Its enough indication that this is
the only Agar Aura oud from Borneo island
that has ever been donned "Royal", to realize just how
amazingly high the quality of the raw material was.
For about two years the wood sat in a box in my storage room while I tried to find more genuine Malinau agarwood to juice.
Since then, I was unable to find a single splinter from Malinau. Plenty of alleged Malinau wood, sure. Like agarwood from Brunei, slapping on the Malinau label easily doubles the market price. But I was after real Malinau agarwood for its aroma and not the name.
Inspecting batch after batch of raw materials, and not finding any genuine Malinau wood, I finally decided to cook this batch and pay it the mightiest homage a distiller can: to capture the finest, purest, most pristine essence of the raw material.
Oozing its glorious Malinau character by the bucketfuls, there are very few oud oils from this prized region of Borneo that are of this caliber (only three other Malinau oud oils from my colleagues come to mind).
Now add to that the fact that this was distilled from not only incense-grade wood, but ambiently-aromatic incense-grade wood. If you've tried Agar Aura's other hand-made oils distilled from ambiently-aromatic wood (like Ceylon No.1, Kalbar No.1, New Guinea No.1), then you should know what to expect.
Yep. This is one insanely awesome Malinau oud.
The only batch I've hand-cooked myself so far, and judging from the current state of affairs in Malinau, most likely the last one too.
Pure Gen3, i.e. the truest essence of the oleoresin. So plenty of sweet clementine, candied blueberries and vanilla (fruit creamsicle, anyone?). None of the wet dog fur or damp cardboard aroma found in most Indonesian (mis)distillations, that ruins the drydown of otherwise excellent quality Malinau oud oils. Royal Malinau was meticulously hydro-distilled in copper apparatus.
And since the wood was ambiently aromatic, like all other Gen3 oils cooked from wood of this rare varietal, the ambient aroma of the wood itself was preserved in the oil too – something I otherwise prefer to avoid, keeping the focus solely on the oleoresin. This added facet brings a creamy sweetness, similar to classic Mysorean sandalwood. Not so much in aroma, as the overall texture.
If you missed out on Kekasihku, you owe it to yourself to grab a bottle of Royal Malinau. Although the sub-specie is not the same, the daintiness that puts Brunei and Malinau oud head and shoulders above all other Borneo oud oils is equally blatant in both.
Rarity-wise, believe it or not, true Malinau agarwood is even scarcer than Bruneian. So don't miss your chance to claim this treasure!