So here's the story behind the name...
One of our customers isn't too fond of traditional Indian ouds that have animalic and barnyard elements. So while describing the aroma of this oil in an email, I explained that its a 'zero-barnyard Hindi' oud, which ended up getting abbreviated to ZBH Oud and the name stuck.
Agar Aura first introduced this new genre of clean Indian ouds to the world, with the release of Aatma. That was followed by a few other Indian ouds of the same general category. But ZBH personifies the perfection of this genre.
Distilled from very high quality incense-grade agarwood harvested from 70+ year old trees from far-south Assam (first AgarAura oud from this region), we used our knowledge and experience from previous distillations to perfect the technique for crafting this oil. This oud is so clean and so delicious, that a newcomer to the world of oud would be shocked to know this oud is Indian. No barnyard, no fecal or animalic notes, and no harsh or abrasive synonyms that are commonly found in online reviews of typical Indian ouds. No, this is a different Hindi altogether.
As is the preferred practice for the production of AgarAura oud oils, we separated the most pristine fractions of the oil after the first few days of cooking. This first lot turned out to be *so* beautiful that the distiller himself had only 2 words to describe the subsequent oil extractions collected from cooking the very same wood: "very bad".
It actually wasn't all that bad, but everything is relative. And comparing it to immaculate aroma of the first lot - ZBH Oud - his reaction was understandable.
When you first apply the oud, you will see almost no resemblance to Indian agarwood whatsoever. It smells more like blueberries. Or to be more precise, thick blueberry jam. This is the first and only Indian oud I have ever smelled which is reminiscent of blueberries - a note which I have only detected in one other oud, and that was from far away Brunei. ZBH Oud's opening is so cool, breezy and camphoraceous, you might even think its a Borneo oud. Rest assured though, this is oud is 100% Indian.
Due to the use of clean, pure water for distillation, every scent note in this oil is crystal clear and every evolution in the scent as it develops on your skin is easily discernable and fascinating to follow. Just don't let others catch you walking around with your wrist glued to your nose!
The blueberry aroma starts to fade after a while, but its replaced by an equally mouthwatering combination of Chaunsa mangos, browned butter, and caramel. Imagine this lathered onto Indian agarwood chips and dusted with vanilla sugar, then heating the chips gently on low heat.
This is the stage where the oil starts to smell more and more like sweet smoke rising from Indian agarwood, and this is the dominant aroma that will last all the way to the end. The oil also gets 'drier' as it develops, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mitti Attar which is the distillation of baked earth infused into sandalwood.
If you've been intimidated by Indian ouds so far, here's your chance to dive right in without having to put up with any challenging scent notes.
If you're already a diehard Indian oud fan, then ZBH Oud's Indian agarwood quintessence will give you a reason to rejoice.
does smell like blueberries at first before turning into
a nice creamy woody resinous oud!
I saw from your site saying that the opening of ZBH Oud smelled like blueberry jam, interestingly to my nose it smelled like honey, the very creamy kind, and very sweet. It had to be the most delicious Oud oil that I had ever smelled. I had smelled very similar scent from heating some small pieces of Agarwood before and it was what got me hooked.
M.C. (Hong Kong)
Really good description I immediately took your advice and burned a Hindi wood chip....finally I see the connection between the wood and the oil haha...I always wondered how that happened. But it smelled almost identical to the Bubbling wood.
ZBH wow... This is a luxurious smelling oud more so than most. It's a lasting oud that has tons of silage but not heavy and dense. In fact it has strong notes of Cork and Virginia Tobacco freshly & finely cut. I also get slight hints of Peach Necter and strawberry. There is also a black pepper vibe that is nice and it's a bright & airy oud oil also at the same time.
Today I put the ZBH again and just lovin it .... unbelievable work Taha .. simply fantastic! You have to at least save 1 if not 2 bottles for me.. I will purchase it as soon as I can.
