Laos is second to none, the
uncontested global leader by a mile, when it comes to the
most revolting oud distillation practices.
So much so, that many have come to believe that odors of blue cheese, mildewed socks, and untanned cow hides are normal components of the Laotian oud profile, whereas they are actually the result of human intervention: gut-renching filthy co-distillation of agarwood soaked to the point of rotting, together with maggot excrement and microbes.
If you've tried our in-house Laotian distillations, then you already know we do Laotian oud different. Real different.
And if you got a full bottle of Royal Lao and received some of the actual raw material with it, then you already know what it is we do: replicate the scent of the wood to a T.
(and you saw for yourself that cheese and socks and carcasses are not aspects of the Laotian oud profile)
Then there's Lao 4K. Distilled from a small batch of rare wild harvested Laotian agarwood from the far-north province of Phongsaly, sandwiched between Vietnam, Myanmar, and Yunnan.
There is no oud whose distillation I yearned for so much that it drove me to pick up my paint brush after a decade, except this oil. First due to the wood getting detained by government officials in Laos for months, followed by a long COVID-19 lockdown period during which I couldn't travel to my factory in Malaysia despite the safe arrival of the wood there; I ended up painting this northern Laos "pusong" (high mountain) scenery – a two-month long project.
This should give you an indication just how special this oud is.
Lao 4K is, no doubt, a full-blown Gen3 oil. But whereas I usually like to go out of the way and dabble with batches of wood that display atypical scent profiles, all our 4K series oils are "textbook definition" representatives of what the highest caliber agarwood chips smell like, whether they are from Koh Kong, Cambodia, or Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Or in this case, the classic aroma of pusong agarwood from Phongsaly, Laos.
The key feature: these classic aroma profiles are for the first time displayed in dazzling 4K ultra high definition detail.
A milky tonka-vanilla and purple floral tango greet your nose first, with tingling white pepper and honey close behind. Sweet hay, tobacco and herbs add a rich backdrop, and lapping layers of dense resin run through the entire scent palette. Blue lotus sings the farewell notes alongside cassia and sweet resin.
But THE most enchanting features of this oil are without a doubt the "sweet poison" aroma Laotian agarwood is well-known for, as well as a most unusual mind buzz which is oddly enough identical to the buzz from a famous batch of Kalimantan kinam that got a lot of attention in Chinese agarwood connoisseur circles (a 100kg Super King grade harvest about a decade ago, whose most unusual feature was that eating and heating the wood make your eyes water involuntarily, and then washes you over with blissful calm).
In terms of palpable mind effects, Lao 4K is uuup there alongside Bhamo, Cintaku, and Royal Maluku.
If you have never experienced oud from Laos before, there is no better way to acquaint yourself with it than with a bottle of Lao 4K.
Utterly classic, singularly sublime; a scent that is one of the rarest of all in the world of oud.
Opening - definitely frosty
Malay green cola bit of steely note(is this because of
freshness?) Or medicinal mineral jungle vibe (something
like top end NGP) Surely has purple florals and may be
blue florals ... today the opening feels cross breed of
Malay + NGP
1 hour in - now this oil has a Bhamo feel to it very Burmese where this is herbal, resinous, hint of hay, woody with a bit of purple/blue florals still doing its thing on greenish incense back drop...
Good 2 to 3 hours in now I get what the fuss about 4K .... the Kinamic whiffs bitter, creamy milky note, honeyed, cinammon,
greenish bluish purple toned Kinamic whiffs wow jst wow …
I think Lao 4k will end up a sweeter version of Luang with a zing of cola. The 🧠 ⚡️ is powerFUL. Huge swipe the other day and I was laser beam focused and VERY awake. Wheeeee!
There is something else there I can’t quite figure out....some very slightly minty frost note. Just a whisper of it.
Comparing Royal Lao n Lao 4K today... Royal Lao smells n feels grounding l... Lao 4K is bright n uplifting
AA Lao 4K. It's gotten REALLY intense a couple hours after the opening. The green mixed with REAL TINGLY SPICE. Lime-granny smith-apple-crushed mustard-incense/resin. But it works.
I also liked LAO 4K which seemed really complex and have several distinct phases and it dries down.