

Here are my descriptions of the five new Ouds.

Oud Zachariyya is an old-school pungent but pure Oud. It has the strongest scent of the bunch, a kind of refined barn. It is also, to me, the most psychoactive of the five, and the one I would meditate with.

Xiang Liao Ling, on the other hand, reminds me of a forest. Much gentler and softer, a little camphorous, and elegant and refined.

China Satang is "a study in brown". Imagine being embraced by the earth, a rich fragrant soil brimming with life. Grounding, soothing, welcoming, and supporting.

Jing Shen Lu is another delight. It prickles the nose, in a very good way, with uplifting yet subtle notes of apricot and resin.

Hainan 2005 is both subtle and pungent at the same time. It has notes of earth, a little barnyard, and a touch of prunes weaving together in perfect balance.

You can, of course, explore these Ouds yourself, by getting samples or full portions, at Ensar Oud's website.


What to ask an Oud purveyor
before ordering from them

I received an email from a person who reads this column, asking me what kind of Oud to start with and whether to buy from a particular company.

I suggested that for beginners, Cambodian Oud can be a fine choice, as it is usually very approachable, somewhat sweet, fruity, resinous and soothing. (Thai Oud is often also quite accessible.)

But I also suggested that he ask the company (since I didn't know them):

1. How old are the trees at harvest? (The best plantation Oud comes from trees that weren't harvested before they were at least six years old.)

2. How long they age their Oud before they sell it.

If the Oud is not aged, then it will have raw notes and smell a bit crude and perhaps harsh. Those selling quality oils should age them for at least two years before offering them for sale.

3. I also encouraged him to make sure that they used very pure water in their soaking, and didn't soak the wood too long before distilling their Oud. (A long soak or dirty water adds the pungent barnyard scent and sometimes a musty, moldy scent too.)

I added that if they hadn't aged their oil at least 2 years, then he should get oils from one of the companies on my website.


End of Part Twelve


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