Vietnam? Nope, although it does have that dignified bitter woody
Indonesia? Nope, although it does have the sort of vibrancy and
brightness more common in Indonesian oud.
Wild Cambodian oud might be your last guess when you
smell this oil, but that's precisely what it is. Green hued,
green smelling, crafted in a Portuguese copper still, you (and
I) have never smelled a Cambodian like this before. From one of
my trips to Cambodia where I picked up 82kg of a few different
batches of agarwood, the thing you will realize when you smell
every single one of these batches Ė including this oil Ė is that
each one is utterly unique, and unlike anything you've smelled
During that trip, I didn't manage to find a single sliver of
recently-harvested wood to cook. So I hand-picked from old
stocks, each one as singular as the next.
Fancy apparatus and distillation tricks are not the reason why
this oil smells so unusual, rather it was the raw material
itself. In fact, I had initially prepared an all-glass setup for
this distillation for the 'wow' factor (there aren't many
all-glass brews out there), and had even loaded the pot.
However, I ended up transferring it all to a copper pot.
For capturing the right tea notes, it had to
be a copper brew, and had to be cooked a certain way. In that
sense the apparatus and techniques did play a critical role, but
only in preserving the true aroma of this rare batch
of raw material. A quick trial batch cooked in Cambodia, in
Cambodian water, and using conventional Cambodian apparatus and
techniques, smelled more "typical Cambodian". And it did utter
injustice to the true smell of the oleoresin.
What I find baffling is that tea notes are possibly the least
mentioned scent facet for Cambodian and Vietnamese oud oils,
whereas to me they are present in every single batch. In Au
Luong, the tea notes are unusually dominant, and of a
very specific type. They are like the 4th and 5th steeping (a
balance of strong fragrance and sweetness) of an oriental-style
brew of a fine batch of spring harvest (bitter), medium-oxidized
(floral, with no leafy-vegetal smell), lightly-roasted (minimal
fruit), ball-rolled Oolong tea, with a prolonged 5th steep
As with all hand-cooked Agar Aura Cambodian oud oils, there is a
dominant tobacco note as well. But in Au Luong, its more of a
sweet flue-cured tobacco, whereas with most of the other batches
it is of the more bitter fire-cured variety.
Its no secret that Cambodian oud is the most universally
appealing and least challenging of all oud oils. But if you ask
me, they all smell way too similar to each other, albeit some
being nicer than others, or displaying slightly different
arrangements of more or less the same scent notes.
Au Luong is so different from everything else that you
might be tempted to make an entirely different profile category
for it. And yet, this is a pure-bred wild Cambodian oud to the
The only difference is that the shackles of thoughtless rote
distillation parameters were broken, and instead the oil was
cooked with one single aim in mind: to showcase the truest and
most pristine essence of the oleoresin from this
unique batch of agarwood.
That, gentle-ladies and men, is Au Luong.
PS Ė I have received multiple inquiries asking about the
final (settled) color of this oil. Yes, its bright lime-green,
and it will stay that way.
Simply a mind blowing oil. A oil which has so many phases its not even funny! Each one turns out to be awesome and the other note comes and says "Hello there".
Au Luong has some astonishing 'unreal' 'otherworldly' notes
which are truly unique & magically bright.
Like some extremely beautiful unknown flowers but actually not
flowers. Some fragrant things in it from heaven. Unbelievable
purity, depth & clarity.
This type of oud are not for everyone. For those who smell
from their souls. Nose cannot get those notes.
An enlightenment through each time wear. It is indeed a
spiritual type oud & very very different from anything
This is a mix of pure sesquiterpenes. Itís the sesquipedalia
of sesquiterpenes. A sesquicentennial celebration of
sesquiterpenes! Itís so pure and so powerful that Iím actually
having trouble with it. OTOH, Ayu did this to me at first, and
Ayu is now among the most precious oils to me. So Iím going to
keep working at it until I lay down the neural hardware
necessary to observe it.
Anise-flavored chocolate stuffed orange hard candy with traces
of licorice and wintergreen soaked in sugary fizzy iced white
tea mixed with drops of tropical fruit juice and white cognac
essential oil with brush of sour green apple and black lime on
top served in breezy metallic hues.
This brew in its hearnote is the most unusual scent profile I
have smelled in oud oil not to mention itís supposed to be
Cambodi. Delicate, urban and minimalistic like modern art
sketch. Plus points for creativity whether someone like it or
not. Even its color is avant garde. BRAVO!
Sparkling oud sangriaÖ
The Au Luong profile is for me totally unique. A brighter oil
with very defined oolong tea notes, melon and a more oudy
drydown. This one is growing on me in a huge way but I confess
it really did not Ďgetí it at first. Very complex and an oil
that requires some study.
Au Luong is pure sesquiterpene overload. At first it was
almost too much and I found its sister Camellia easier to
approach. Now, man o man, it is something. Itís pristine
purity is staggering.
Au Luong has some astonishing 'unreal' 'otherworldly' notes
which are truly unique & magically bright. A realm from
another universe. Like some extremely beautiful unknown
flowers but actually not flowers. Some fragrant things in it
from heaven. Unbelievable purity, depth & clarity. This
type of oud are not for everyone. For those who smell from
their souls. Nose cannot get those notes. An enlightenment
through each time wear. It is indeed a spiritual type oud
& very very different from anything else.
It truly is a mind blowing Cambodian and being a Gen 3 Oil
what more could you ask for?