One of the two regions of Malaysia whose agarwood smells the most 'un-Malaysian'.
And incidentally, today its THE main hotspot for Khmer smugglers who harvest its agarwood and take it back to Cambodia, to be sold as 'Cambodian' Crassna agarwood.
There's a perfectly good reason for this.
Whereas the simple Khmer hunters just go by their noses and find the agarwood to posses the closest aroma to what existed in their motherland some decades ago, what we now know through GCMS lab tests is that two specific areas of Malaysia produce agarwood with startling resemblances in their chemical composition to Aquilaria Crassna, the native agarwood of Cambodia.
One of them is north-eastern coastal Malaysia (Terengganu), and the other is a handful of spots along the far west coast.
Ukupan Kayu was our first Malaysian oud oil from Terengganu state. For crafting that oud, the distillation process was deliberately designed to make it possess every possible scent profile possible from the raw material, for an all-in-one experience.
Right thereafter, we made Sutera Ungu - this time, the Terengganu cousin of Manaka Jinkoh.
It showcases the inner scent dimensions of the Terengganu agarwood aroma - too esoteric and fleeting for most people to grasp and wrap their head around when heating agarwood, but for experienced Monkoh connoisseurs it is the pinnacle of the oud experience.
If you haven't reached that level yet, don't worry, the aroma of Sutera Ungu is so beautiful that you will still fall in love with it, even if you can't relate it to the heated agarwood aroma.
Unlike west-coast Malaysian agarwood which shows impressive concentrations of ?-agarofuran, kusunol, and other signature components of Crassna, Terengganu reigns supreme when it comes to Agarospirol and ?-eudesmol, two other key components of the Crassna scent profile.
On top of that, whereas the beauty of west-coast Malaysian agarwood lies in its minimalism (every facet of its beauty is 'oudy'... Manaka Jinkoh, 'nuff said), Terengganu agarwood on the other hand has a more diverse palette, with no shortage of auxiliary floral, fruity, and honeyed scent notes. It is quite literally the most 'perfumey' agarwood in the entire oud world.
If you can grasp the differences between Cambodian and Vietnamese agarwood (both Crassna), you'll get an idea what the differences between east and west coast Malaysian oud are like.
With its broad spectrum of top, heart, and base notes, Sutera Ungu is a complete perfume in its own right.
Sutera Ungu displays both characteristics from the fruity Crassna and the typical Malaysian structure, which is to say a complex series of shifts in aroma from top to bottom, often separating into two layers – smoke on top, and fruit/leather underneath. Wood from the Terengganu region is said to be particularly perfumey and rich, and I find this theory to be borne out by this particular oil.
Immediately, I can smell smoke and fruited wood, with an almost incense quality. Once my mind clears and I can start to grasp the more subtle nuances of this oil, I get gentle little waves of freshly-stripped bark, clear furniture polish, green apple skin, and fermenting dried fruit, with an almost vaporous, boozy quality that makes me think of cooking fruit in brandy for Christmas pudding. All this through a haze of incense smoke.
As oils go, this is one of the richest I’ve smelled, and it is perfumey in the way an old Chanel might be, particularly vintage Coco Parfum. In the heart, the smoke lifts to reveal nuances of earthy, almost fungal myrrh, old wooden chests, and, darting through the darkness, the reddish iodine snap of pure saffron threads soaked in oil. But the show isn’t over. In a startling show of complexity for what is, after all, an essential oil, the base returns to the dry, incensey woodsmoke that first greeted the nose in the topnotes.
Sutera Ungu is a rich, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable Malaysian oil experience from top to bottom, and is a proper perfume in its own right. I highly recommend both AgarAura oils to beginners because they are both exceptionally smooth, enjoyable, deep but accessible, and completely free of any overly sour, fermented flavors associated with the more barnyardy categories of ouds.
It is unlike anything I have experienced before. It is almost like a perfume. It is so clean yet deep. Lots of heart note but when the wood comes out it is gorgeous!
Sutera Ungu is a very beautiful piece. As far as my novice nose can comprehend, a unique sensation flows through my nasal cavities. Floral, refreshing, pleasant incense-ish aroma, it reminds me of the tropical forests of Malaysia, yet still packs enough "oudiness" at the base, with a minty hint felt when inhaled deeply. My arabian syeikh had a whiff, and he was surprised that Oud could smell like this ! Even my wife whom dislikes woody/incense aromas said that it smells really good (perhaps her Terengganu birth played a part in this :D )
Truly a great oud oil to start training my senses with. I hope it will open doors to greater olfactory sensitivity I've yet to discover.
Sutera is amazing... Can't keep my wrist away from my nose.
Very different. I first thought it was a Borneo from the top notes... but the base seems entirely different. It's toying with me a little starting to get the base of kachin ko shwe.
Man straight up its a winner.
Sutera Ungu is beautifully delicate. A complete perfume in of itself. A sharp "floweryness" but not in an overtly feminine way, it brings to mind the citrusy tang that comes after a rainfall on freshly cut flowers.
I have really enjoyed Sutera Ungu, nice and unique Malaysian oud.
At first there was the slightest of sharpness along with a strong medicinal profile. After an hour this really blew me away, the scent evoked images of a secluded temple deep within a mountainous jungle. Very calming and mysterious. It evolves constantly so the scent comes and goes and stays with you hour after hour unlike linear ouds which your nose becomes accustomed to rather quickly.
There was something deep down at the lowest end of the spectrum that I have never smelled in an oud before, almost like when someone whispers in your ear so quietly and you don't quite hear what was said. This one captivated myself and others around me.
Interesting. Maybe what I "feel" as the "soft edges" of the "core" of the oil scent is what you "see" ( i.e. smell) as the sesquiterpenes take over. That must be the flowing tendrils I "feel."
This One has "body," a definite center, like an almost palpable point of origin. I say "almost" because I can't really "capture" its essence, but I can feel its soft edges. Sutera Ungu creates its own waves of scent that swirl gently around its core.
I thought Sutera Ungu must be a mukhallat when I first put it on and had to run your pre-release description through my mind again just to recheck the details. I smelled flowers, and I've never smelled flowers in a pure oud oil before, although a lot of people when describing oud oil often include such a fragrance note in their descriptions. Now that the Sutera Ungu has been on for an hour, it's become a kaleidoscope of different notes. This is one very special oil. I reapplied it three times tonight and I got flowers each time upon application.
Thank you so much for gifting this to me! You are the best :).
Here it is hours later and the Sutera Ungu has become like a perfume, soft, flowery, delicate, and sweet. How on earth did you produce an oil like this?
I felt that
Ungu's design module is:
Pure gen. 3 + sparkle & piercing
Kayo design module is:
Pure gen. 3 + silky
Sutera Ungu is beyond beautiful, but of course, you know that.
It is easily one of the finest Malay oils I've smelled with again delicate sweetness, at some point but I'm not sure I had the feeling I could detect a hint of spices (clove) and the dry down was a pure agarwoodiness treat :-P