Wanmei. Sister to Hansei.
But successor to Kenmei - an oil that never got (and never will get) released.
Don't expect to come across another Vietnamese oil like this any time soon.
Although Agar Aura has become the poster child for attempting to preserve and present the aroma and energy of the purest essence of agarwood in oud oils, untainted by the effects of distillation techniques, apparatus, the hand (flaws) of man, or even the fragrant compounds in the wood besides the oleoresin... many would argue that if that last one doesn't apply to one oil, it would have to be Kenmei.
I am strongly inclined to agree.
The secondary fragrant compounds from the wood were not only deliberately incorporated into the oil, but in fact they played a key role in defining its aroma.
When a batch of wood possesses the rare quality of being ambiently aromatic (i.e. fragrant without even having to heat the wood, an extremely rare phenomenon, I cannot stress that enough), and on top of that it bears strong resemblances to the finest of all agarwood, kyara (and the finest of kyara in this case, black kyara), it goes without saying that there's no choice but to distill an oil from it that preserves the awesome ambient aroma of wood (i.e. wood compounds, along with the oleoresin).
That, gentle ladies and men, is the aroma of Wanmei.
Unscrew a jar of sticky black kyara granules, and stick your nose in it.
Heat some. Eat some. But mostly, keep your nose stuck in that jar (and keep chewing).
That is the most accurate description of Wanmei, and to add anything more in the form of words would only take away from the awesomeness of this oil. And so, all I will say is this; its predecessor Kenmei (made exactly the same way, but featuring the scent of green instead of black kyara) was one out of three 'Special K' batches I made which I ended up deciding I will never release, only sharing it with just a handful of folks privately.
If you didn't get to smell Kenmei, try to get in touch with someone who managed to get some and see if you can score a sample from them. If you can't, at least ask them about the veracity of Agar Aura's claim that it was identical to Baieido's green oil kyara (and apparently a green kyara from our esteemed colleague KyaraZen as well).
You will find that 'Special K' / 'kinamic' is not as a descriptor I use loosely.
So if you love the aroma of heated kyara, and love the ambient aroma of raw kyara equally (now make that black kyara)... do yourself a favor. Break a few piggy banks if you have to. Just don't miss out on this rare gem.
THE SINGLE BEST OIL THAT I
HAVE EVER TRIED. Period. Clarity, brain
buzz,,,,anxiolytic!!! Better than Xanax! I don't drink or
do any drugs, never have but this is the closest thing
that I can imagine to a "drug".
Wanmei is quite unlike anything else I have ever smelled with the sole exception of it sharing some—only some—of the profile of <...>, but taking things into an entirely different place given your deft hand. I love it.
The comparison of wanmei and black oil Kyara is real and uncanny (when the cooling menthol note of green oil diminishes and more sweet vannilic notes come forward).
Can't stop sniffing my wrists. Taha's Vietnamese oils are amazing. This is supposed to smell like black kyara.
Wanmei and Hansei are insane, the deep dry down of Wanmei....I'm talking next day after a shower dry down lol was super beautiful. Like highly aromatic agarwood chips sitting in the sun...oudy and woody! Until next time!
I just remembered why I always thought Vietnam oud is king...
Damn you. ;P
A few months in and it's even better. Yes, that may be the norm but I couldn't imagine this oil being any better than my first few experiences with it.
It's actually too engaging for me today. I can't get any work done.
"This is the smell of black kyara...."
Well-known agarwood connoisseur
I wore a dab of this for carpal tunnel surgery in May and the doc as well as the OR staff all had positive comments. Wearing fragrance in that situation is usually a no-no but I needed something to get me through and thankfully, it all worked out.
Wanmei currently. If this is the scent of black Kyara, I don’t want to know anything else! Lol. Sugary sweetness through and through with no bitter notes. There is a clear progression from Kanzen to Kuzen and finally Wanmei. There are hints o the intense sweetness that Wanmei has in both Kanzen and Kuzen. Kuzens sweetness lasts longer, but just like Kanzen, it dries down to a resinous scent. Wanmei on the other hand amplifies that sweetness and maintains it throughout the life of the oil. There is an incredible progression and correlation between Taha’s pricing and quality. You can clearly see with his oils that you get what you pay for. Wanmei is a masterpiece for sure!
A true Vietnamese ... smells black kyara ... black Kyara with woody complexity. A must have in collection at a very good price.
She is a beauty. I chose she purposely. She is Smoother rounder sweeter than kenmei/kiyosumi duo and also has left the green cooling camphorous note behind. There is a mint and patchouli note but more as a scent and not as a sensation. Also it is mild.
Wanmei is freaking incredible. Hansei is awesome too, but that Wanmei oil is something else. If this is what Special K is, I don't want to know anything else! Lol. Wanmei is making me think that I should look past Kuzen and just pick that up. Black Kyara? I've never had the pleasure of smelling any kyara, but of all the replications out there (...), black kyara is my favorite thus far. Real nice Taha. I mean REAL NICE. I seriously might just save up a little more and pick up a bottle of Wanmei.