The very first Agar Aura oud ever distilled was a
wild-crafted Thai oud from the Khao Yai mountain range, Thai
After almost a decade, we are pleased to unveil our second wild Thai oud from the very same mountain, Tokusen Tai.
Aside from the obvious sentimental value because of that, what this oud personifies is something quite unique. There is no other oud oil in the market quite like it. Chances are, when you smell it you'd think it's anything but Thai.
When you think of Thai oud, what comes to mind? Tutti fruity bubblegummy pleasant but boring farmed oud.
Tokusen Tai, well that's an entirely different beast altogether.
Aside from the fact that it starts off with base notes first and dries down to the top notes - a most unusual phenomenon - its the scent profile of this oud that is just about the rarest you will encounter in oud oils.
Take Tennendo's Enkuu or Yamada-Matsu's Hyofu, strip the spices, fillers and other ingredients, and zoom in on that bellowing deep bitter agarwood at the heart of these Japanese incenses, that my friends is the aroma of Tokusen Tai.
As I held a leaf from the tree turning it over and observing the unusual shape and size, as I pulverized the wood, held a lighter to some of the splinters, loaded the raw material into the pot, smelled the hydrosol, and tested the very first drops of oil on my skin, one thing was clear: this was going to be one very unusual oud.
The opening notes capture the aroma of a Japanese incense stick as you light it, just before the tip starts to glow. There are none of the typical sweet fruity notes found in typical Thai oud oils. It quite literally smells like burning incense.
Then some fiery spices and notes of wok-roasted red hot peppers emerge, together with fire-cured pipe tobacco and heavily steeped black tea.
More wood, smoke, and bubbling resin.
Hours later, you finally start to notice that the bitter platter has edges curling up, tinged with subtle sweetness - red berries and sweeter resinous highlights.
Distilled in a manner to capture the refinement of the Japanese incense tradition, and comprising of four ingredients (awesome agarwood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights), I hope you will love this oud as much as the love I put into crafting it.
Dude i swear i am about to go for my third application of
this thai oil it is that good. Of course the dry down is
fabulous and it is really unique how it flip flops on the
scent notes but my favorite part has to be smelling it from
the bottle and those first notes upon application!
Beautiful sweet woody profile starting with spicy peppery notes. The dry down is what I desire from an Oud:)
Taha , il s'agit effectivement d'une huile merveilleuse. J'ai pour l'instant peu de mots. Profondeur et complexité , puissance en même temps que subtilité , puis douceur , voir évanescence sur la fin...? Voilà ce que je peux dire sans trahir mon ressenti ! Je peux identifier 3 temps sans avoir peur de me tromper , mais il y a bien d'autres couches très subtiles à mon avis : une entrée grasse de feuilles de tabac , en même temps que l'encens , avec quelque chose de "poussiéreux" qui m'a rappelé oud Darussalam. Je dénote aussi du vert , plutôt foncé.... Puis l'odeur semble s'étaler et s'arrondir. À la fin , toujours de la présence et de la douceur (des notes de vanille....) Le lendemain , j'aurai presque senti une note savonneuse sur mes vêtements : réel ou illusion ...?
Loving this one as well, certainly not your typical Thai oil - like many of Taha's oils, this one is like modern or postmodern art, with exceptional refinement and detail, a work of art that will take many experiences to fully understand..
Tokusen Tai and Vietnam Special K - so much YES!! Fantastic stuff.
I had not tried any Thai prior to Tokusen Tai and so did not have much of an expectation other than hearsay about Thai being linear, sweet and jammy.
But Tokusen Tai was far from linear. A swipe and a sniff later, there was this unusual peppery spice note jolting my olfactory senses, sending a slight tingling sensation at the back of the nostril. In my Oud journey so far, I have yet to encounter such top notes in any oil; except during Kodo session with resinous wood at higher temperature. It was not all dry and spice though, as there was a nice touch of sweetness with a tinge of mint to complement the peppery edges. Don't think the spice note ever disappear but rather retreated to the back as other more prominent notes took to the centre stage. I still could catch whiffs of it from time to time.
The scent slowly transited to a medicinal woody smell, again with a dash of sweetness to it. Interestingly, so far I have not yet encountered any jammy sweetness that was expected to overwhelm your senses; but rather the sweet note here lended a subtle yet supportive cast to the main notes at different stages. Just like how the sweetness toned down the spice in the opening, I thought the heart note sweetness bridged the medicinal and woody notes very well, as each note in its full essence can be quite olfactory stimulating, at least for me. Sometimes it is not just about packing all the most complex notes in an oil, but rather how each note interplays harmoniously with one another to bring the olfactory experience to the next level.
The woody note continued to intensify till you could almost imagine smelling the actual wood in front of you. Slowly, you could start to catch a hint of bittersweetness creeping in from the edge. Bittersweetness is my all time favourite note and I definitely love the aroma at this stage, though it could be even better if the note has been more intense and forefront rather than playing second fiddle.
The dry down is a rich incensey note that personally to me, has been a hallmark of high quality oil. It is very different from the aggressive and smoldering resinous dry down of Jinko Manaka as it is gentler with a greater degree of clarity.
Tokusen Tai is definitely a masterpiece from Taha! Distilling a oil with horizontal complexity is tough enough but it is definitely a bar higher to distill such complex oil with harmonious notes playing in tandem with one another.
Oh my oh why oh THAI!!!
So is tokusen supposed to give off some Kinam notes because I swear I am getting them?
Just smell Tokusen this morning...wow your description was spot on. Really nice oil!
It is definitely an Oud profile I have never experienced before. Incense sticks gently smoldering is the initial scent, then some sweet spices, and then more wood.
Tokusen Tai. I have to say, this oil is a big step up from Taha's otherwise excellent Ouds. Burning incense Kinam with a completely unique bittersweet wood profile. Meditatingly delicious.
Well I have to put the hustle on to secure another one because it is that good!!!
sillage beast. Bitter, pristine, "well dressed"? Like a street thug graduating into a mafia Don, dark and serious, yet cool, collected, and refined (special K element contributes to this). Personally, it's unlike any Thai I've ever smelled. If you're bored of the tutti fruity plumy thai oils, don't give up just yet..This one might rekindle an oud crave in slumber..