Let Oleoresin Talk (LOT) Project

Discussion in 'Artisan's Talk' started by Taha, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Taha

    Taha Well-Known Member

    @Adam, if I were you, I would take this opportunity to put together an important section of the new Ouducation syllabus (let organic oleoresin talk), minimizing the accessory notes to tone down the white noise which dominates the scent profile of the majority of Thai farm oils.
    Personally I would skip the soak (arguably the most dominant auxiliary aspect of most Thai oils' scent)..... unless you can pull off something like your Royal Vietnam. Oh, and I'd try to minimize reflux too (again, quite a dominant part of most Thai farm oils' scent profiles). :)
    Royal Bengal Oud likes this.
  2. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Well the problem is that most people are “addicted” and “attached" to accessory notes!
    The good example would be our Sabah Begining and Tarakan Le Nu oud oils distilled from amazing quality wood in Purex glass boiler ( not just minimum but absolutely ZERO of accessory notes).
    In those oisl the minimalistic yet super beautiful notes of the “naked” aloes resin been taken to another level … yet strangely not many appreciate and value this style of distillation…
    Royal Bengal Oud likes this.
  3. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    We also believe that “accessory” notes, as you call them, may even be the actual frame in which the artist leave his unique signature …
    if that makes any sense… sure there are many different angles to looks at it… thats where lies the problem of misunderstanding… accessary notes can be raised to be called the soul of an oil yet in other case they make be labelled the necessary tricks to hide the low quality of raw materials and to make low grade oil to appear as high grade oil… in both cases the labelling may be justifiable … or may be not … hahaha … very complicated !
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  4. Oud Learner

    Oud Learner Active Member

    It started with Taha talking about Z-axis of Oud appreciation and the talking wood.:)

    Then came the idea of take-home DIY kit by Ensar to understand what true oleoresin aroma is. :eek:

    The talk of an Ouducation kit to contrast differences between quality oleoresin aroma and auxiliary accessory notes. :cool:

    Then Taha tried to rope in Adam to help out with the Ouducation. :p

    Very valid points raised by Adam. o_O

    Appreciate the oud which is the reflection of the soul captured during the distillation. :cool:

    Is it Oud? Or is it not Oud? :eek:
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  5. bhanny

    bhanny Well-Known Member

  6. Taha

    Taha Well-Known Member

    Alas, yes, I understand all too well. :(

    Nah, the accessory notes aren't the soul. That's the whole point of the MOTA curriculum. ;) But yes, I agree that this is the plane in which a distiller can flex his/her figurative biceps. Problem is.. people should appreciate the oud, and the distiller's prowess should be secondary.
    (having said that, to ME in reality there is no bigger show of biceps than a distiller being able to make an oil that captures the soul as immaculately as possible... of course the oil will only impress if the wood was good, otherwise the emperor's nakedness gets exposed)
    Ensar Oud likes this.
  7. Oud Learner

    Oud Learner Active Member

    Updated the compilation.
  8. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Well-Known Member

    Some time after a swipe, when the opening starts to fade, and the projection diminishes, I breathe hot steamy nostril breath onto the swipe, then there is a release of Aroma (sometimes I just wipe a drop of water on the swipe to activate it again). Some oils release more than others at that point. The Aroma is so delicious with Sokh Khmer and China Sayang.
    My question is... Is that the Oleoresin talking?, or all oils dry on the skin (in drier climates of course), but some oils are so potent, that they re-release more aroma upon contact with moisture?
  9. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Well-Known Member

    If the given is that the wood is spectacular to begin with, what is the ideal way to limit Auxiliary/Accessory notes and increase/capture the Z?
    Is it as simple as Temperature and Fractioning, or is there a whole lot more involved?
  10. Oud Learner

    Oud Learner Active Member

    Boiler and condenser type (steel vs copper vs glass)? Soaking time? Temperature fraction distillation? Water type?
  11. Ensar Oud

    Ensar Oud Well-Known Member

    Those are ALL related to the types of auxiliary notes you want to elicit and don't pertain to LOT. That's why for oils in this series we're not going to talk about copper or steel, RO or mineral soak, steam or hydro, 1 or 24 week soak, etc... :)

    And then Ensar said:

    "You’ll get plenty of ‘pretty’ notes, flowery notes… and yes, even woody notes in log-distills. And here’s a secret: Using white wood is actually a key ingredient in the recipe for bringing you these pleasant auxiliary notes. Ask any experienced Thai distiller about it; they’ve perfected the art of mixing different grades. They all add a dash of white wood to sweeten things up and make the oil more commercially appealing. But never confuse woody notes for incense notes, and never confuse the flowers and the fruits for the scent of resin. Don’t confuse oud for Oud."

