Cambodian Oud has a special place reserved in most Oud lovers hearts. Its where one first experienced fruity, juicy thick honey like oils, before the world was introduced to other species and variants. This wood produces the sweetest, berry like aroma in the oud world and therefore huge plantations have gone up in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to mass produce this. The resultant oils from these producers is no doubt pleasant and sweet (not to mention cheap) however the trend has leaned towards a more generic fragrance, and sometimes slightly cloying. For serious ouddicts this fermented berry, banana, tobacco aroma is a little boring now and many will only consider cambodian oud if it is unique. Something deeper darker, greener, maybe brighter with better progression, and so not ones to shy away from a challenge we have ploughed on to develop and produce an oil with our own distinct twist.
We had a great starting base -Khmer Khloem Chan- utilizing some amazing wild wood and shavings (small piece will be sent with each full bottle purchased), coupled to a copper pot and condenser we were very confident this oil would be special. The distiller we used normally soaks for 20/30 days so our request for 2 days max was difficult for him to swallow but he proceeded saying any yield issues are ours to accept, no problem!
Now to the oil itself, first whiff of the stick sends one into the freshest green forest scent. Not a deep jungle note but bright an airy, at this point you will doubt wether this is from cambodia! Dont worry the familiar aroma will arrive…. after some time. The first detectable notes are fresh green Mango, Cardamom, and florals thrown into the mix. During this initial period there is a nice smoothness provided by fresh tobacco which carries the oil through to the end. As it dries down to your skin the sweet berries synonymous with cambodian oils come to the fore, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry with faint whiffs of lemon zest. Longevity is good with tobacco partnering you to the end of the journey.
Cambodian wood – Imperialised!