Taman Negara and her predecessor Kehebatan
were extracted from the very same batch of agarwood. Kehebatan
was deliberately distilled using old-school parameters... the
old all-steel apparatus, the high cooking temperature, the
works. For that reason, it was the poster-boy for the vintage
Malaysian oud genre.
Taman Negara, on the other hand, was distilled using Spanish copper and Pyrex glass apparatus, over a painstakingly controlled delicate flame.
The comparisons and contrasts that can be made between the two oils are monumental, and for anyone who considers themselves an 'oud nerd' the ouducation the duo bequeaths is priceless.
Almost half of the entire yield of Kehebatan comprised of auxiliary notes: the smoke, the purple muskiness, and most importantly the rugged woodiness.
Taman Negara eradicates most of that (with just a touch of the woodiness retained though), and at about half the total yield, it packs DOUBLE the oleoresin punch.
In this duo, you can enjoy the same experience as our Indian Mahabali-Kalyani combo. The one showcases 'old-school' flavors, while the other focuses more on the oleoresin.
With less of the 'old school auxiliary notes' cluttering the palette, Taman Negara allows you to really get up close and personal with the aroma that put Malaysia on the oud map. The tamarind is more vibrant, the palm sugar is stickier, the bitter herbs more full-flavored, the spices fresher.. and of course, the resin is gooier and far more copious.
The drydown..? Its like you have a Kodo cup in the place of your wristwatch, emitting vapors of pure Malaysian oudy goodness.
For a batch that yielded only half the volume, Taman Negara should be double the price of Kehebatan. However, this is part of the LOT (Let Oleoresin Talk) curriculum, and so consider this an Agar Aura scholarship — our way of promoting higher ouducation.