You must have heard the mantra: “The best oud at the best price…. We offer the finest ouds at the most affordable prices!” Well, it doesn’t get any better – and it certainly doesn’t get any cheaper – than this.
We’ve said it before: Mid-2000 Marokes are in a different league… When it comes to measuring out quality for price, early 2000s Maroke was the absolute finest quality oud at the best prices. This is that oud, at those prices!
When the Papuan jungles were first tapped they brought out the sickest agarwood. Wild centennial trees that couldn’t be more resin packed. Distill that kind of aloes properly and you get the best oud anyone’s ever smelled (Oud Royale No 1 ring any bells?)
Go to the same jungles today and you’ll have to dig underground to get the kind of trees that once stood tall and turned into oils like Maroke 2004. The few wild trees that remain standing in neighbouring jungles come at a price many times what we had to pay twelve years ago.
Just think about it for a second. Everything we know about supply and demand tells us that the asking price for Xiang Liao Ling should take into account its current replacement cost. We’re talking about a caliber of wild agarwood that’s on the verge of extinction, takes real muscle to track down and costs thousands of dollars when you do.
But here you are: A bottle is only $550 – the same price our Vintage LTDs used to sell for nine years ago! Now, try and distill this oud for $550 a bottle today and see how far you get…
Maroke oud smells like nothing else. Specially old school Marokes possess a primal spiciness / earthiness / jungliness / incenseyness / oudiness that’s really hard to come by even in the richest Malaysian oud oils. Xiang Liao Ling owns that profile to the tee.
It’s faintly minty, fully elemental. Earthy. Clean deep dark incense present in the top notes.The most enticing thing is its extraordinary herbal-meets-floral tones that smell as if you infused ginseng with water lilies, crushed watercress and eucalyptus. And then comes the dry down that shakes it all and steeps deeper into an incense drone that beats even Maroke LTD’s rich woody base…
All natural and chemical-free. Extracted by traditional means, without the use of synthetic chemicals. This oil does not have an expiration date. It will only improve as it ages. No "gassing" required.
Yeah, I submit to its greatness. It’s shining bright in the summer humidity. These oils have some caliber, man. It takes the wearer to unknown Oud realms. – Nikhil, India
This is such a unique and unexpected scent! The first impression is pure ancient dark organic humus… Many years ago I visited one of those old wooden United Fruit Company houses in northern Honduras. Everything inside was smelling old and humid wood mixed with the salty sea breeze. I loved the smell. This oud reminds me of that smell. Then, it evolves to something that reminds me of patchouli. It is a scent that is hard to put in words! – Costas, Switzerland
XLL: Magnificent. Wow! Maybe the most oud-y oil I have ever enjoyed. Just dripping with dense, shimmering character. Loved it. – Larry, USA
My first Maroke. I thought I had an idea of what a Maroke would be based on previous exposure to other Papuan or New Guinea oils. Boy was I wrong.
First swipe of XLL and everything went black. Slowly coming to I was overcome by the thick, deep, and fantastic aroma of primal earth. Overgrown jungle vegetation, dankly resinated great-great-grandmother trees towering above. Oversized insects swarming, scattering as a T-Rex roams, hunting, queen of her jungle. Like my own surreal episode of The Land of the Lost.
XXL swipe number two. Everything goes black. Slowly coming to I am immediately hit by an intense, ancient, deeply dark green scent. Earthy and dry. Some incense is burning, the faint flame flickering above. Water trickles somewhere near. The sounds of swords being sheathed, armor being tightened and I know I’m in the depths of a medieval castle. Trapped as those above are readying for war.
Man. This stuff is intense. It is amazing and ancient. But that does not mean it isn’t smooth. Man is it ever.
I’m afraid of where swipe three might land me. – Brian, USA
With aquilaria filaria, and Xiang Liao Ling in particular, what is most alluring is the aesthetically soul-stirring vibe. Not only does it grab you by your core, it lays on the complexity really thickly. An attempt to discern its notes is futile, you’ll be filled with feelings, emotions, and get mentally transported to another place or another realm. – Curt, USA
If you like Royale No 5 I highly recommend Xiang Liao Ling – 10 yr old Maroke from Ensar. It costs a bit more than Royale No 5 did, but in my opinion is a far more refined and enjoyable Maroke with some similar scent characteristics. It has that rich balsamic/cola/medicinal wood type smell that is in Royale No 5, but done in such a finer way – more complexity, cleaner, generally more awesome… I like Royale No 5 pretty well, but am loving Xiang Liao Ling. More beautiful color also – Royale No 5 is a very dark sort of brown color whilst Xiang Liao Ling is a clear reddish burgundy color… – Josh, USA
Xiang Liao ling is not similar to the Oud Royale 1985, scent wise more alongside Royale No 5… I’ve also heard it compared to Maroke 2004. The Xiang is way better than No 5 in my opinion… more ethereal, I prefer its viscosity to the thicker No 5. A superb Maroke oil… perhaps the best I’ve smelled so far. – Taher, UAE
I agree with Taher 100 percent. Xiang Liao Ling way beter than Royale No 5 which I love. But Xiang Liao Ling is a killer, so beautiful and extreme in: earthiness, jungliness, incenseyness and oudiness as Ensar said. So lucky to have it. – Jalal, Canada
Xiang Liao Ling is the smoothest, greenest, and most jungly of the three Marokes, with a balanced hint of mintiness. It is also one of the darkest Marokes I have tried with a beautiful birch tar/leather undertone, very masculine. – Ammar, USA
