To understand how any of the Brunei oils that are distilled nowadays can compare to Kalbar 3000, the story of Mysore sandalwood comes in handy.
No matter how experienced the distiller, how advanced the distillation equipment, how careful the extraction process, no Mysore sandalwood that was distilled within the past year can ever compare to a Mysore that was distilled when the raw materials were readily available, decades ago.
Not only are the same materials not available now, but the oils that are distilled now lack the sheer age of the true Mysores that were extracted several years back. Compound age with superior raw materials and you have a difference vast enough to render today’s Mysores as an altogether different aromatic.
So would any Brunei oil we distilled today compare to Kalbar 3000. Not only are the raw materials available today inferior, we could never compete with the thirteen years Kalbar 3000 has been aging in our German Pyrex glassware, in a dark safe, protected from air and light.
So, what does Kalbar 3000 smell like? If you could imagine holding your hands over a gently sizzling Brunei chip, you’d be amazed to find that it smells nothing like Kalbar 3000.
You’ll encounter an incomparable floral note which is seldom met with in the scent of burning oud chips. Its tangy, zesty top-notes are alive with a vibrancy and oomph non-existent in contemporary Brunei oud oils.
Unlike inert resin contained in oud wood, distilled oud oil has the ability to mature and age and attain a depth surpassing the scent of lifeless chips. That is the beauty of artisanal distillation. In this little bottle, you smell the very soul of the tree.
And not just any tree…
Had we not recklessly ground the precious Brunean agarwood and distilled this oil, you would have had the chance to own a handsome collection of Brunei kinam chunks. Not only does the same caliber wood we crushed up now sell for many-fold more (a kilo costs an added zero more today, running into the tens of thousands of dollars for a single kilogram), a sizable portion of the batch that went into the boiler was a fusion of chips from Brunei kinam producing trees, and what later emerged as Brunei kinam itself.
We found this out years after Kalbar 3000 was already sold out, when we wanted to distill a similar oil.
“With what wood? THIS? (pointing to our Brunei kinam — the same pieces we ground up all those years ago)”
And that’s the end of the story. The end of an era for even thinking of making oud like this. Just like the era of distilling Nha Trang LTD today is long gone. That’s why no Brunei distilled today compares — can compare — to Kalbar 3000.
If you were smart enough to hang onto your bottle… now you know what you have. If you never had the chance to own this 3000… here’s your chance.
For a limited time only.
This oil is way above my expectations. You've produced a liquid magic medicine beyond anything I could imagine possible in an essential oil. – Kevin, MA
Dark amber-color oil with a light body and minimal sheen. Sunlight and sweet honey notes greet your nose as it gets its first inhale, and the brain sensors awaken to discern the melody enfolding. Not much of the familiar high Bornean notes here with its vanillic character. Rather the notes have been through the morphology of aging and tempering into a deep amberet of the sweetest bee honey and melon fruit and honeydew, all garnished with roasted sesame seeds. There is a constant minty vapor that provides a fresh ride to the sweet notes, and the lack of barnyard or fecal notes further emphasizes the character of this oil being an Old World Perfume in all its glory and complexities.
This oil is a good example of why a properly aged Oud is always more than a young one. While the young oils might be full of energy, at times they seem to be missing parts of the scent profiles, or unusually flat. With proper aging, this oil seems to have attained confidence in its own character yet remains vibrant and sweet with beauty that shimmers. The oil has a soft buttery and pear-like smell, with those roasted sesame seeds. The scent is neither masculine nor feminine but is happy to occupy a higher level than simple psychological associations. It would suit daytime use because of its sunny disposition, as well as nighttime use due to its sensuality and softness, like honeysuckle. I would place this oil on a par with Kyara LTD and its likes. My personal likability scale: 9.75 out of 10.
As you can tell, I am ecstatic over here. In my humble opinion, this is one of the BEST oils that I have smelled... period. And that includes the Encens and Khao Yai group. It is simply an amazing oil, kind of like the Grand Daddy of them all. All I can say is, Ma Sha Allah. – Hisham, FL
The first oil I tried was the Kalbar 3000... speechless! I never had the pleasure of experiencing Borneo oils until I started dealing with Ensar Oud and all I can say is, I'm glad I did. It's definitely in the same class as other Borneos from the LTD and Legends collections and, in some ways, it may even be at the head of the class. An absolute 'must have' for anyone who appreciates a quality Borneo Oud. A most welcome and treasured addition to my collection. – Yousuf, UAE
Oh my goodness! This is the first oud I ever sampled that, at first sniff, smelled like sweet honeydew! It is green – for sure, not in the chlorphyl-ly way of grass – but like the sweet greenness of Persian galbanum, or the delicate soapiness of a snapped twig. It is as fresh as a young birch, displaying the gentle grace of a stand of swaying alders. As beguiling as it is refreshing, Kalbar 3000 brings to mind images of nimble youth – supple, graceful and unaware of their own budding elegance. There aren't many oils in my collection that I have duplicates of, but the Kalbar Gift Set just might be irresistible. – Isabella, NY
This is a clean and amazing oil, and I can easily tell that it has been aged to perfection. It gives me the sense of spring and the feeling of walking through a forest just after it has rained. My nose smells a minty accord, a bit of honey, some flowers, and sweet fruit notes. I have to warn you, my nose is not the best at deciphering the proper notes, but I can tell you that this is definitely a high quality oil and one that everyone should have in their collection. – Sultan, IL
Thank you very much for the Kalbar 3000. The scent notes are so complex that, embarrassing to say, my nose can't decipher them, but I definitely picked up that tangy top note you spoke about. Funny because as the Borneo 3000 continues to age it has begun to develop that tangy top note as well. Even though Borneo 3000 is older it seems to be having a hard time catching up to Kalbar. – Q. McKenzie, IL