For me, 2005 was magic. This was pre-market boom and right at the time we were juicing a few ouds you might have heard of: Kyara LTD, Borneo 4000, Borneo 50K, Port Moresby.
This was a defining period for me… and for oud. Many of the oils crafted back then became benchmark distillations and scents I’d end up retuning to time and again. Delving deep into them. Learning from them. For years after, tweaking my distillation to echo their beauty, delicacy, intricacy.
Kinamantan stands right next to the 4000; next to Kyara LTD. Holds its ground shoulder to shoulder next to any Legend.
Imagine Port Moresby changed DNA and metamorphosed into a Borneo oil – while retaining all of its kinamiferous virtues. What do you think that would smell like?
Imagine Kyara Sayang. Drink kinam tea, steeped slowly. Take a bite. Listen to the buzz on the burner. Inhale the first streak of vapor. The same magical green incense aroma that makes you think this oil was distilled from slivers of yellow-black agarwood on its way to Baieido.
What you smell here is live Vietnamese sinensis… in a Borneo! Kyara Sayang that’s not Papuan. Deep green kinam in oud that ought to smell yellow-airy, ethereal and light.
That’s what I call technique.
A fluid melody of pure incense with “no changes during the drydown, just a slow fade.” Put on a swipe and prepare to be Mon-koh-ed out of your mind. Smell the narcotic aroma of gently heated super chips non-stop for hours, not merely the few blissful minutes a burning oud chip would give you.
But more than its narcotic kyara profile, Kinamantan gives you major sillage. The scent is so alluring, so accessible, forget about feeling shy when you walk into a crowd ‘cause oud’s supposed to be an acquired taste. You might get some looks, some stares even, but it’ll be because you’re wallowing in kinam smoke – and who can help but be intoxicated by that?
This kind of distillation – of sowing a common kinam thread through radically different batches of agarwood – has nothing to do with copper or steel. Even the oud species doesn’t get in the way – from Papuan filarias to New Guinean gyrinops… to Bornean malaccensis. What matters in the end is that waft of vapor that whispers ‘KNM’.
And if that isn’t enough: drip a drop on your tongue and tell me your cheeks don’t turn comfortably numb…
You included a sample of something else with the Yunnan. What is it? It’s amazing – summer sun in a bottle, but not in the citrus sort of way! It smells so familiar but I’ve definitely never smelled it before. It approaches the feeling of sehnsucht. Where is it from? – Matt, USA
Now imagine Port Moresby changed DNA and metamorphosed into a Borneo oil – while retaining all of its kinamiferous virtues. What do you think that would smell like? – EO
What would the metamorphosed Port Moresby smell like? For starters, you would probably have to use West Borneo or Malinau incense grade agarwood. The profile would have a bright opening with a touch of camphor or mint, yellowish green note, sweetness, oudiness, and Kyara notes. It should continue to progress into a sweet resinous bright delicious drydown. So basically, Kyara on steroids. – Curt, USA
Kinamantan reminds me of a wild Vietnamese agarwood distillation that I have in my collection which is very expensive. – MI, USA
It has a confident calmness to it. Somehow it is a smell I trust – like walking for miles, and just when you lose hope there is someone there that takes you in. I need to get back into this mystery later today but just wanted to give my first impressions. I never thought that scents could be as entertaining as novels or films. Thank you! – Matt, USA
Kinamantan is a great name. I assume it’s Kinamic Kalimantan, which is a suitable name for the scent profile. Very nice indeed. – Faisal, Qatar
Very bright oil, honey gold color. Definitely a Borneo, I think North Kalimantan […] with the smoothness of an old oil. I get the typical Borneo scent profile, vanilla, no barn, smooth sour fruits, cream, and a very deep incense grade oudiness. To get the scent, burn very slowly a sinking grade Borneo chip, and you’ve got it. Another future Legend from Ensar. – Thibot, France
Kinamantan is fabulous! I don’t know how you managed to distill it? I have one of your beautiful Hindis sharing similarities with Cambodians in a certain way, but Kyara notes in a Borneo is no less than a stunning feat! – Mohamed, France
Allah knows how badly I wanted a full bottle of Kinamantan at first whiff. Love at first whiff. Want to bathe in it. Reminds me Green Papua’s minty floral freshness. No doubt it’s precious. – Nizar, Germany
At first it smells just like Port Moresby. Deep with good sillage. Earthy, woodsy, crystalline, sweet, resinous, metallic green, kyara, with a tinge of mintiness and a little bitterness. There’s an aura of peppery spiciness. Towards the drydown, the honeyed flower sunshine breaks through and blends well with the heart notes. No changes during drydown, just a slow fade. – Curt, USA
The Kinamantan is the show stealer for me… It reminds me of the older kinam oils. – Habib, UK
Kinamantan is the one that wowed me from the get-go. Vibrant and lively, with a unique dry, rocky first rush that mellows to a sweet honeyed slightly camphorous tone. Not sure whether the Yunnan 2003 has permanently altered my olfactory senses, but is that also a pheromonal tang I detect sitting somewhere deep in there? – Jon, UK
It smells both like green wood and warm sunny wood. It has some of that comforting scent of old books, and there is an optimistic gentleness to it. Like Green Papua with some Royale 1985 maybe. Maybe there is a hint of a really good Aomori Hiba wood oil… But then again this oud is all its own. It is familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. I tried to capture some of it in this illustration… – Matt, USA
Nothing better to say than… take a piece of juicy sinking Borneo wood… heat it gently… the first note that comes to your nose is the EXACT Kinamantan scent profile.