Xiang Liao Ling is a wonderful Maroke. Upon swiping this hypnotic oil I am greeted with notes of dark oudy smokiness, and toasted marshmallow. As the top notes quiet down, a midnight breeze blows in carrying a fresh minty note with a dark side. That dark side is what keeps me grabbing Xiang Liao Ling for swipe after swipe! It is like being in a dank earthen wine cellar eternally fumigated by stick after stick of fine Japanese incense. So dark, wet and incensey! On the Maroke spectrum I’d say it falls between Maroke Muah and Maroke LTD. – Chris, USA
I tried Xiang Liao Ling and… I really need to get a full bottle of that :) – Yazid, UK
Back in 1987 I met this very interesting cat in biofeedback classes in college. He was an ancient looking hippy, like Gandalf. His whole being emanated old wisdom. So I finally asked to hang out with him. He said he lived in Bolinas. Well, Bolinas is this crazy hippy town near Stinson Beach where they tear down the road signs from highway 1 so you can never find the town nor find your way around Bolinas unless you know how. The hippies all moved there in the early 70s, took over the water board, and stopped issuing sewer permits, so no new buildings ever got built. Your only hope was to buy an existing house with an existing sewer permit. It was a novel idea and kept out normies for many decades, but sadly the economics of supply and demand caught up and now a house in Bolinas sells for $2m or over. So I started driving to Bolinas to hang out with this crazy cat. He was a member of The Well, which was the Whole Earth Catalog’s novel BBS that was a precursor to what the WWW would become. The dude was so hooked up, he used to do sound for the Fillmore East back in 69 to 70 in New York so he knew – everybody. Stanley Owsley, Rock Scully, when this guy did mailorder tickets for Dead shows, lets just say he was never turned down for any request for any amount of tickets. He actually found me a place to live there, which can be extremely hard to find a rental there, and I lived there for two years. My next door neighbor was Paul McCandless, the reed player in the most amazing world fusion avant garde Jazz band ever, Oregon (Ralph Towner is their guitarist).
So where is this leading you may ask. He had an old hippy van that he had been driving since the early 70s. Think Scooby Doo Van. This van had been to at least 1,000 Dead shows, and God knows where else. It smelled of the Original Patchouli Tree, from the Great Patchouli Bang of 1966. It also smelled like it had been parked outside in Bolinas (Stinson Beach) for 25 years. It was an awesome comforting smell, something I thought I’d never really experience again since around 1993. But Xiang Liao Ling smells just like his van. So if anyone ever asks you what that smell is on your wrist, you just tell them it’s the smell of an old hippy van parked in Bolinas for 25 years. It smells like the dwarves dug too deep and unearthed the Patchouli Balrog who slayed them for not heeding the warnings of harnessing energies beyond their control.
Xiang Liao Ling goes on tame, you will wonder if you actually applied enough for the first thirty minutes to an hour. Then the scent seems to slowly combine like a rubiks cube being solved in front of your nose, and becomes the Big Bang Patchouli Smell, of whence all Patchoulis began. It becomes a solid wall of smell, a fortress, interlocking, comforting, old, like the great wall of China. It is polite enough that it does not intrude, but it does defend. – Tuff, USA
It is the pinnacle of rainforest smells, the smell of jungle beauty in the cooler evening after one has navigated the humidity and hostility of the tropical forest. It is so natural and deep-seated in the human psyche that the immediate reaction is calm and depth, and a sense of primal connection. – Raaid, UK
Very classic dark, dirty Maroke. Feels like I am in another time and place. – Adeel, USA
Today I applied to newly gifted Xiang Liao Ling. Oh my I forgot how beautiful Maroke Oudhs smell. The last Papua Oudh I had was the legend Purple Papua. I personally think that the XLL is a higher version of the Purple Papua with more of the jungle and earthiness in it. When I applied the Oudh this morning/afternoon the first note which hit me, when I was a young kid mowing lawns. Once the lawnmower filled up and it was time to empty the bag, it would have this distinguished smell especially if it was spring time.
The after smell is of a more sweet yard with a jungle running in the back of it. The wood in this oil is just amazing. I thought it was more of a masculine type until I let one of my senior lady teachers smell it this afternoon. She was shocked on how strong and mellow it was. The silage of this Oudh is amazing! It seems it will last for 15 hours.
The dry down is where you can really tell this is a very high caliber Oudh. Maroke Ouds I wasn't too much into but I think that was my fault. Having smelled the legend Purple Papua and after being graced with this beauty my perspective of Maroke Ouds has changed to "I need this".
I think this Oudh would probably work wonders (transport you somewhere else) when you're sitting down and doing Zikr (remembrance of Allah) or meditation! I am so glad to have this Oudh in my collection and will cherish this one for a very long time! Thank you again Sidi Ensar! – Abdul Wahab, USA
Dark, spicy, earthy, herbal - quite a heady bouquet! Am starting to really like this oil - it's a style of Maroke oud, similar to Royal #5 that I did not like much initially - but they are growing on me! My Maroke journey started with Maroke 2004, and then went to Maroke LTD - very different scent profiles than XLL and its ilk. A rough analogy is the difference between the fruity Cambodian style and the moreso animalic or tobacco type Cambodians.. – Josh, USA