Show of hands-
How many of you were introduced to agarwood through the Chinese
or Japanese incense traditions?
If your hand shot up, chances are you haven't smelled too many
oils that take you back to your first experience with agarwood.
That's about to change.
Introducing Lao Chen Xiang
, Agar Aura's first custom
Laotian oud brew, crafted in a way it has never been done before
Whereas oud from Laos is usually synonymous with bovine
excrement, untanned cowhides and moldy cheese, we're here to
tell you this should not be the case.
In 2016 we rolled out Lao One
, an oud of the barnyard
genre that was crafted by an accomplished third-generation
Assamese 'degh bhapka' master residing in Laos. Unlike typical
Laotian brews, this oud displayed a tastefully
barnyard character... quite different from the usual gunk
Lao Chen Xiang is even more different.
Stripped of all barnyard and other foreign elements, this is
probably the first Laotian oud oil you've ever smelled that
preserves and presents the aroma of Laotian agarwood fully
intact, pristine and unwarped.
Lao Chen Xiang will take you back to the first time time you
experienced Shunkodo's Ranjatai, Yamada-Matsu's Houjoukoh
, or Shoyeido's Ten-Pyo
Why? Because the core of those incenses is none other than
Sinesis agarwood. Given Laos' unique geography (China to the
north, and Vietnam to the east) this undistorted extract
possesses just about the most accurately captured aroma of
Sinesis aloes used in oriental incense masterpieces.
It displays a lovely assortment of heavily steeped Wuyi rock
tea, crushed mint leaves, yuzu rind, bittersweet resin,
traditional Chinese medicine, and about halfway through the
scent progression a precious crystalline green aroma emerges.
The closest similitude to the aroma of this oil would be: a
combination of Royal Pursat
(boozy sweetness), Royal
(resinous bitterness), Betonamu Jinkoh
(the 'flavor'), and of course Lao One
stripped of the barn).
Lao Chen Xiang is an all-out Gen3 oud (read more here
so be prepared for olfactory overload - it will take you at
least a week to fully grasp its aroma. No, a single swipe won't
be enough. I decided to go with copper apparatus for this
distillation to help you ease into the Sinesis experience.
In a world where coffee isn't appreciated without sugar, fruit
juices are spiked with added sucrose, and colognes make folks
smell like sickly-sweet clouds of Iso E Super and Muscone, the
raw pungent bitterness of Laotian Sinesis can be... a bit much,
to say the least. So copper pots were deliberately used to make
the introduction a bit easier.
And so, in the first 30 minutes there is a sweet
cherry-fruitiness that tames the rugged character, before it
gives way to the raw core which finally makes an appearance
about half an hour after you've applied the oud.
The sweeter fruity notes dissipate and the unbelievably accurate
aroma of Oriental incense emerges. There's even the frosty
camphor coolness and the fiery notes of peppery spices that you
find in Japanese incenses, except all these notes are intrinsic
components of northern Laotian and Vietnamese aloes. Its just a
matter of fine-tuning the distillation to capture these nuances.
Coupled with the bitter resin and the green streak, the scent is
reminiscent of the incensey aroma that lingers in the air after
burning a high end Japanese Kyara stick.
Do you find yourself saving the empty boxes that your incenses
came in, just so you can enjoy the aroma they still emit? You
can toss those out now. Lao Chen Xiang is sure to satisfy your
Chen Xiang douceur puissante du laos vraiment impressionnť
par cette huile masha ALLAH.
two Laos oils probably still stand at the top of my
favourite list of the samples I've gotten until now...
The test batch Laos, loved the scent from the
stick...reverted back to my preference for the other two
after application. U definitely chose two amazing profiles
to extract from your materials...
Ima try and shoot for a bottle of both Laos. They complement
each other so well
with a nice little intrinsic animalic "bam". But quickly
dives into a lovely citrus-fruity-cherry-woody resin totally
Taha style. It then goes a bit green, Taha uses
"crystalline", I can buy that, good descriptor. Eventually
it gets a bit more spicy as the fruit fades, and it
definitely gets more "incensey". Really nice take on Laotian
oud and different from his super nice Lao One. In fact, my
favorite take on a pure Laotian oud to date.
notes on the Lao oil are very pleasing and have to say the
dry down is my favorite part but its hard to say because the
opening is so amazing as well.
took me for a ride, opening notes, intense bourbon Vanilla
at application, suddenly a sweet ripe+dried fruity note
kicks in, apricot-peach-date, as it dries down, fruits tone
down but are still pulsing, cola notes arise.. and Ambergris
starts to radiate!.. really amazing oil!
A.A. (Abu Dhabi)
Lao Chen Xiang! This is quite possibly one of the greatest,
most unique oils you've distilled to date!! With Mai Wang
Lao a close second! Well done!!!
the Lao Chen Xiang. Whoa. I will be buying a bottle of this.
really love that Lao oil , it gives me the same floral vibes
as Adams Lao Zen , just incredible
note : Animalic off the bat , with wild animalic nuances .
Not offensive at all. Almost like an Assam tone , but
different for sure
Middle note : I smell wild roses from another planet. I was
so mesmerized that I keep smelling coffee beans and go back
to the hand and boom wood & florals. Barnyard left the
building but left a garden with flowers behind. This oud is
mystical cause floral note changes hour by hour .
Base note : am getting lilacs and Lao profile sets in at the
end with the beautiful garden of flowers In the dry down ,
animalics does make dance with the flowers at the end. Just
incredible & beautiful! SubanaAllah!
Xiang. Amazing again Taha. Definitely need to spend more
time but I'm really liking it. Sister Mai Wan is quite nice
think I had a small epiphany about the Gen 3 and Gen 4 Lao
oils! (And perhaps the overall difference between the two
distillation processes.) I've had both of them on, one per
wrist, and while going back and forth from MW to CX, I
suddenly realized that (nearly) all the same notes were
present in each one, but with one major exception: CX smells
like what all the aromatic compounds would smell if you
could "excise" them from a piece of agarwood with surgical
precision, leaving only/and all of the wood behind, MW, on
the other hand, smells like a resinated piece of agarwood on
a burner - same fragrant compounds sizzling along with
heated wood fibers. (That's why I get that "leather steeped
in other notes"!) I wish I could explain all this with
greater accuracy, or if any of this even makes sense to you.
But now that I've had this, um, (let's say:-) revelation,
it's difficult to separate myself from this imagery when
smelling these oils!