    Mark the time and the place where this formerly unknown secret was first revealed to the Oud community. And then decide where and from whom to get your Ouducation ;)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  12. mec09nr

    mec09nr Member

    Am I correct in thinking that the scent of the actual Oleoresin differs from region to region however through variations in condensor type, water type, distillation type etc the oleoresin resin scent of a different region can be mimicked? How does a distiller decide which auxiliary notes he wants from a particular distillation? Are there a set of auxiliary notes that are better suited to certain oleoresins? For example, can I distill a Thai oil and vary the distillation technique to produce the oleoresin scent of a Hindi?

    Sorry if I've got the complete wrong end of the stick :D

    P.s what level of experience with oud does one need before they can even differentiate between auxiliary notes and oleoresins?!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  13. Taha

    Taha Well-Known Member

    Well, if a couple is e.g. of English descent, they cannot expect to have a baby that looks Chinese simply because their child is born in China. :p
    Likewise, the aroma of wild agarwood oleoresin from one region can never be mimicked by that of another region.

    Having said that, the kid can grow up and assimilate, adopting the culture, language, attire, etc. These can be likened to the 'auxiliary notes'.
    For this reason, some may smell a Cambodian and say, wow that smells an awful lot like an Indian oud. But it wouldn't be the essence of Indian agarwood, the oleoresin, their mind is likening it to. Its actually the auxiliary notes that were shaped by the choice of distillation parameters, including-but-not-limited-to the ones you mentioned (condenser, water, apparatus).

    Now here's what's interesting-
    White (bunk) wood is the mother of all auxiliary notes. For each region/species, the auxiliary notes are what usually define the scent profile, the 'flavor' of standard grade oud. They ARE what make most Borneos Borneo, Thais Thai, Ceylons Ceylon, and so on. But they are ALSO what can be shaped the most easily by tweaking distillation parameters.
    So what does that mean?
    1) Using a very neutral set of parameters, bunk wood (standard grade) oud oils of any given region will produce an oil with the most region-specific auxiliary notes.
    2) But those very same auxiliary scent compounds are also the most malleable, i.e. precisely these same compounds are what can be shaped to make a Cambodi smell Hindi, a Malay smell Thai, a Ceylon smell Borneo, and so on.
    Now is that neat or is that neat? ;)

    And here's what I think Ensar's trying to say (if I may be so bold to speak on his behalf), at least this is what I've been trying to say:
    For LOT/MOTA oud oils, all these things are irrelevant. Because the aim is to excise and isolate the purest expression of the oleoresin's scent, untainted by auxiliary notes (and techniques/parameters). No doubt, every distiller will have their own set of in-house techniques & parameters to ensure there is minimal noise captured.
    The most amazing thing....? An oil can be distilled terribly wrong, but if it was extracted from oleoresin-packed wood then time alone will allow the oleoresin to rise up and dominate the auxiliary stuff. This is the reason why oils that were distilled 20 or 30 years ago using crude apparatus and techniques but from awesome high grade wood will dominate a more contemporary oil distilled using superior apparatus and techniques but inferior wood.
    The ultimate champion? The best wood and apparatus and techniques. :D
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  14. kesiro

    kesiro Well-Known Member

    Definitely makes a lot of sense Taha. It does come down to the wood does't it? Obviously things are only as good as the weakest link. I am very excited about some of the stuff you have in the works!
  15. mec09nr

    mec09nr Member

    Thanks for your response Taha, جزاك الله خير it is starting to make sense to me now and is getting interesting!

    What are the best examples of oils from different regions that best express the oleoresin scent of wood from that region?

    At the stage in the oud journey I am, I feel I can wear oud as a perfumes rather than for educational purposes i.e. to try and ascertain the oil's oleoresin scent. Coming from someone who used a lot of western 'synthetic' perfumes, I am quite enjoying the various auxiliary notes certain ouds offer.

    I can see why some may want to try and get to that oleoresin scent however if only a few people can ascertain this scent and most enjoy auxiliary notes, at this stage I'm finding it hard to understand what the point is of trying to isolate this note if, for example a beginner like me, won't be able to pick it up anyway? Also, my understanding is, take hindi oud for example, that the scent which has been loved throughout the ages is not the oleoresin scent of hindi's but the auxiliary barn. So would that not suggest that it is the auxiliary notes which make the oud and not the other way round?!

