KHMER KHLEM CHAN
Or in English, simply 'Cambodian Agarwood', because the name says it
this oil, there are literally just a few vendors' Cambodian oils which
I can confidently believe as being 100% genuine, wild,
Sadly, all the horror stories tainting
the name 'Cambodian oud' are true. From the use of walnut oil,
glycerin, Indo-Chinese sandalwood, and even distilled animal carcass
juice, there's nothing that's been missed by deceptive suppliers who
seem to have unlimited supplies of 'genuine Oud Camboudi'.
The cheating starts at the very source - agarwood is usually smuggled
into Cambodia from Indonesia, Malaysia, and especially plantations in
Thailand. It is then usually co-distilled with sandalwood or some other
cutting agent. Then there's further adulteration, some more... and then
some more, just for good measure.
Given this sad state of affairs, when I
got news of some fantastic, genuine wild-harvested Cambodian agarwood,
I had to drop everything else and focus on this exclusively.
Generally speaking, Agar Aura's
philosophy is to not get bogged down by 'traditional' old-fashioned
distillation methods, which often have many drawbacks when compared to
latest distillation technologies and methods. Its not about reinventing
the wheel, but rather making improvements which bring about positive
However, given the situation (or lack thereof!) of Cambodian oud in the
modern day market, I felt it necessary to re-introduce to the world one
of the two classic Cambodian
The first genre entails rotting the wood
prior to distillation, and this is where the 'barnyard' note comes
from, which is typically associated with most Indian and Cambodian
ouds, both currently as well as historically.
The second genre was less common, and very few of the old masters
produced ouds of this style. This, the 'sweet Cambodian oud'
aroma (now made famous by the abundantly available cultivated Thai
'Cambodian' ouds), is the category that our Khmer Khlem Chan falls under.
That's not to say we didn't make some
modifications. For instance, we fully stripped the inside of the copper
cooking pots with a hot acetic acid bath to get rid of contaminants
from prior distillation runs. The pre-distillation treating of the raw
materials, the cooking temperature (even the cooking method), the
collection method... in short, everything
was in fact modified. But everything was maintained within the confines
of what would be considered a 'classic' Cambodian oud distillation.
The raw materials consisted of true
incense-grade, wild-harvested agarwood from the legendary jungles of
Pursat and Koh Kong (see here).
Given the rarity of this grade of wood in
Cambodia, seeing this wood pulverized for making oil would make anyone
who understands the value of this wood cry.
Top notes of purple florals, blood-red raspberry wine and cinnamon from
the Pursat wood.
Toffee, nutmeg, honey and plums from the Koh Kong
wood. A rich body of
tobacco, liquorice and agarwood smoke. A smooth base of syrupy resin
unburned Cambodian agarwood.
Khmer Khlem Chan, in my humble opinion,
is the finest representative of the sweet classic Cambodian oud
profile. It is also one of the last classic style Cambodian oud we
will produce, as most of the subsequent projects were designed as per
new distillation techniques.
This is your opportunity to get a 100%
genuine, wild Cambodian oud, of one of the two (the rarer of the two) classic styles.
others said about this product:
The Khmer Khlem Chan is a
beautiful expression, and a delight to wear.
I never lined up in the queue for Thaqueel, but I am sure this KKC will
hold its own with any Cambodian oud before or since!
is all what I like in a cambodi oil. I'm glad I had the opportunity to
experience what a true old fashioned cambodi oil smells like. That is a
strong benchmark againt which other cambodi oild shuld compare and tend
the Cambodian Khan completes the hat trick. The dry down takes turns
that are as distinct and compelling as the Berkilau and the Chen Xiang.
Gee, Ta! I can’t believe
how close this oil smells to Thaqeel 1!!! It is uncanny how many notes
they have in common- dried fruits, tobacco, plum jam, cinnamon,
vanilla, coniferous smoke and green almonds, to name a few. They both
are opulent and lush, and their succulent richness is apparent from the
opening notes all the way through their warm, woody drydowns. In fact,
KKC’s drydown is slightly more robust and brilliant than Thaqeel’s! KKC
boasts a zesty bitter orange note that I don’t smell in it’s sibling
and Thaqeel has a hint of animalic sass that isn’t present in KKC .
