If you like your ouds spicy, Pedu
should be on your shortlist. This is about as spicy as an
oud can get.
Over the years, I have remarked many times about the unusual flavor of food (and oud, and pretty much everything) in the tiny bottle neck region lying between mainland Asia and peninsular Malaysia. Pedu is from the south (Malaysian) side of the border; the last jungle after which you reach southern Thailand (literally separated by Lake Pedu).
And in this oil, the unique bitter-spicy flavor common to South Burmese, South Thai, and far-north Malay oud is more blatant and vivid than any other oil I have ever smelled.
The star of the show is of course 'The' unusual flavor which, until just moments before I started writing the description, had me stymied. And then I sniffed my wrist and it hit me: it smells like paan! The infamous combination of moist tobacco and crushed betel nuts wrapped inside a betel leaf, a bizarre but oh-so-satisfying chew common in South and Southeast Asia.
The paan flavor is most dominant in the opening, followed by a growing moist tobacco presence together with pink pepper and a touch of cumin. The rugged woodiness starts to get stronger, along with a most unusual sweetness. Not honeyed, not floral nor fruity, rather, something like palm sugar sweetened ginger tamarind candy - another uniquely SE Asian oddity. As the oil evolves some more, the aroma of spiced date juice joins in. The drydown is a carbon copy of Northeast Malaysian raw agarwood - not heated. but rather the aroma of the raw wood fresh out of the jungle.
Wow such a beautiful oil. It
comes from the region around Lake Pedu which is bottle
neck between Malaysia, Thailand and Burma. It has the
bitterness for those who chase bitterness in Oud’s and
spicy-ness which is not in your face spicyness but very
airy and beautifully captured.
The Pedu was my favorite. I got cinnamon and sugar on my skin. That one is a very yummy scent.