Also known as the "explosion oil", this
batch of oud was easily the most painstaking oil ever distilled
Working with the setup and techniques used for crafting this oud oil is like playing with fire. Only three oud oils in history of Agar Aura have been distilled this way, and after the explosion which almost took out my left eye, I decided never to do it again.
But when you smell this oud, you will realize why I wanted to cook it this way.
Whereas most oud oils - especially Cambodian oud oils - that are fruity are that way due to certain practices which are generally frowned upon by Agar Aura, Plai Cheu is without a doubt the fruitiest oud oil you will ever smell. Ever.
But you'll notice, the fruitiness here is... different.
For starters, this is 100% wild Cambodian oud, unlike most fruity oud oils which are distilled from plantation agarwood.
On top of that, distillation commenced within an hour of loading the pot, unlike the standard way that distillers produce sweet fruity oud oils: soaking the wood anywhere between three days and two weeks before commencing distillation.
And so, the resulting fruity notes in this oil are understandably quite different.
Literally "fruits" in Khmer, Plai Cheu is the quintessence of the fruity genre that the Aquilaria Crassna specie of oud is so well-known for. To strike an analogy, this oud oil is the cornucopia of fruits that Wrigley's "Juice Fruit" chewing gum attempts to mimic – the latter being the Cambodian oud oils which are fruity not by their nature, but rather because they were warped and stretched and abused - which cranks up the fruit factor.
In plain words: this is the quintessence of oleoresin fruit notes.
In plainer words: this is real fruity oud, as opposed to a simulation resulting from distillation techniques/tricks.
Now here's the most exciting news: no yield-boosting techniques were used, and despite that the yield from the wood was an impressive 0.76%, around triple what you would normally expect.
Firstly, the high yield indicates the incredible quality of the agarwood itself.
Secondly, if you have tried other oud oils hand-cooked by me, you will have realized their potency is through the roof. A dab'll do ya. And so, its no exaggeration to state that one bottle of Plai Cheu is the equivalent of buying three bottles of other Cambodian oud oils.
Thirdly, due to the massive yield which dropped the cost-per-gram, what you are actually getting is one of Agar Aura's $1,000+ per bottle premium oud oils.
Finally, and most importantly, you get to experience the purest, truest, most pristine aroma of Cambodian oleoresin fruit notes.
The most delightful thing you will notice in Plai Cheu, as with all other Agar Aura hand-made Cambodian oils, is that the bitter notes are quite prominent. So whereas most fruity Cambodian and Thai oils are devoid of bitter woody notes and are so sickly-sweet that they can get very cloying, in Plai Cheu the fruity notes are balanced by an equal dosage of bitterness. At times, you will even find the bitterness to supersede the fruitiness, and its this constant tension between the bitter and the sweet notes that makes Plai Cheu very addictive.
Take it from someone, yours truly, who is generally not a fan of super-sweet oud oils.
Au Luong, Camellia, Kanzen, Kuzen, Khmer Special K v1 and v2. Anyone who has tried these hand-made Cambodian oils will acknowledge that each and every one of them is singular, unique, and utterly different from the other.
Plai Cheu is yet one more unique Cambodian scent profile, and like the others its one of the archetypal Cambodian variants. If you're a collector, you cannot miss out on any of the Cambodian hand-made series oils. Each batch is significant, and represents a different Cambodian agarwood genre. As I write this, there are only three more archetypal Cambodian variants left.
Many Agar Aura customers came to find out about the accident when it happened. But what most didn't know was that despite only one functioning eye (and half my face scalded), I made a make-shift eye-patch with a sock, immediately set up everything again and resumed distillation within the hour.
This distillation was literally a painstaking labor of love.
Priced at our wholesale rate, Plai Cheu is me sharing the love.
Plai Chau is simply the best cambodian I ever smelt
I must say that Plai Cheu blew me away. Different fruitiness than I was expecting...more bubble gum fruitiness and then the transitions were just spectacular, finally ending up at what I know as Cambodi but much more ethereal and better. It keeps coming on in waves with amazing lasting power too. None of that leathery density. I ADORE the slightly flowery point that comes before the ultimate "drydown" and lasts a decent while. The second swipe had more of it for some reason, as of course, what transferred to my shirt. This along with Kanzen is going to require MUCH more study. There is something so "clear and pure" about these oils.
That oil deserves many sessions of study delight. After smelling Plai Cheu (which has zero barn), I can easily detect the “soak” in any other Crassna ouds. During drydown, the aroma smells like a Cambodi agarwood chip after pouring hot water over it.
I get very deep fruit that i can almost see the flesh of it and once it hits the skin it transforms very bright and reminds me in ways of the bright fruit notes off Lao Chen Xiang minus the gorilla cage and what i love about this oil is that i get some of that deep cooling note.
See I swear from the moment I applied the oil I got this very unique cooling effect I don't want to say minty because the way the tropical pineapple vibe interacts with it is almost like a DNA strain in my mind when I breath this oil I see these notes weaving in and out in this COOLNESS with a touch of cream and even less vanilla than was in the Syeds Succor but the touch is in the flow as well. Really such a lovely oil.
The almost Vietnamese style bitterness combined with what are intrinsic fruit notes of that Crassna wood (as opposed to its analogue L'essentiel Cambodgien, which is all about accessory notes) is a unique animal and totally awesome.