Raw Materials OUD SERIES: My name is dehn al Oud …

OUD SERIES: My name is dehn al Oud …

01/14/14 15:32:21 (29 comments)

by: Jordan River

My name is dehn al Oud 
I have been copied, pasted, synthesized, painted and even harvested to the brink of extinction in the wild. Now you can find me on sustainable plantations and in extremely remote locations. In the wild I used to inhabit 10% of Aquilaria trees.

My name is dehn al Oud 
I am formed as as defense mechanism against a mold infection which can settle into any scrape, tear or hole in an Aquilaria tree. A lightning strike, an insect invasion, a nail hammered in by a human, bark scraping and lately chemical injections can all arouse my presence as I am a resin that protects the tree from destruction.

My name is dehn al Oud 
People collect me from a live tree or fell the tree to gain access to me. In my wood-encased form you can burn me to cleanse the atmosphere, to fumigate and scent your clothes and your hair, and to access areas of the fragrant stratosphere that are hard to reach except through smoke. Or you can soak me in water, grind me to powder and boil me up in a distillation unit where I alembicate into Oud oil.

My name is dehn al Oud 
In my oil form I can tell you stories of long ago forests, tropical flowers, wild honeycomb, jungle floors and even transport you to a dentist’s chair. I am a scented band-aid for your troubles, a reminder of nature and a psychoactive portal into metaphysical realms should you care to contemplate the mysteries of life which are many.

My name is dehn al Oud 
You may also know me by these words:

Agarwood
Aloeswood
Eagle Wood
Sinking Wood

عود – Arabic – denh al oud / Oudh
沈香 – Japanese – Jinkō
沉香 – Mandarin – Chénxiāng
沉香 – Cantonese – Cham Heong
ไม้กฤษณา – Thai – Mai Kritsana

Crasna – Khmer
Mai Ketsana – Laos
Thit Mhwae – Burmese
Aquilariae lignum resinatum – Latin
Angkaras/Engkaras – Iban
Trầm Hương – Tieng Viet / Vietnamese
Minyak Gaharu – Bahasa Melayu (Indonesian / Malay)

Aguru – Sanskrit
अगार तेल – Agar – Hindi
Agar – Urdu
আগর গাছ – Bengali – agar gaach
ཨ་ག་རུ་ – Tibetan – agaru

My name is dehn al Oud 
In Arabic this literally means "the fat of the wood" which is the Oud oil.

My name is dehn al Oud
"What you seek is seeking you"—Rumi

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring Oud wood and oil. This is the intro post to the series.

Photo credit: the tree and the oil by Ensar Oud

Jordan River is the host of The Fragrant Man and also writes for Olfactoria's Travels and Australian Perfume Junkies.

He recently covered the first harvest of Santalum album sandalwood grown in Australia. Jordan has been been reading Fragrantica and other fragrance websites for many years and enjoys the confluence of subjectivity, knowledge and opinion. He is not a Perfume Pontiff and is always happy to be enlightened by your own knowledge and challenged by differing opinions.

His high rotation 'fumes are Jubilation XXV, Cuir 28, Fate Man and Puredistance BLACK. Special occasions scents include Cuir de Gardenia, Spiced Citrus Vetiver, Ensar Oud Oils and RealOud Feral.

 



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terriep1118
terriep1118

I set out today to find out more about this wonderful and mysterious scent. I am only through the second series and have a fever for more knowledge. I have two Henry Jacques perfumes which have O'od/Oud/Oudh in them. Rose O'od and O'od 18 both are heavenly. I had thought because I inherited them that they were "old lady" perfumes. I had sold one back to the perfumer who told me what a small fortune I had inherited. For the first time in my life I have a desire to investigate the quality of these absolutely breathtaking perfumes with this mysterious man called "dehn al Oud" And to think you have been waiting for me for all these years to ask your name.

Thank you so very much Jordan for this amazing article.

