I gave out swipes of this on the walk one night. The brothers were all lined up against the wall facing the Zawiya, waiting for the Sheikh to come out.
‘What’s this, Sidi?’
‘Pour it on me, that’s right. Don’t think about it.’
‘Jazak Allah khayr. Fantastic.’
‘Whoa, that’s thick!’
Kruger just put his hand forward, sparing the syllables.
‘Nice. Where’s this from?’ Hasan said.
‘Borneo. Ever seen one this thick?’
‘No. That smells amazing. Ma sha Allah!’
‘It’s incredibly sweet and sticky. Like molasses. You see that with Cambodis. Never with Borneos.’
Then the Sheikh came out and we started walking in silence, each one reciting his dhikr on his misbaha.
It was a cool night, and as we walked I was greeted by a dazzling rose aroma that hovered above us like a cloud. ‘Whoever’s got the rose on is surely piling all the hasanat,’ I thought. I was hoping to catch a whiff of the Borneo, but the rose was just too potent, bright and resplendent to allow for any base notes to get close.
I kept inhaling in search of my Borneo, but the rose was all over the night air, everywhere, hovering above us like a cloud. If you opened your mouth you could taste it. Then something interesting happened and I caught a whiff of the wood. It was yellow, sparkling, golden orange blossom honey, but it was quickly elbowed by the rose again.
As we turned on the road to the kaziya, the wood was there again. Zesty wood that smelled almost like oud wood but which in fact smelled like pure rose. Then it hit me. The rose was it. My Borneo, my sticky, thick, honeyed Borneo was pulling the rose stunt all along. Only now the heart notes were coming out, and I could get a lot of the wood underneath the rose. I couldn’t believe it.
The Sheikh turned around when we reached the end of the road, and we were walking toward the Zawiya again. I shifted position, getting close to each of the brothers to make sure there was no rose wearer in the crew. The rose cloud was there, above each one equally fine and unbelievable, and I was sure it was the Borneo.
When the walk was over, Kamran came up to me, his eyes big like ping pong balls.
‘Sidi! Did you smell that?’
‘Sure did. I couldn’t believe it myself.’
‘That was in-credible. I never experienced anything like that before. Amazing. The quality reminded me of the 4000. My God. What an oil!’
‘I’d be scared to ask what something like that goes for,’ Yusuf said.
‘Oh not too much. You can get one for five-fifty, and it’ll last you a year.’
‘Oh my God. I still can’t believe I just smelled something like that,’ Kamran went on. ‘I’m going to have to come over to your house. Really. We haven’t discussed calligraphy yet. I’m sure it’s going to be very educational. That was fan-tastic...’
‘Slm,’ Kruger said to someone, which meant ‘Wa alaykum as salaam.’
Borneo Thaqeel is a deliciously thick oil that absolutely oozes the essence of summertime!
From vial to wrist I get the scent of fresh vaporous honey that lasts for about 20 minutes before the vapory note fades. After that it is the scent of an early summer day in the woods. The sun is finally starting to rise and it is gently warming the Gaian landscape. I smell dew evaporating off decaying fragrant woods wafting on a subtle summer breeze. Elegantly blowing its way through a smooth rich hay field. Notes of intoxicating wild herb infused honey and a dampness riding along in the background add an incredible depth to this oil. This combination of scents conjures up memories of the warm summer mornings of my youth.
This oil is all about wood wrapped in fresh cut hay and covered in herbed honey all sprinkled by fresh dew drops gently warming in the rays of the summer sun. Not a sweet oil per say, more of a warm and inviting freshness. You won’t mistake this oil for anything other than Bornean, but it is not as sweet as other Borneos in my collection. A very pleasant and relaxing olfactory getaway!
If you happen to live in an area of the world that is gripped by the icy winds of winter seven months out of the year like me, Borneo Thaqeel is pure liquid sunshine! It will brighten your mood every time you indulge in its thick golden warmth! – Chris, SD
First 10 minutes, deep red mature roses surround me. Very deep mature smell of roses, a really weird feeling. I’m now in the 30th minute and I detect a very clear strong royal green Hojari frankincense note. In the dry down there is an ‘antique’ smell? The smell of an old leather book that is stored in an old wooden library... Smell of the Ages... Smokey frankincense is still there. Love it! – Nikolaos, Greece
Steering away from the Frankincense Trail I’ve unexpectedly found a new love. Thaqeel is both Startlingly Sharp and Decidedly Distinct. A Woody Embrace that follows through and leads one into the rest of the forest. After specifically requesting an Oud with a ‘woody character’ Borneo Thaqeel certainly didn’t disappoint! It starts off dry and clean. So powerfully potent at first even I started to have trepidations about whether this one was for me; but like all the finest things it was precisely that delightfully defined character that I soon started to miss and then to look forward to experiencing again, soon and often! Inspiring. – Woody, CA
Borneo Thaqeel is very pleasant! Contains a constant aroma of roses. It’s very present with medium diffusion. Has earthy smell and smoke, but these are quite light. I used it once and it seems to me that the smell of roses beats the smell of Borneo. Yes, it is sweet! – Alan, Brazil
Usually people are intrigued by the ‘dark’ colors of ouds, but Borneo Thaqeel is in a class of its own. Its transparent light yellow color is just blissful to look at. Bring the closed top near your nose and you can feel the Bornean wilderness trying to come out of it... like a little genie. Open the bottle and the oil is so thick that it does not want to leave the bottle. The initial blast is WOODS WOODS WOOODS and lots of it. The woods stay on my skin for around 30-45 minutes... leading then into an earthiness / dampness with the woods still in the background. I do not get any floral notes from it as some other users may have. It’s the first oud that my wife actually liked. Very very enjoyable, even for someone who is new to ouds and is ready for the crazy ride. – Faisal, WV