Also known as the "explosion oil", this batch of oud
was easily the most painstaking oil ever distilled – literally.
Working with the setup and techniques used for crafting this oud
oil is like playing with fire. Only three oud oils in history of
Agar Aura have been distilled this way, and after the explosion
which almost took out my left eye, I decided never to do it
But when you smell this oud, you will realize why I wanted to
cook it this way.
Whereas most oud oils - especially Cambodian oud oils - that are
fruity are that way due to certain practices which are generally
frowned upon by Agar Aura, Plai Cheu is without a
doubt the fruitiest oud oil you will ever smell. Ever.
But you'll notice, the fruitiness here is... different.
For starters, this is 100% wild Cambodian oud, unlike most
fruity oud oils which are distilled from plantation agarwood.
On top of that, distillation commenced within an hour of loading
the pot, unlike the standard way that distillers produce sweet
fruity oud oils: soaking the wood anywhere between three days
and two weeks before commencing distillation.
And so, the resulting fruity notes in this oil are
understandably quite different.
Literally "fruits" in Khmer, Plai Cheu is the quintessence of
the fruity genre that the Aquilaria Crassna specie of
oud is so well-known for. To strike an analogy, this oud oil is
the cornucopia of fruits that Wrigley's "Juice Fruit" chewing
gum attempts to mimic – the latter being the Cambodian oud oils
which are fruity not by their nature, but rather because they
were warped and stretched and abused - which cranks up the fruit
In plain words: this is the quintessence of oleoresin
In plainer words: this is real fruity oud, as opposed
to a simulation resulting from distillation techniques/tricks.
Now here's the most exciting news: no yield-boosting techniques
were used, and despite that the yield from the wood was an
impressive 0.76%, around triple what you would normally expect.
Firstly, the high yield indicates the incredible quality of the
Secondly, if you have tried other oud oils hand-cooked by me,
you will have realized their potency is through the roof. A
dab'll do ya. And so, its no exaggeration to state that one
bottle of Plai Cheu is the equivalent of buying three bottles of
other Cambodian oud oils.
Thirdly, due to the massive yield which dropped the
cost-per-gram, what you are actually getting is one of
Agar Aura's $1,000+ per bottle premium oud oils.
Finally, and most importantly, you get to experience the purest,
truest, most pristine aroma of Cambodian oleoresin fruit notes.
The most delightful thing you will notice in Plai Cheu, as with
all other Agar Aura hand-made Cambodian oils, is that the bitter
notes are quite prominent. So whereas most fruity Cambodian and
Thai oils are devoid of bitter woody notes and are so
sickly-sweet that they can get very cloying, in Plai Cheu the
fruity notes are balanced by an equal dosage of bitterness. At
times, you will even find the bitterness to supersede the
fruitiness, and its this constant tension between the bitter and
the sweet notes that makes Plai Cheu very addictive.
Take it from someone, yours truly, who is generally not
a fan of super-sweet oud oils.
Au Luong, Camellia, Kanzen, Kuzen, Khmer Special K v1 and v2.
Anyone who has tried these hand-made Cambodian oils will
acknowledge that each and every one of them is singular, unique,
and utterly different from the other.
Plai Cheu is yet one more unique Cambodian scent profile, and
like the others its one of the archetypal Cambodian variants. If
you're a collector, you cannot miss out on any of the Cambodian
hand-made series oils. Each batch is significant, and represents
a different Cambodian agarwood genre. As I write this, there are
only three more archetypal Cambodian variants left.
Many Agar Aura customers came to find out about the accident
when it happened. But what most didn't know was that despite
only one functioning eye (and half my face scalded), I made a
make-shift eye-patch with a sock, immediately set up everything
again and resumed distillation within the hour.
This distillation was literally a painstaking labor of love.
Priced at our wholesale rate, Plai Cheu is me sharing the love.
Plai Chau is simply the best cambodian I ever smelt
I must say that Plai Cheu blew me away. Different
fruitiness than I was expecting...more bubble gum fruitiness
and then the transitions were just spectacular, finally ending
up at what I know as Cambodi but much more ethereal and
better. It keeps coming on in waves with amazing lasting power
too. None of that leathery density. I ADORE the slightly
flowery point that comes before the ultimate "drydown" and
lasts a decent while. The second swipe had more of it for some
reason, as of course, what transferred to my shirt. This along
with Kanzen is going to require MUCH more study. There is
something so "clear and pure" about these oils.
That oil deserves many sessions of study delight. After
smelling Plai Cheu (which has zero barn), I can easily detect
the “soak” in any other Crassna ouds. During drydown, the
aroma smells like a Cambodi agarwood chip after pouring hot
water over it.
I get very deep fruit that i can almost see the flesh of it
and once it hits the skin it transforms very bright and
reminds me in ways of the bright fruit notes off Lao Chen
Xiang minus the gorilla cage and what i love about this oil is
that i get some of that deep cooling note.
See I swear from the moment I applied the oil I got this very
unique cooling effect I don't want to say minty because the
way the tropical pineapple vibe interacts with it is almost
like a DNA strain in my mind when I breath this oil I see
these notes weaving in and out in this COOLNESS with a touch
of cream and even less vanilla than was in the Syeds Succor
but the touch is in the flow as well. Really such a lovely
The almost Vietnamese style bitterness combined with what are
intrinsic fruit notes of that Crassna wood (as opposed to its
analogue L'essentiel Cambodgien, which is all about accessory
notes) is a unique animal and totally awesome.