There are those that believe agarwood has one ‘pure’ smell. That Koh Kong ouds have an immutable Koh Kong core, that Borneo has some magical essence, or that Pursat produces the best oud.
I don’t buy that.
Oud oil is alchemy. You can coax Gyrinops green from Koh Kong red and transmute Pursat’s peaches into medicinal Guallam. Each tree is an individual. Even two trees standing next to each other in the heart of Cambodia… each will have its own soul.
In the words of Plato: “Oud has some generalizations, but there are no universals. Artisanal oud – especially – is ALL about particulars.”
That’s what Aroha Kush lets you smell. An aroma that’s zesty like cream soda, but guava coated in kakao wrapped in layers of crassna green. Exotic silage exuding a smooth cranberry molasses meets tobacco aroma that’s a joy to wear daily. Unobtrusive, and without the cloying pasteurized fruit smell of so-called entry level (Thai) ouds, here you’ve got a robust pure Cambodian oud profile that’s mature and delicious all at once.
The reason Aroha Kush packs so much flavor is courtesy of juicing together organic and wild agarwood. And I don’t mean we mixed oils here. This is a full-on co-distillation of exclusively Cambodian agarwood collected from across the country (including Koh Kong, Pursat, Kampot, Pailin, and Kampong Speu), with the bulk made up of wild harvests. Despite the logistics of gathering such a montage of Khmer raw materials, the added costs, the time, labour, and waiting doesn't mean you have to pay more…
Oud at this price is almost always low-grade mass-produced cultivated ouds, or if wild… badly done. You either end up with lackluster one-dimensional oud, or a song that grinds into white noise as top notes recede into a dull dustiness that comes from low-grade wood distilled in a rush to meet Big Perfumes output quota.
Aroha Kush wafts with a rich entourage of accessory notes oozing with tamarind hedged around a soft-peppery heart that’s half sencha, half sandalwood cream. This makes the fragrance a joy to wear and explore, flowing with plenty of oud-heavy base present in more resinous wild Cambodian aloes. It doesn’t try to be… anything. Not Pursat or Pailin or any of the labels we apply to a smell that’s other-worldly at heart.
This is the kind of oud you double swipe, triple swipe, and hand out to your friends. Morning, midday or midnight, the green cool infused with savory cherry tobacco that’s almost pineapple sweet… and the inherent – or is it? – resinous heart of Cambodian crassna.
For all those about to embark on a month of fasting and vigils: There’s a special practice among scent lovers to lock-in memories through fragrance. For example, you’d choose and use and specific perfume only for a certain occasion or at a certain place. Smell the same perfume ten years later and you’ll be right back to that moment; back to that special place.
Very traditional Oud fragrance upon application... strong woody, leathery and then slowly I became more leathery, smoky, creamy fragrance and hint of tobacco. – Rehan, Australia
Aroha Kush = This one is clean, crisp, fresh, with what I would consider the smell of a mossy forest after a heavy rain and fresh ionized air. Damp, musty, green smell. Definitely not a warm one to my nose, like the Yusuf is. I would consider this a cool crisp one. Plus I'm getting a smell of some mint of some sort, I don't know which, but it's definitely there to the extent that the harvest fall smell is in the Yusuf. This is one to wear while your walking through the Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest in spring. The trees might be jealous, lol!! Excellent one as well..... – Nick, USA
More like a perfume, light and lovely, unlike organic oils smelled before. I know Aroha Kush hails from Cambodian wood, but this really carries a floral Ceylon ambience, at least to my nose! – Muriel, USA
An adventure in everyday life! With top notes of creaming soda, guava, cacao, and petrichor, mellowing into tamarind, cranberry, molasses, pepper, and tobacco, on a base of sencha and santal. Its overall profile colour is deep red. – Anthony, Australia
Aroha Kush opens mild on the skin but starts to blossom . It has milder animalistic trail as compared to say an Indian oud, it smells intoxicating as it dries down. Hints of plum and sandal, leather and a little wet barnyard. Slight hints of vetiver. Masha Allah – Yasin, Singapore
I was intending to buy the People's Pursat but it sold out. Then a day later the Aroha popped up on the site and I immediately bought it.
It is everything one could wish for in a oud. Easy to wear and a perfect balance between fruity and peppery. I adore it. – Denis, Sweden
I was amazed by the complexity, of which I love very much. I get the feeling of an animalic opening...in a very good way...very decadent notes of creamy leathery accords, osmanthus, carrot seed, saffron, raspberry cream, woodsy...amazing...an entire world of its own. – Ernesto, USA
I shared some of this with some of my friends here in Dubai and asked them how much they thought that I paid for this oil. They agreed on somewhere in the 1,600 DHS range ($400). They were very surprised when I told them the grand total was $100. This oil has a beautiful red base to me, with way more power than I thought it would have. It is earthy and grounding but has an uplifting side to it, with dried fruit and spice. It almost has a driftwood smell to it (in the best way). I cannot believe that it's possible to have an oil like this for less than one of the boring Cambodis that you'll find in the mall. Congrats on this oil and thank you for the bargain! – Matt, USA
I perceive many notes in it, the woody oudy main character supported by a fresh fruit peel sensation, like the one you get when you wash some peaches! Quite strange, being acquainted to Assamese ouds. It is creamy and mouthwatering, with touches of incense ( I got Boswellia neglecta and it's opening is quite similar to Aroha Kush's balsamic facet). – Francesco, Italy
It's a mixed emotion of an oil. True to the description the notes dance from one to another within a short span.
Since I had People's Pursat first I was hesitant to buy it, but my mind had a sudden awakening that Ensar's budget line never disappoints [...] Guess what, I am right, this is a true Ramadan sacrifice by your team and a wonderful gift to your customers at this price point. – Afthab, Dubai
Aroha Kush is rather pleasant on my skin it’s slightly earthy, a little resinous, slightly peppery, and smells like before it rains. It also has that smell of an extremely humid jungle, it’s soft and non offensive and calming. A nice oud for the price. – Kyle, USA
[...]Strong when I first tried it on a bit bitter, however, I was amazed as time passed by the smell kept going on and changing for around 12 hours, lovely sweet and strange smells, I have tried other artisanal oud from other company and they don't last more than one to two hours, I wish I could give much more description of this awesomeness, . [...] thanks for helping me choose this oil, I have no regret in following up your recommendation, and I also enjoyed Namasna, but not as much as Aroha Kush. – Salim, UK