Let's face it: oud lovers are polygamists. Without a second thought, they trade one love for another depending on their mood, the weather, or often just for the sake of juicy new Thai.
But there are true lovers. Those who have smelled Oud Royale and never looked back; who own a bottle of Royale No 5 and would never look at a Borneo. Those that, once they smelled the earthy soul of Maroke, said their vows.
You get barn and non-barn Hindis, or red, raw Cambodis that stand in stark contrast to their peach and apricot siblings. You’ve smelled the mintiest Malaysians and Thais so smokey, so tobacco-heavy that there’s no room for peach. But Maroke oud has a reputation.
Marokes (filaria, gyrinops, or otherwise) are impossible to miss. The dark, earthy, almost diesel-like mineral aroma is too much for some, totally intoxicating to others. Even die-hard oudheads have a love-hate relationship with this narcotic black aroma. From the original Oud Royale to OR85 to No 5 to Maroke LTD, they’re all delectably noir, with this deep jungle moistness that for many defines OUD; a scent that’s almost pure base, devoid of top notes or heart.
So, when you smell the anise, the fir cone and melissa white… when you smell this intro that’s crisp like the airiest Borneos, as spicy as olde Hindis, with a soft green New Guinea heart, fennel wafting in high mountain air… when you smell this—and keep smelling it—waiting for the drydown that ought to have been there at first whiff (but doesn’t come)… that’s when you realize your Marokes have kept luscious secrets from you, and that your honeymoon has just begun.
But here's the problem: Distilling quality Maroke oud is a lost cause. The yield is a disaster, as a rule. No matter steam or hydro, softeners or not, Maroke is a distiller’s nightmare. It’s not just that the yield is terrible, it’s that you still have to distill for two months straight to get the little you do. Expensive wood + high running costs + low yield… you get the picture.
That’s why Maroke Zen sold for $790 and why supply was limited. Why Oud Royale III cost triple that and still sold out before it was even released. And this was four years ago when every step of the production was cheaper. It's why Maroke lovers use their bottles so sparingly, knowing what a Herculean feat it is to find the same quality. And why distillers dread distilling any—why most don't.
Frankly, we've had more luck distilling Guallam than Maroke. And we got more Nha Trang LTD than we did Aroke Roshi. Any sane businessman takes yield into consideration, but—if we did that, you know well how much a bottle ought to cost and how big of a cash-back you actually earn here.
This is oud of such caliber that, not long from now, we'll all wish we could turn back the clock to indulge in Aroke Roshi's noir, its deep wafts of resinous mineral-like top notes, not salty, but layered in pepper molded into a pastry of dark-toned medicinal chords more mint than camphor.
You’ll pick up a whiff of walla, even though there’s none in here, that beautifully complements the fresh notes of petrichor (as I’m writing this, the rain just settled and I’m basking in both scents at the same time!) High-grade aloes that combust into a such a herbaceous aroma you'd think Oud Royale and Maroke Sultan had a supersoil lovechild baptized in spice.
*Very limited supply.
Like a mysterious dark jungle or a dangerous stranger. It has been calling me to explore the jungle and befriend the stranger...– Kay, USA
Aroké Roshi is great, I love the Maroke smell, I have XXL as reference and they share some signature qualities. Aroke was lovely clean Maroke. – Ahmed, UK
The opening note of petrichor, dry soil and some dust. This is not a muddy, wet Maroke. The opening note is not for me, but subjectively speaking, it's a me thing...
Development is nice: Notes of Jaya '96 wood with a slightly sweet, soft black cumin note mixed with dark wood and mysterious notes.
Drydown: Ghost of XLL, the mightiest of Maroke oils, pokes it head out with distinct violet and dark narcotic purple floral notes. No sweet lilac or iris here. We are in violet country and those purple flowers from avatar...
In sum: If you read what you like this is what you gonna get. I love the drydown, and actually really like the mid-development stages. opening note is not for me. – Rasoul, Canada
Aroké Roshi is an attention grabber. Its top notes hit you with a very intense otherworldly beautiful fruity/floral minty aroma that goes deep into your consciousness that it keeps you alert. And then the sweet fruity/floral notes gradually tones down leaving the airy minty mineral like scent all the way to the drydown like sitting at the stream in the middle of a jungle under the cover of morning mist. The drydown reminds me of Aroha Kyaku. If you move away from the stream a bit and set a campfire you get Aroha Kyaku.... – Mohammed, Malaysia
It’s a wild Papuan (Gyrinops/Filaria) with an overall bronze/purple profile colour. I pick up pepper, mint, coriander, petrichor, fennel, hops, ambergris, champaca, camphor, frankincense, santal, vetiver, and myrrh. I’m sure it has deep, healing properties for body, mind, and spirit. – Anthony, Australia
Comparatively, there’s no comparison. – Beverly, USA
Aroke Roshi sample is gorgeous, it hits me with a walnut/pecan nut club and sends the sandalwood bricks shortly after, and then waves of wet seashore stones- a good one! – Erhard, Austria
Aroké Roshi has been my favourite oud of late. It has been haunting me since the time I opened the sample vial you gifted me. No, 0.1 g is not enough. This oud is to me the most straight to the point oud I have so far. It doesn't tease or hint, it gives it to you straight away in your face shouting "wake up!" – Ikhwan, Malaysia