Terrie

Mar
11
2016
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

Gentiana - you are an explorer! Here's to beautiful and challenging. That captures the Oud journey so well. I have passed your comments on to Dehn al Oud who says that that there are surprises in store for you! Waft on.

Feb
21
2014
gentiana
gentiana

Great article!
I am still puzzled by you, dear Dehn al Oudh...
I bought unsniffed one of your numerous cousins, the Rasasi's Dehn Al Oudh Al Cambodi (Internet shopping bargain).
Totally shocked!
No challenging harsh top notes settling in a wonderful smell (Mona di Orio, Maison Francis Kurkdjian), no band aid, not even dentist (Montale, By Killian etc), but stale potato chips, laying on a forgotten plate for 3 summer days.
Well... I sprayed him on a paper, left him outside of the window for a whole night (sorry, hope he did'nt complain to you)
Next day, the smell was closer to things that I smelled before as containing Oud...
Decided to try some layering, with Bulgarian Rose Attar. The result was above expectations. I don't try to describe it. Beautiful AND challenging !
Next day I experimented with Brgamote (ThDiff Comp), Omnia (Bvlgari), and Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens.
And a miracle happened.
My hall was suddenly filled with a wonderful smell.
The best result was with Bois Vanille.
The experiment was made at end December and today the smell on the paper is still noticeable from about 3 feet. And it si DIVINE.
It still isn't clear to me when stops the freakiness and starts the magic, but it is worth waiting for it. Compliments, dear Dehn al Oudh, to you and all your brothers, sisters, cousins... !

Jan
24
2014
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

Apa Khabar, Oudh Hamilul Missk? You smell great! Would I be right in guessing that at home you also wear what you cannot leave home without?

Jan
22
2014
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

Welcome Odie. Thank you for your encouraging words. I suspect that you are unconventional yourself and are the personification of perfumed peace. Let it flow, like a river.

Jan
22
2014
odie
odie

This is an unconventionally written and informative article. Now I know who oud is in perfumery. Well written and explicated Jordan River! Love the personification.

Jan
21
2014
Oudh Hamilul Missk
Oudh Hamilul Missk

SOTD : Cannot leave home without animalic, smoky, woody REAL OUD.
Nice review, Jordan River!!

All the best,
Oudh Hamilul Missk,
Kuala Lumpur

Jan
21
2014
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

@Muznabutt - wish I could be strolling with you. You smell great.
@citypark - thank you for your encouraging words.
@atsa - that is a great advice. In the Middle East that is exactly how many people apply Oud. Like an undercoat before applying French perfume.
@Elena - thank you for the warm welcome. Very happy to be here and in such good company. Who knew that saffron flowers are such a remarkable colour?

Jan
20
2014
Elena Vosnaki
Elena Vosnaki

A warm welcome to Jordan and looking forward to the continuation of the oud articles!

Jan
19
2014
atsa
atsa

Thanks. Informative article and fun writing style. I have one from oudimentary.com that fixes other perfumes that i got as gifts which i found too light or too sweet. It adds body and depth and blends well. A tiny bit goes far.

Jan
18
2014
citypark
citypark

Beautifully written.

Jan
18
2014
Muznabutt
Muznabutt

great article! ive just spent a few hours browsing around the Oud Market in Dubai to source some new fragrances and it was heavenly. Look forward to your next articles!

Jan
15
2014
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

@Zakkarah Yes wearing their Oud Bleu now but I will tell you more later in the series. Sounds like you will be able to join in and let us know your impressions when you have wafted these a few times.

Jan
15
2014
zakkarah
zakkarah

Just received 8 big samples of various oud fragrances
from a company in Thailand. I believe they actually grow their own agarwood in order to save the natural reserve. They are called fragrancedubois.com so pls check that out as well!

