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    Ceram '97

    Price: $395

    The scent of these chips sent me off into a frenzy. I’ve been derailed, spending days on days formulating a new perfume inspired by a whiff of Ceram—I’m still a long ways off from even a first draft. I’m not kidding, since smelling a sliver I’ve immersed myself in all things–iris.

    I haven’t smelled it before or since, this magical purple note of iris. What kind of juice these trees must have been drunk on, I don’t know. All I know is that everybody who has owned Ceram wood has kept a good stash of it—one whiff of the iris note and you’ll understand why.

    Dark brown maybe. Ink-stained looking stripes okay. But black black black always better.

    It’s easy for me to show you a dark-hued, ‘densely resinated’ oud chip and tell you why it’s the best wood since Trat went dry. But is it? Is black better than brown better than plain Jane?

    Generally, dark-colored resin indicates good wood. But often, it’s totally not the case. The best proof is that the best wood (according to most) looks indistinguishable from normal distillation stock. I’m talking, of course, about kyara.

    But fine, kyara is an exceptional case. So let’s put that example on the back burner for now, and take a look a this:

    The truth is, these chips are as extraordinary as they look ordinary. Harvested twenty-three years ago on an island few ever heard of, this is one of the rarest harvests circulating in veteran oud circles. Even back then, Ceram island oud was a rarity, which is why this batch is still around, two decades later.

    I haven’t smelled this iris heart in any other aloes—not even in Almahera or all of Maluku. Not to mention regions farther off. This purple chord is the bedrock for my current daze, this iris infatuation that stoked a fire of inspiration I can’t extinguish.

    A bit romantic, maybe. But the iris is real. The quiet calm inhaled at low temp soothes you. If God wills, that iris parfum will one day sit on your shelf and you’ll know where it all began. The fact that you have the chance to own Ceram agarwood is real—that it’s olde generation aquilarias that peaked when most of us were still in high school—that is something else!

    Also special- with definite similarities to the Royal Almahera, although notably sweeter and more floral, toned down in the bitterness. If Almahera is like bright morning sun, Ceram is more like a waning sunset. Its darker and more relaxing like an herbal floral tea, more settling than the Almahera's green tea stimulation  effect. I do get those hints of purple, more so than the blue from the Filipino Abuyog, although it does have some similarities to it. It's more about beauty while Almahera is more about majesty, and has some creaminess not quite noticeable in the Almahera. – Lucas, USA

    How in the world is this possible? How can a wood smell more floral than a flower? Why was this kept a secret from all of us? And lastly you better have an oil made from this wood already and it better be aging in the deep dark corners of your safe within a safe within a safe behind a secret bookshelf behind a painting. I feel it will shove PK’s face in it and immediately jump to your top releases ever. This is deliscious delicious wood and beyond pretty. It is profound. Score!

    100% agree that the ambient aroma of the wood is not only present but on steroids and it is distinctly purple in scent. Iris in fact is the closest thing that springs to mind. Zero exaggeration and no power of suggestion needed. It is just that obvious when it is staring you in the face. – Rasoul, Canada

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