Take one whiff Royal Lao
and you'll understand why, despite a depleted bank account
and the worst timing ever, I bought the entire batch of this
wood down to the last splinter, to distill this oil.
If there is one thing that's common between Royal Lao and the likes of Royal Malinau, Royal Maluku, and Pilipinas No.1, its the fact that their mind-bending properties are off the charts. Another common factor is how ridiculously amazing they smell.
Words fail me, in trying to describe what this oil does. Or how it smells.
So here are some objective facts: this is a pusong (high mountain) wild Laotian oud. It is a different batch entirely from the Dao and Keo duo (both of these were from the same harvest), which is the reason for the stark difference in the scent profile. The second reason why I had to buy the entire batch of wood was because I got an amazing deal. Forget oud retailers' prices, show the raw material to any wholesaler and prepare to catch your jaw when you find the actual wholesale market value of the wood.
Take Agar Aura's yield-boosting techniques out of the picture, use the real value of the wood, and you're looking at $4,000+/bottle oil. Feel free to have any wholesaler crunch the numbers for you.
A feeble, yet apt, attempt at dissecting the aroma:
Very high quality bubbling Laotian agarwood chips.
Yes, its become quite a cliché. No doubt its overused. But really, there is no better descriptor. This is the Laotian version of our old oil Pencerahan.
(if you insist on a basic scent breakdown: lactonic bitter-sweetness, tar buildup in a smoking pipe, otherworldly deep-hued 'purple' florals, tonka-coumarin-vanillin, pepper, a touch of smoke, resin, resin, and more bubbling resin)
Below is a short video of the raw material that was used for distilling Royal Lao. A free wood chip from the raw material will be included for the first five* (see note below) full-bottle orders, so you can not only appreciate the grade of wood used to make this oil but also enjoy heating it and comparing the aroma of the wood and oil simultaneously.
Omg Royal Lao is amazing!!!! My wife immediately likes it and she doesn’t like the smell of most oud.
Royal Lao is one these Ouds the every time i wear it it presents a new beautiful colour.
A true Multifaceted rainbow gem for studying different profiles in perfect harmony. A marvelous aid in aromatic meditation.
All the colors are perfectly in balance and equilibrium.
Just the right amount that together makes it total and complete.
Royal really fits this gem.
Not because of the quality or price, but the feeling the scent evokes is exactly that.
I remember getting this oil when it was brand new and smelling it at that time, I knew this was going to be one of the all time greats. This morning being Friday I decided to revisit this oil and wow upon wow on how this oil has become! It has all these beautiful colors. Blue, purple, blue, and green. The Laos oils are oils I haven’t come across in any other region. They are close to Vietnam and Chinese but not the Royal Laos. This is in a league of its own!
Well done. So good. It easily goes head to head with <...> and in fact holds my interest a bit more. Have a swipe of each on each wrist
The same baby blue note of Hindustan 1 is present here. A gentle narcotic quality. Ozone. Really. Ozone note. Oooof. Captivating.
Great top level oil. Loving it so far.
Royal Lao is the 3rd of the Lao trio of oils that Taha has recently distilled and by far the best. It has an oomph that Keo just doesn’t have. The opening in particular is very different to Keo; richer, deeper and ‘darker’ for want of a better word. Just something fuller and more complete in the opening (not to say that Keo was missing something). A very distinct oil and the quality speaks for itself. This slots right onto the top shelf of any oud lover’s collection.
Clearly picked up notes of cinnamon, bitter orange and smooth clean new leather/suede-like note amongst others.
Like Keo, the lasting power of RL is very impressive. I know for many people longevity is a key consideration especially when venturing outside the budget oil range.
I bought RL blind and took a gamble buying 2 bottles. Do I regret it? Not at all! It’s the only oud oil I have more than 1 bottle of, and is well worth the money (and easily worth a higher price tag). If you’re missing a reference Lao Oud, having seen the actual wood that went into this (not shavings or dust) this is the one you’ve been waiting for :)
True story: I bumped into somebody I hadn’t seen for a while at school whilst picking up my nephew. We shook hands when we met. He messaged me around 20 minutes later saying
“....You looked as good you smelt. Masha Allah... I still can smell you off my hands. Some strong stuff”
I’d applied 1 very light swipe 3+ hours earlier.