Ciao
Matz

Jan
15
2014
Jordan88888888
Jordan88888888

Lots of interesting stories in the these comments. Thank you for adding to the conversation. Al-Maghrib and Zakkarah; thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

Most of the questions here will be answered within the rest of the series. This is a big topic; it looks like any questions that I cannot answer will be answered in the comments. I am very happy about that. Great to have you all as fragrant companions and pilgrims on this pathway through the woods.

Next week will be an overview of Oud in the 21 century, then we will get specific with some Oud Artisans, find out how to burn Oud wood, discover how to apply Oud oil to one's person and explore some private Oud collections from around the world.

Jan
15
2014
lakkiirfan
lakkiirfan

@jordan River
_____________

Hat off Thanks, for very informative and detailed review

Jan
15
2014
jht4060
jht4060

A charming and informative column - thanks!

And thank you Al-Maghrib for the information on the cultural signficance of Oud and its many variants.

Jan
15
2014
happy888cat
happy888cat

Thank you so much for letting us know more about this beautiful tree!

Jan
15
2014
yvashche
yvashche

Love this article and oud perfumes. Looking forward to the series. Also, I would love to get the perfume bottle in the picture. I am sure its some antique but if anyone knows where I can get something like this, let me know.

Jan
15
2014
wprotz
wprotz

Thanks Jordan for the nice review. There is much to learn and make experiences with "the mysteries of life which are many".

Jan
15
2014
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

How wonderful to have you on board !
I enjoy reading you, very much.

Jan
15
2014
aLmoravado
aLmoravado

Looking forward for this series! Oud is all over the Gulf region, and with so many varieties going around, it's hard to tell the original from the synthetic from the fake. Would also love if the writer sheds light on ways that one can use to test the oud.

Jan
15
2014
jedrzejowskia
jedrzejowskia

I enjoy a bit of oud. I wouldn't know if all of them smell just like the original or if any of them in fact IS original.
Thanks for the article!

Jan
14
2014
fmvolume
fmvolume

Oud alone is a disgusting, disgusting smell... as a military man who has traveled all over the middle east and love exotic smells I remember first time smelling Oud and thinking how can anyone wear this. Recently I see a huge Fad in the perfume world capitalizing on a scent used for thousands of years..... people like Tom Ford using oud mixing it up with something else then charging people 3 hundred dollars for a tiny amount is crazy. I love smelling oud in the new european scents and how they're incorporating it in these new scents but i just wish it wasn't so hyped up

Jan
14
2014
mimikins24
mimikins24

Looking forward to this series. I have just started to explore arabian oils and am learning about what I like when it comes to oud. Very excited!

Jan
14
2014
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

Welcome, Jordan River! Looking forward to the series.

:-)

Jan
14
2014
zakkarah
zakkarah

I came to think about two interresting experiences I have had with an oud based fragrance ( cant remember its name unfortunatelly;

I put it on going to work and during lunch I got sniffed by the kurdish guy running the restaurant. He lent forward over the counter and said;
You smell nice....you remind me of my grandma when she
returns from hajj ( trip to Mecca ).

A week later I visited a iraqi friend and when we hugged he almost teared up saying that my scent immediatelly brought him back to his childhood visiting the holy toombs of imams.

The nose is a powerful time machine indeed...:-)

Matz

Jan
14
2014
zakkarah
zakkarah

Hi!

Have you tried Oudh Assam by Rania J? Its quite
delicious with its ¨fresh horse dung¨ vibe!!

Another gem is Oudh Jasmine by Sama.

Looking forward to the coming writings!

Best
Matz Ridderstrom
Stockholm

Jan
14
2014
Scarletting
Scarletting

Looking forward to more detail on the various types and styles of oud. It's become such a popular ingredient but I believe there's a fair amount of confusion on what oud actually smells like.
As someone who enjoys a variety of different "oud" notes, from sweet/woody bakhoor oud to the neat medicinal oud in, say, M7 all the way to the quite offensive "genuine" barnyard oud, it would be great to have some clarity and a selection of oud notes available in the database for marking up perfume notes.

Jan
14
2014

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