However both oils are truly radiant, and I am thrilled to add KKC to my
collection. Now if you can only find a way to replicate it so I never
have to worry about running out :-)
But, it seems this oil is already so popular, you probably don’t need
my 1/2 cent :-)
The Khmer Khlem Chan doesn't scream in the beginning but the strength
is subtle and displays it's incense grade quality, first time I
experienced oud of that caliber :-)
I am very much enjoying Royal Chen Xiang and Berkilau. As well as Khmer
Khlem Chan. I think they are all the best in their class and probably
the best oils I've ever sampled or purchased from you.
Honestly, this is the FIRST time I've tried a fresh/new Cambodi oil
which smells like my OLD Cambodis! Of course the age difference is
evident, but not because of any olfactory serration, but rather the
brightness is the dividing factor. Other than that, it possesses same
delectable richness and jammy woodiness, with syrupy balsamic current
tying it all together. YUM. This oil actually has distinct flavors of
very old, and extremely thick balsamic vinegar from Modena, with
powerful chocolate aftertaste and hints of ripe blackberries. There's a
mouthwatering bread-y note which comes though after about an hour, like
biting into freshly baked slice of sweet pretzel bread! I can't tell
you how thrilled I am to have all my expectations met and exceeded with
this oud:) Finally, a Cambodi oil that is not just a doppelganger of
Thai! Having been so uninspired by the modern Cambodis I've tried, I'm
officially a convert.
Well, Khmer Khlem Chan is officially my favorite oil right now! Just
incredible. Right now, I'm wearing two other (very costly and quite
aged) contenders on one arm, and KKC on other -- there's just no
I think I've mentioned this before, but while I LOVE Thaqeel, I've
always felt it was a bit.. I dunno, suppressed in profile. Your Cambodi
is so vibrant and alive, it shimmers and vibrates as it morphs through
all its many evolutions. At the end of the day, after several hours of
it on my skin, it still boasted of rich balsamic woods with fresh mossy
trunks, maintaining its voice even after a shower! Yeah, I'm a happy
camper today :)
To a lover of Cambodian oils your distillation of Khmer Khlem Chan is a
dream come true :-) It is replete with voluptuous notes of moist
Mission figs, plump monukka raisins, sticky dates and plum jam. The
ripe golden-ness of sun-drenched tobacco is fused with the sweetness of
Madagascan vanilla. As the scent progresses warm, rubbed wood
notes unfold beneath fleeting traces of the delicate green almonds and
sassy cinnamon. The wood note becomes more pronounced as the oil dries
down, and a talcum powderyness surrounds it in a haze of softness
and goose down. After the 4th hour, I smell an unexpected twist of
bitter orange- a very minor but pleasant nuance.
The oil smells opulent- its sweetness is lush, dense and syrupy, unlike
the Bazooka, berry sweetness of some plantation Thais. Khmer Khlem Chan
is laced with breaths of coniferous smoke and wisps of green freshness
that balance its resinous sweetness in the same way that a hint of
bitterness enhances a cup of tea.
I could stretch my description to mention far-flung notes that can be
smelled in flowers (heliotrope!), in the depths of exotic fruits
(cherimoya) or the recesses of antique furnishings (myall?), but it
would be more an exercise to stretch my olfactory receptors
(imagination?) than to present the salient aspects of the oil…
The oil is moderately viscous and silky smooth, and when held to the
light, it’s a clear, bright, yellow/orange, almost a sunset orange.
Khmer Khlem Chan is a luscious celebration of nature’s bounty. Although
it might not appeal to people who prefer pungent, animalic ouds, it’s
hard to imagine anyone not being charmed by this cornucopia of
succulent fruits, gentle spices and mellow woods.
It's nice and potent and is reminiscent of your past greats like Royal
Kampuchea. It has a lot of plum and purple florals in it. Which I enjoy.