This was the first home-made batch
of oud I crafted after shifting from my old home to a much
Double the quality of the first two iterations, Kencana v1 and v2.
Distilled half a decade after v2 (high quality Malinau wood being far scarcer now, and don't even get me started on the cost).
A night-and-day battle to maintain the upper hand over the condenser temperature - a constant replenishment of 5lb bags of ice in a drum of water, instead of the large perpetually-replenished pool I formerly used to maintain low temperature for the condenser.
...basically, a whole lotta elbow grease.
A whole lotta love.
(and a WHOLE lotta ice!)
All of v2's pear and melon and grapefruit and honey and vanilla and caramelized palm sugar... lifted, exalted, adorning a more crystalline tiara, and chock-full of fairy dust (à la Royal Malinau). And most importantly, everything geared towards one ultimate aim: to capture the truest essence, aroma and soul, of genuine Malinau agarwood.
This batch was supposed to be Royal Malinau v2, however the aroma of the raw material was close... but not identical.
If you are one of the few who have already tried Royal Malinau, that was most likely your favorite or second-favorite Malinau oud.
Now translate that awesomeness to the scent profile of Kencana v2 instead. And if you also smelled that, you now have a pretty good idea of what this oud has to offer.
More valuable than its weight in
gold and even rarer, Kencana is among the few remnants of a
category of oud around which the clouds of mystery and
fabrication grow thicker and darker.
If you strolled around the agarwood markets in Tarakan half a decade ago, you would have noticed that kilogram-for-kilogram, wood from the Malinau region of Borneo island generally commanded double the price compared to wood from any other region of the island. And if it was indeed genuine Malinau wood, a quick flick of your lighter would have proven why. I say 'if' because cheating existed even then, as sellers realized that by slapping a "Malinau" label onto their wares they could easily double the price.
Fast-forward to today, and matters are only worse. Non-Malinau agarwood being sold as Malinau wood, and fake agarwood outnumbering even that. Wildfires burning down large forests across Indonesia. Trees being razed to the ground to set up palm and rubber plantations.
Then there's Kencana.
This is 100% wild-harvested, anything-but-ordinary, classic Malinau oud. Distilled not from bunk wood, but from true incense-grade raw materials. And its scent has absolutely nothing to do with the readily available 'Malinau ouds' distilled from artificially-inoculated or younger wild trees.
Pure effulgence. Penetrating, ethereal, uplifting opening. Juicy pears, grapefruit and ripe melons, accentuated by delicious honey and vanillic woody notes. A syrupy base of caramelized palm sugar.
Compared to Kencana v1, this batch smells 'denser' and has a crisp green opening note much like Jiwa Borneo. There was only a limited quantity of v1 that was available, so if you missed out on getting a bottle, here's your chance to claim yours now!
I've just been walking around
with my nose at my wrist, inhaling Kencana like it was an
airplane oxygen bag. I completely understand why this guy
wiped out your stock of this stuff; and had I tried it
sooner, I would have definitely hoarded a few bottles for
myself. While it is overall an unmistakable Borneo, it has
none of its typical whistling notes (which I sometimes
find distracting), and a remarkable mid-range tenor of
pollen and honey - to my nose, the very very best parts of
a good Borneo, which if present at all, tend to be so
fleeting! None of the oils I have from these regions
display this kind of persistent aura of diffusive, almost
floral (yet so much more), sweetness.
At 13 hours, it had acquired what I can only call a translucency where it had become more soft and sheer, but also perhaps slightly floral. Really beautiful and this might have been the best part, though I loved all of the development.
It is vertically very deep and as the days go by the strength of the scent doesn't shy away, rather a new dimension opens up. It has many layers, and one of the best parts of this is that you have been able to sustain through your low heat extraction the lightly woody scent that comes across through out the layers, like a feather breeze of the finest Malinua being burnt in the distances. After 3-4 days on the cotton test I experienced the cool fresh scent similar to the slashing of bamboo leaves. It has been over a week now and this oil is still producing different tones on the cotton test. Well done to you for this.
With the Kencana, I basically got very fresh, sort of pine like notes. I'm really not one for mental imagery - but this had me envisaging forests! The drydown smells smooth and creamy, with hints of sweet fruit. Longevity is very good.
I put on today Kencana what a wonderful smell pls pls pls keep one bottle for me assume it is sold.
T.A. (Abu Dhabi)
It's wonderfully sweet and fresh. It doesn't feel dark or heavy at all. It has that nice uplifting feel to it. Like it's full of cheer and goodwill. The base of it has that nice deep woodiness. Deep, but it never takes away from the lightness of the other notes.
Kencana is very nice, it comes across as a high quality Borneo oud, with a deep, dark woodiness in the base and some very ethereal top notes. I like it a lot.
As for Kencana, I'm lost for words at the momment. The first time I inhaled it the intoxicating Bornean opening with hints of mellowed honey and lemon put a smile on my face and I knew this is an oud I MUST own!
If anything changes and you decide to sell more Kencana, I wold take more of that one in a second!!! You already know that both Kuno Kayu versions still rank as my favorites, and Kencana reminds me very much of those, so if any other customers hesitate in purchasing please keep me in mind!!!