A Journey into The World of Oud

Part Thirteen

New Top Ouds

In the past few months, I've had the good fortune to acquire a wide range of Ouds from several sources.

Most of the Ouds that I received are artisan quality, but many are monotone in their fragrance (I.e. they are not complex but only have a single note of scent) and have very little influence on consciousness.

They were not a waste of money, however, because I wanted to explore the products of companies that I'd never encountered before.

But then I got seven top-of-the-line Ouds from Ensar Oud that made everything worthwhile:

Suriranka Senkoh and Oud Royale are two from Sri Lankha.

My previous experience with Sri Lankhan Ouds had left me quite disappointed. The ones that I've gotten in the past were nice smelling but all smelled the same, with very little complexity, very little uplift, and not much Oudiness.

So I couldn't wait to see what the master (Ensar) was able to achieve with the same woods.

And I was not disappointed.

Suriranka Senkoh has a depth of woodiness that far exceeds the simpler Sri Lankhan oils, and is like a journey into a deep forest jungle with layers upon layers of scent, including earth, must, exotic resins, and ancient trees.

Oud Royale, on the other hand, is the embodiment of mastery and finesse. Imagine the qualities of the above Senkoh refined to the nth degree. This is a phenomenal Oud -- an amazing achievement -- that shows that Sri Lankhan Oud, in the hands of a true expert, can compete with every other top Oud on the planet.

It is extraordinary in every way: from its perfectly orchestrated set of scents, to its remarkably impressive ability to expand your mind, its supreme subtlety and depth, and beautiful marriage of every element of Sri Lankhan Oud. It completely deserves the name Royale.


Moving on, I next tried two aged Ouds.

[Note: In general, I am not a fan of very aged Ouds because most -- but not all -- lose their top notes with aging, which are my favorite notes.]

Nhek 1976 is, in a word, a stinky Cambodi.

Processed as Indian Oud often is, it has much more punch than most Ouds from one of my favorite places for Oud, Koh Kong, have. But to leave it there would be an injustice. Nhek 1976 actually is an interesting feat of magic: combining barnyard with the soft, soothing resinous qualities of top notch Cambodian agarwood.

Once you get past the initial surprise, you realize that this Oud actually is a very clever achievement: it has unexpected layers of richness, with notes of tobacco, leather, and just enough resin to remind you that it's Oud. And it's effect on consciousness is also very interesting: it's both grounding and smoothing and yet also opens doors to deeper awareness.

Sultani 1990 is a superb Maroke Oud. It is green, but not the lighter green of Green Papua, but a deeper earthy intense green of the denser jungle. It makes me feel like I'm on a journey to the center of the Earth, deeper ever deeper.


The next two Ouds are the prettiest of the bunch:

Assamugo Senkoh is a completely different Oud.

It's color is the first clue, a light clear yellow-orange which presages its much lighter aroma.

From the Chinese/Assam border, this Oud is pure Chinese. It is incredibly likeable from first sniff: a lovely blend of honey, pollen, resin, and subtle fruit. But for all of its approachability, it is definitely Oud. All Sky (no Earth), it expands your consciousness to greater vastness and happiness. Simply an intoxicating, deeply inviting, beautiful, beautiful Oud.

You won't want to stop sniffing it!

Sultan Abdüs Selam is from one of the southernmost regions of the world that has Agarwood trees. Ensar's description of this Oud really drew me in, and I couldn't wait to experience it.

Sultan Abdüs Selam is fascinating in its subtle complexity.

Is it unique? Absolutely!

Does it shout? Not at all.

Here's an Oud you have to spend time with, as it has an intricacy of scents so perfectly united that teasing them apart is a wonderful experience in and of itself.

It speaks to your mind, saying here, here, here. Quiet down enough to listen to me, and I'll reward you greatly. The ultimate Kodo experience.

I feel that I'm going to keep learning from this Oud for a long time.

Oud Ahmad

I saved the best for last.

Oud Ahmad is what collecting Oud is all about. Every once in a blue moon, if we're lucky, we manage to find an Oud that transcends almost every other Oud we have. This is one of those.

With an Oud this good, the scent becomes extraneous, even though this one is exquisite (caramel, resin...).

This Oud transports you so far beyond ordinary consciousness that it Reminds you of our Origin.

Sniffing this fills me with gratitude, holiness, and vastness, stopping time...

Beyond this, I am speechless.


I can't imagine being able to get this collection of Ouds from anywhere but Ensar. Not only do they show both an unparalleled level of skill and supreme quality of wood, but they are so remarkably complex and sophisticated and potent. A hundred Bravos just isn't enough! I am very deeply grateful to Ensar Oud for everything he does.


My Unique take on Oud

While the vast majority of Oud users wear their Oud, or burn wood for either meditation or for celebrating important moments in their lives, I do none of these.

(Please don't get me wrong, I fully respect all of these ways of using Oud).

I use Agarwood oil specifically for meditation and entering transcendental spaces, and I don't burn wood.

I can't wear Oud because I have incredibly sensitive skin and many essential oils (e.g. Helichrysum) that are supposed to be skin safe raise blisters on my skin. Agarwood oil applied to my skin actually burns, and my skin gets red and in short order starts peeling.

My reason for not burning Oud wood is different: I don't like getting stoned. For me, smelling Agarwood oil lifts and expands my consciousness (as I said before, Earth and Sky, becoming both vaster and more grounded and in touch with Nature). It is gentle, transitory, and leaves me feeling uplifted and clear.

The smoke of burning wood, on the other hand, pollutes my very sensitive lungs in a major way (it feels very dirty) and makes me feel groggy, stoned, ungrounded, spacy, and disoriented for a long time.

Again, I know that Oud is holy in all of the ways that it is used. Every body is unique and my use of Oud is restricted by my physical nature.


End of Part Thirteen


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