Real wild Hainan wood is not only an olfactory treat but also extremely rare, we have been working with the tiny amounts that remain and also making use of sustainable wood from the Guangdong province. One thing which eluded us until now was an old, traditionally cooked Chinese oil from high grade wood.
After pestering our distiller to open up his store cupboards he finally allowed us to try one of his aged oils, one he remembers cooking in 2007/2008. He’d been cooking for a couple of years and the method they’d adopted was the hindi style. They had copper pots and condensers and were soaking the wood for much longer, almost a month.
Which brings us to the oil itself, a beautiful shade of golden yellow, very clean distillation and cured properly. As soon as you remove the dipstick the first aroma to hit you is a sweet “pear drop”, for those who dont know what that is – a hard boiled candy very popular and traditional in England. The closest representation is perhaps Wrigleys juicy fruit or Skittles without souriness. Upon skin application hints of tanned leather, berries, citrus fruits, faint wisps of dried banana all unveil themselves, as mentioned by a client- a “kaleidescope of an oil” this oud has a lot to offer. The musky, animalic notes gradually make their way to the fore. The animalic aroma is highly addictive, not at all sharp but more like a sweet kashmiri musk, the softened funkiness of an old fur coat.
As you listen to this oil there are times when you will swear its Hindi but then quickly morph back into the chinese profile. All in all a great olfactory delight!