ZBH is the only hindi that I put on for prayers or for work.. just love it! I don't know how you did it but it is truly zero barnyard smell..
The reason I am against any barnyard smell in my Oud is because I feel the Oud or perfume I put on should please people around me.. that way inshAllah it becomes a sadaqa! And ZBH is obviously one of them.. not only it is the best hindi I ever smelled but it is probably amongst my top 5!
Juste un petit mot concernant ZBH Oud , que je porte en ce moment : superbe ! ( comme les autres huiles que je vous ai déjà commandées , d'ailleurs...) Et finalement , plus présent , plus affirmé que ce que je pensais au départ . Mais , effectivement , d'une manière amicale pour les autres. ;) . Avec cette huile , je peux être généreux dans l'application: en mettre sur les poignets , le creux des coudes , le cou , la nuque et même le torse , sans que ce soit dérangeant pour l'entourage !
Le départ est miellé , confituré , mêlé à une note très fine que vous avez identifiée comme note de bleuet , dans votre blog. Après 2-3 heures , je perçois une note de foin qui me semble caractéristique des Ouds que je connaissais.
On devient vite addict de cette huile ; l'envie d'en remettre régulièrement et de renifler ( en cachette) le col de sa chemise ou le poignet.;)
Par hasard , l'odeur s'est mêlée avec celle d'un parfum à dominante de musc présent sur une de mes chemises.Or , il s'est avéré que le mélange s'accordait fort bien. J'ai donc l'impression que ce Oud peut facilement s'ajouter à d'autres parfums , afin d'en souligner leur caractère et de leur rajouter 1 touche personnelle.(Qu'en pensez-vous...?)
En conclusion : très satisfait de cette huile que je porterai sans doute régulièrement au cours de la période estivale qui arrive.
I am loving ZBH! I tend to crave Hindi's when it's cool...and can't wait for the next fall and winter (a crazy thing to say after the mini ice age we've just had) to fully appreciate its warm, sweet, clean un-Hindi Hindiness :) I still can't believe that an oil this young can come across as such a dignified and accomplished aroma with its elements un-obscured by any fresh still notes. It's complex, balanced and very pretty - a remarkable feat for an un-aged oil! My favourite part is the perfect marriage between the ethereal vapouriness we've first seen in your Aatma and the confident yet aloof woody basenote that gives the oil such a well-rounded character - its crown is up in the clouds but the roots are firmly planted in the soil, and at no point does it come across as just any one of those things but always the sum of all. The other thing I admire about ZBH - how it manages to stay a Hindi while projecting a very archetypal "oudy" aroma without constantly reminding you about its geographical origin, it's a very rare quality in oud oils as I am sure you know :) I knew I had to have a bottle the minute I first sniffed it from the applicator stick, that hardly ever happens to me... I think this is your best oil to date, Taha - I am happy to see that your hard work on accumulating knowledge, seeking out the best material and equipment and working on fine-tuning and perfecting the distillation methods has paid off in such a spectacular oil, thank you!
ZBH has a certain sub-note (for the lack of a better word) that pushes one of my favourite oud buttons - it's not just the woodiness but a particular moist, soft, sweet and at the same time slightly bitter woodiness. It's not Kyara, even though it sounds similar. I can only describe it as a soft woody radiance with a hint of vetiver and the scent of a night breeze over a forest lake.
There is still the Hindi quality that I love with NO dairy farm at all.
I've had the ZBH on for a while now. Starts off with hints of fruit, reminding me of Thai oud but never quite getting there in that you expect the fruity notes to expand and develop but they don't, they just linger, never getting out of first gear. About an hour in I'm getting lots of smokey incense. The fruity lingering has died down further. At this stage it really reminds me of Malaysian ouds! I'm getting a note very similar to Cantik Candan. Upon application I did pick up hints of a Malaysian vibe. This is manifest more so past the hour mark. Very nice and I'm well pleased to have this in my collection :)