I had no intention of selling this wood. The pieces were part of my personal collection, stored in a Pyrex jar at home. They weren’t on display or offered privately, and what I had in mind to do with them would only be for myself, and I’d bear all the expense.
Ceram agarwood is a rarity, but carving-grade Ceram ‘cigars’ from twenty-two years ago are practically non-existent. That’s why you won’t find anything to compare this to. And that’s why we wanted to do something extraordinary with the pieces.
The wood made its way from Ceram island to Amman to Istanbul, where we had it inspected by elite Turkish tasbih masters. These men work with the most precious and expensive materials on Earth, and their carving fees alone, for a single tasbih (or rosary), run into the thousands of dollars. So, you don’t bring them pine to carve. You bring them Ottoman faturan or Woolly Mammoth tusk dug out from under Siberian ice. Or better yet, and rarer than all… you bring them 1997 Ceram agarwood.
In China, they'd carve pendants or, most likely, a bracelet with matching bangle from these pieces. Instead, I flew the wood to Istanbul in hopes of carving the first and only Ceram tasbih (or rosary) in history.
But, like with vintage Faturan, mammoth tusk or kinam, you don’t know the carving integrity of the material until it’s cut and you see what’s inside. I know collectors who lost big money getting kinam carved that turned out spotted in the center once split open.
I wanted the tasbih to be carved by one of the living legends, in his signature style. After cutting the wood in preparation, it dawned on me that, although you could still get a gorgeous tasbih, we wouldn't be able to carve one in the specific style I wanted. And so, the tasbih never got made.
And that's how, 22 years later, this vintage harvest finally makes its way to you.
An insatiable iris aroma lies at the heart of Ceram aloes. The mood the scent evokes is at once delectable and beautiful. A single carving packs enough resin to keep your burner happy for many a day. (As a memento, I'd keep at least one of the pieces, perhaps in a small glass display, and for posterity’s sake.) There’s a soul-stirring depth to the low-profile chords of mixed spice imbued with the floral heart you only smell in intensely resinous agarwood – and these notes are even more elegant in vintage batches like this.
This is your chance to be part of the craziest oud adventure in history. We're offering the cut pieces as is, available in 10, 20, and 50 gram bundles (choose from the dropdown menu). The pieces vary in size and weight (ten grams includes about three to six pieces) so you'll receive a selection of different cuts. Although you might have missed out on the blade kissing the Ceram and smell its divine scent burst into the room, with just a single piece you'll have plenty of time to cherish that fragrance of vintage Ceram, time and time again.
Behind the scenes footage:
I was a tad skeptical. Not of Ensar, but on how much better this could be compared to the regular Ceram (Ceram 1997) offer or the sinking version (Ceram Sinking).
I mean the regular Ceram was already sooooooo beautiful with its delicate buttery orris note, gentle subdued purple flowers and its dreamy feel and texture.
The sinking version took that same note but dialed it up a few notches and a touch of iris absolute and more pronounced orris butter note joined the party.
The Ceram Agar Tasbih is a major departure. It is plenty spicy and super floral. Major perfume notes with even a few specks of dust on the heater. Wow. 0.1 gram of it has more ooomph and wow in it than putting a 3 gram piece of the regular offer on the heater.
Consider me a super happy buyer of 10 grams. Despite my open to sharing and gifting nature, I can’t see myself parting with more than 1 gram of this wood at most. Ceram Agar Tasbih right out of the gate has joined my top 5 wood of all time.