Like Koh Kong in Cambodia, Nha Trang in Vietnam, and Malinau in Indonesia, most oils coming from India are marketed as genuine 'Assam' oud, when they actually are not.
And most that are at least from Assam, were actually distilled from cultivated trees but sold as wild; they all have the same common thread running through them.
Food for thought: in the wild, even two trees that stood a meter apart in the jungle will not yield oils that smell the same.
Chamkeila is wild Assamese to the bone, and a full-blown Gen3 oud, so it possesses the delightful esoteric nuances of Indian agarwood, and zooms into them with stunning clarity.
But this time, instead of the Dean&Stark setup that was used for Lalitya (the first time in India), we decided to utilize an Indonesian style fully vertically-aligned setup (another first in India). This setup ensured the lowest distillation temperature possible.
So this is as pristine, unwarped and impeccable as an oud gets.
And this is Assam... as Assam as Assam can get.
No floral or fruity accents to speak of. Honey, yes. A ton of musk (Chamkeila is 'clean' yet more indolic than the ripest deer musk macerated in the most sensuous jasmine oil). And most importantly: tobacco (pouch tobacco as well as hooka-style candied tobacco), henna and warmed spices.
Genuine Assamese oud is much like genuine Koh Kong oud, in that they both have hefty dosages of tobacco and spices. I for one have wondered if there's a reason behind this, its interesting that Assam in India and Koh Kong in Cambodia both produce agarwood that share these same scent notes. And its oils from precisely these two regions that have gained a reputation in the market like no others could.
An intriguing coincidence, at the very least.
So there you have it folks. This is a Gen3 oud, so the unique Assamese characteristics are as pronounced as possible (word to the wise: use this oil as a yardstick to ascertain if other alleged Assamese oils are or aren't genuine). Chamkeila's twin distillation Shano Shokat on the other hand was more 'old school' in flavor.
But at the core, you will find the same unmistakable wild Assamese DNA.
With King Koh Kong, we reintroduced archetypal, genuine Koh Kong in a market that's full of false claimants.
I hope that with these two Assamese oud oils, you get a good idea of what a genuine wild Assamese oud should smell like.
Here is what happened after I opened the package.. I went for Chamkeila first, removed the cap and sniffed the bottle with the dipstick still in unopened.. wait.... what???.. sniff again.. and yes that Indian Oud minus the barnyard completely!.. after applying it, I smell honey and very prominent black tea+ green tea oil extracts (and not the tea itself).. notes of tobacco in the drydown along with abit of sweetness and scent of the Oud wood itself unburnt.. it keeps evolving every hour... I feel while applying it, a touch of deer musk and rose, will make it a completely different scent.
A.A. (Abu Dhabi)
Top note : this oil is intense , my nose moved in tingled , that's how pungent & potent it is.Gave me dejavu of Sasora Jinkoh. No barnyard at all. Balsamic spice and tangy top note lingers for hours with floral animalic notes. ( notes get stronger after 10 minutes & changes ,incredible how your oils do that )
Middle note : I am past 5 hours in the work day and top note is still strong . Spicy note comes out not overpowering the top not incredible & amazing.
Base note : dry Down is nice on the skin . Wild woods on the skin and top note is still there with spicy dry down.
All I can say SubanAllah!
It's an oil, that in my experience is not immediately barn but does have that backbone and it has the most pristine, concrete indolic note I've ever smelled in an oil. In Ensar's blurb about his Assam Organic he states, "The oud that was used to scent the cloth of the Holy Kaaba in Mecca", and it too is a lusciously beautiful oil. But, when I first smelled Taha's Chamkeila I was like, no THIS is the oud of Al Kaaba Al Musharrafah.
Cette huile est de l'or dans une bouteille !
Oui , une odeur réellement dorée , limpide , qui coule et dure longtemps en plus. Des petites notes mentholées s'expriment également quelques temps après l'avoir appliquée... Effectivement (Ok avec l'avis de certains ) la plus belle huile de ma collection , à présent. (Remarque : j'ai pourtant adoré Shano shokat avec laquelle effectivement , je sens bien le lien de parenté , mais aujourd'hui , ma préférence penche pour Chamkeila !)
Chamkeila ...How did you do it? I should probably analyze this for another day but it was so amazing at the first try that I had to write this back to you. This is probably what "Hindi Oud" must have smelled like in olden days... For all these years I just refused to believe that the most renowned oud thousand of years ago was hindi oud that today smells like barnyard (most of the time). But with Chamkeila I am convinced this how it must have been.. sweet honey.. a faint spicy note.. musky for sure! Wow! Just wow!
It truly is sublime! I never felt like I want to huff my wrist! (I think that's the right word).
I couldn't resist a swipe of Chamkeila. I like it! A Hindi that's not a Hindi- well that's a pretty pickle!
This is an extraordinarily lavish and delightful Indian/Assamese oud. Honey-musk oudy goodness on this one - the aroma is absolutely saturated with character and intrigue.. While it is "zero barnyard" the musky quality makes it nevertheless sort of animalic/funky.. A most unusual funkiness - has vague similarity in terms of the funkiness to Sultan Afnan (EO), an oud from an altogether different region of the world.. I predict Chamkeila will be among many people's favorite Agar Aura ouds in time..
Super nice and complex zero barn Hindi. Definitely with Taha's signature all over it.
I spend time with cham yesterday and the scent is gorgeous...
A very nice zero barn hindi indeed. I get a strong reminder of patchouli in the opening. Never thought that Hindis could smell like that.