Previously I used to think that Malaysian ouds were like the ‘Mother of all Ouds’ in terms of their sheer oudiness and primordial qualities they possessed and imbued. I’m now inclining towards Lao/Vietnamese ouds simply due to the complex and varied scent profile, which may be mostly to do with geography or the wood itself, I don’t know. What I do know is that there is literally something for everyone from every region within RL, regardless of preferences.
I still don't have the words to describe or do this oil any real justice, other than to say it's extraordinarily remarkable.
I've had the opportunity to smell only three specimens of heated agarwood from Laos and if the DNA is based on those woods then Royal Lao is a genetic match and represents what is intrinsic to the wood, untwisted.
Well, the sheer high quality of the wood as we saw in the video is super eveident here. Once again is immediately inducing a feeling of elevation. An opening note of Chinese sinesis dna but wrapped with a cool Vietnam like bitterness and subtle sweet milk panna cotta. A floral note of sorts I can’t pin point. Like peonies mate with violets and irises were present in the room. On planet mars that is. What in most Chinese oils is referred to as peanuts and disliked, is more like a delectable petrichor rich earthy note here. Ie same dna but far better refinement and pedigree here. Testament to both the wuslity of wood and mastery of the distiller in my humble opinion.
20 min later and the same China Vietnam dance continues but a third note with momentum gaining is surfacing. An Assam bitter golden hay tonka bean note (...)
From here on out it becomes this rare breed of non barn hindi flirting with Vietnam. A note I can only describe as a Coconut husk/shell holding a mean cocktail of bitter almonds, mint, bitters, vegetal tincture, flowers from mars tincture, shaken and garnished with a slice of candied tangelo and fresh grating of a hypothetical spice that would be a blend of subtlest version of a white pepper, a light but nuanced Mexican cinnamon (close to Ceylon) and Nigela sativa (blackseed). Maybe even hint of caraway.
A mind opening oil. Clearly. My impression writing Above is certainly amongst my most imaginative work to date.
This oil signals to have the stuffing and ooomph to keep putting on weight and gain in both scent projection and breadth/depth complexity.
Oh my you were right on the Royal Laos
Holy moly wowowowowowow
Royal Lao is a real treat of an olefactory adventure!
The opening is divine sweetness with purple flowers and some high pitched woodiness with a pleasant mildly numbing effect.
Hard to describe but it caught my full attention immediately. Really delicious and jummy!
For me this is quite a performance! On most Oud´s the opening is not my favorite part of the journey, but with the Royal Lao, its regal and high class! Light but deep! It never turns too sweet but just the perfect amount of sweetness, mixed with bitterness like those of wild Himalayan apricot kernel oil.
It keeps on merging into a marzipan like flavour dipped in Kewda Attar..
But at the same time there is faint roots in the background that somehow reminds me of <...> mixed with Mysore Sandal..
What a mysterious and unexpected turn from the opening.
The drydown is classic incense tones with a hint of bitterness and ruggedness. This one was a real shape shifter on my skin and i immensely enjoyed all the different acts of the play.. from flowers, dessert and roots..
Very well balanced and absolutely gorgeous all the way. Something even someone who don't like oud can really enjoy.
Not because its simple, but because it depths are extremely balanced, refined and high pitched well grounded into the earth.
If i wouldn't know better i would almost think it was an attar mixed with various ouds from various regions...
Last but not least..
Amazing high quality bitter sweet oudchips on low heat bubbiling with vanillic woddiness.
Wearing Royal Lao right now :) couldnt analyze the top notes that well as I was busy working :'D but alhamdulillah its very nice and psychoactive (like you've mentioned) the oudy core is oh so prominent, loud and clear!