People would like to see oud sell for what it used to fifteen years ago. They’d like to think away the Chinese market and the extinction of wild agarwood. They’d like to see their democratic ideals spread and magically undo years of incense-grade mumbo-jumbo and finally offer affordable oud to the masses. Affordable, but still ‘top-quality’!
Well, friends, here you’ve got an oil for as low as I can go, without tampering with the Oriscent aesthetic one shred. The raw materials that went into the boilers are all wild, from the exact same jungles as the original Archipelago from 2005. The oil’s been aged for 2 years, and I’m ignoring those two years worth of inflation and interest-equivalent appreciation any sane businessman would take into account. Let’s also forget the zakat paid on the oil during those years. Let’s call it Agar Spring and celebrate the start of 2017 with a cheer and ‘hear hear!’ for oud democracy and bargain prices.
Companies have advertising budgets. They invest in PR events. Sometimes, they sell a product at a loss, just to prove a point. If you think you could offer high-grade wild oud at this price without seriously loosening up on your quality control or without taking a financial hit, then I can’t help you.
With Archipelago, you get a timeless classic at basically the same price it sold 15 years ago… A good spread of fresh pine leaves, vanilla and cedar, i.e. the freshness that’s characteristic of an awesome Borneo. Throughout the scent, you get whiffs of an intoxicating mentholated wood chord, if you can imagine that – a piercing sensation in the way minty notes strike you, but toned down and slightly more raw/sweet like a gentle infusion of ambergris and peeled bark, revealing a sweet, sappy citrusy note unique to fine Indonesian ouds. This feature makes this oil immediately likeable and super accessible (you can wear it to work no problem!).
There’s no Maroke in this one, so up against Archipelago 2008 you’re getting less black, less dark – the original Archipelago’s beauty intact. With just the right dose of jungliness to turn the earthy dial down a notch and the gyrinops-inspired green tones up… especially in your maiden whiff, where it’s strikingly oudy in a way that kinda reminds you of a clean Sumatran (and no, there’s no Sumatran wood in here).
Show me where you can find such an intricate display of distinct scent notes in an oil extracted from low grade agarwood. And how on Earth you could get that Sumatran-like oudy oomph without a few years aging? And at this price…
Hey, I’ll make it easy for you. Just go on Facebook and order oud directly from the ‘source’. It’s way cheaper than anything you can ever get on this website. This way, you can be content that your bottle is in fact from wild wood – high-grade wild at that. You can rest assured that the trees weren’t tampered with and that there were no inoculants used in the process (obviously, nobody does that these days). You can sleep soundly knowing that it’s not common practice for 99% of distillers to mix not-agarwood-but-smells-like-agarwood oils into the mix and sell it as premium wild oud. And best of all, you can be sure that you get the very finest oud at the very lowest price, just like you can get a new car over at the Great Wall dealer, who I hear have just released a model that ’s just like a Rolls Royce, only much, much cheaper.
There are people who think that Oud Mostafa No 5 basically smells like Oud Ilyas. So, I don’t always know what to say, seeing that there will always be those who are fine with a swipe of DOP on one arm and an artisanal oud on the other, unable to tell the difference; who think that the leather in a Tata pick-up truck is actual leather. That oud like Archipelago will be lost on them is a shame. That it will be compared with far inferior concoctions is something I can do nothing about.
What I can do is offer you a top notch Oriscent classic – wild & naturally aged – at a #damn right, I’m making a PR statement price. As for the rest, I’ll let the oud do the talking!…