    I don't wish to offend anyone with my post, just trying to increase my understanding of this beautiful substance.

    The above questions are for anyone to answer :)
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  16. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Well-Known Member

    To add to your post @mec09nr
    I always felt that, Wood from the same Grade (let's say Double Super) and from the same Region (let's say Endau Rompin) does not necessarily mean Oleoresin with the same level of Fragrance. That's why some oils become legendary like Berkilau.
  17. Ensar Oud

    Ensar Oud Well-Known Member

    True. The crux of the problem Taha is really pointing at, given the confusion over grading and auxiliaries vs. resin speaking, is when you're led to believe you're paying for resin ('gently heated', no less) when you're really not; and vice versa, when you're presented with a high grade oil and then compare it to a 'nice' but much lower grade one distilled from 5 year-old trees, being led to believe certain ouds or vendors are 'overpriced'.
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  18. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    @mec09nr ,
    I can feel the confusion that may appear as a result us (distillers) discussing these topics.
    Just wanted to share few points that I hope at least a little can help to clear up the confusion.

    First of all we all love oud and hope to use it easily, wisely and with the best intentions. Not to make it in to something that cause confusion, arguments or even haterace.

    Secondly there is nothing wrong with accessory notes. Moreover, in most cases they bring lots of benefit, as long as they serve the right purpose and one using them is transparent and completely honest.

    To be able to differentiate between high quality aloe resin and necessary notes one must have a trained nose and lots of direct experience in distillation. As simple as that. Sure most of oud lovers will feel the difference between high quality farmed Thai oil full of accessory notes vs. Sinking grade wild Thai wood cooked in the most simple way in let's say purely glass apparatus. In other words when the gap is huge. However, once it comes to 100$ vs 500$ or 1000$ vs 5000$ wood and super clever tricks applied ... only one out of 100 may feel the difference. And I am not referring to 100 oud lovers... but 100 full time distillers.
    So as you can see here it purely comes down to trust. If one trust a person who said that he used 500$ wood instead of 100$ wood then let it be... However, we find it very hard to implement specially when it comes to really high grade oud oil.
    Even with plantation wood... It's not just about the trust...
    Let's take my recent stay in trat for instance. I trust ms Tan with agarwood 100%.
    However, I had to be present at her factory when workers do their job. Few times I had to catch them by hand and say NO! you please not do this and that.
    If I would not be there no one would care about those "tiny details" but we know that OUD is ALL about the TINY DETAILS! It reminds me the time when I cook breakfast. I like to eat boiled egs with toasted bread, soft cheese and green olives. It takes exactly 5:00 min in boiling water to make egs the way I like. It may sound silly but keep it in boiling water 10 seconds more or 10 sec less and the breakfast will be spoiled. The yellow part wont have the viscosity that I am crazy about. Thats it. 10 seconds gap. Can you belive it???
    The same principal applies to OUD.
    Ofcorse 10 sec wont make a difference however one must feel the process and do what is right.

    So it's all about trust and then being present, touching, feeling...
    For that and few other reasons we felt obliged to record as much of the process as we can and share with you guys so it can bring lots of benefit. By seeing the whole batch of wood used for the distillation and the whole process of the distillation itself one can start to understand and differentiate where is the resin and where is the accessory notes are doing the talking.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  19. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    In other words... once we stepped in to this complex process we felt obliged to provide people with some factual and visual evidence and also let them see the artistic part of it. As we been tired of baseless claims that some was making... For instance one of the latest claims and the most ridiculously funny ones came from a distiller that said : "we cook 1kg of agarwood and get 1kg of oil!"
    @ Ensar and Taha ! what you think about this BOOSTING technic? Shall we employ this distiller to cook some oils? Sinking...Kinam... no an issue... :)
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  20. Ensar Oud

    Ensar Oud Well-Known Member

    Well I didn't think I would ever mention this in public but given the LOT and pricing issues and perfectly boiled eggs discussion, what we employ to craft our most expensive oils is a yield MINIMIZING technique :eek:

    Think about that for a second. We can't get the desired smell unless we sacrifice more than half the yield.... Most would squeeze that extra oil and bring the price down for consumers – I opt to give them something no one else can produce... ;)
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