It’s just incredible… a burner on the wrist!!!
The scent is deep deep deep and very pronounced of burning chips without any other scent. – Thibot, France
The Sultani is out of this worldly oud, but the Kinamantan…… Woweee……… – Bilal, Pakistan
Le Kinamantan est un Oud fantastique à plus d’un titre. D’apparence fluide et doré, son odeur est riche et complexe, boisée et légèrement fleurie. Ce Oud se dévoile au fil du temps avec une senteur venue d’ailleurs qui dure une éternité sur votre poignet. Une senteur noble du plus prestigieux des encens: le Kyara. Son application procure un plaisir infini et une joie reposante qui ne laissera aucun amoureux du bois d’agar insensible à son charme. – Mohamed, France
WOW! It is potent! The tiniest fraction of a swipe leaves Kyara vapours wafting off of my arm. It smells almost exactly how I imagined it would. – Bradley, USA
Its fragrance is amazing, and the oil crystal clear. It’s 6 hours post application, and it smells right now like the best fragrant jasmine oolong. In the past hours, it has passed through different green and vaporous stages, one very reminiscent of Kyara Sarang. – MI, USA
Fascinating. – Jackie, USA
I find myself less and less interested in the extreme cheesy / barn stuff and am gravitating more towards the woods and greens. And to that end, Kinamantan hits the nail on the head! Your website describes it perfectly as a Port Moresby / Borneo hybrid. This could definitely be the one I’d buy to wear more frequently in order to save my Port Moresby and Borneo 50K. – Adam, USA
Reminds me of an even sweeter Borneo 50K – one of my favourite oils. – Haseeb, UK
For me, this is soft and smooth, like silk caressing your skin. First smell, there is no doubt about its quality and maturity. Beautiful beyond words, so here is just what comes to my imagination when I close my eyes. You enter an old temple built entirely in nanmu, a precious wood from China which used to be reserved only for the use of the emperor. You encounter green incense smoke. Then you revere at the jade buddha above the altar…… a solemn devotion to the inner self. – Kenny, UK
This one has really grown on me. It reminds me of a smoother, sweeter version of Kyara Sayang, which is one of my favorite oils. Kinamantan reveals its Borneo character to me a bit further on in the scent progression, when the ‘sunshine’ note comes through. In general though this is a green, resinous, spicy-smooth type aroma – very meditative and pristine. – Josh, USA
Kinamantan is great; especially when you consider that Port Moresby used to sell for $2,500! They share the same profile even if one comes from Borneo and the other from Papua… – Mohamed, France
Bright Golden Agar Incense
Cinnamon Spice Cupboard
Fuzzy Warm Heart Buzz
Vanilla Cream Chai
Hint of Musky Sweetness
Fizzling, Bubbling Champagne
Antique Musty Violins – Joel, Cambodia
Kinamantan: Mindblowing. Green bitter burning woods. I can best describe it as Siver Forest Balsam. Very Sinensis like aroma with hallmark beeswax, honey or fruity tones. Sublime and spritual. Like sitting on a tree house after rains and the fog hitting you with a cold moutan breeze. –Nikhil, India
Oud with balls. Masculine to the max. Samurai warrior. 80% DNA of Port Moresby + Oud Sultani 1990 + Borneo 50K. Some serious silage and staying power. No vertical development but hey, who cares when the opening is pure magic and all that one can ask for. 5 hours in and as if I applied 10 minutes ago. – Rasoul, Canada
From just the bottle, it reminds me very much of Borneo 5000. The most delicious blue lotus note on the planet mixed with the borneo series wood/scotch pine note. However, unlike Borneo 5000, the blue lotus note exists within the wood/distillation itself, it is not an add on layer. The smell is also twice as strong from the bottle as Borneo 5000. I remember swiping my wife's sister in the Philippines with Borneo 5000, and her response 15 minutes later was, 'It smells like the blessings of the saints'. Kinamantan also reminds me of something you would save for exalting scenarios. If you would like to vibrate on a higher/deeper wavelength, this oil would be a good start.
When you first apply the oil, it goes on kind of mellow. It is not a tiger roar like the smell from the bottle would have you believe. The first notes you get are the lotus notes, very perfumy with a nice wow factor. Even my wife considers this a perfume, not an oud. This makes Kinamantan extra special since both my wife and I can wear it at the same time. Wonder twin powers, activate. The pine forest slowly comes into view around 30 minutes later, and within 45 minutes this oil is projecting a good 5-10 feet away, kicking some serious ass. When my wife and I wore it together, we had to roll down the window in the car a little bit, the smell was overpowering and making us dizzy. The lotus is still there, grounding the smell in a female embrace, but the testosterone has become impossible to ignore. Since I don't own any Port Moresby, I can't pick out that note in the smell, so i'll have to take everyones word on that one. It was mentioned in the Port Moresby description that wearing it is like being high while being sober. I can concur that Kinamantan had the same effect. I chose my work Christmas party as the debut for when my wife and I would both wear it, and I guarantee others noticed but never commented. It makes you feel rich, no matter if you wear jeans or slacks. When worn in conjunction with your wife at the same time, you both go through a sort of vulcan mind meld, and I had flashbacks on Ecstasy experiences I had when young - the same sort of frank conversations, the same sort of egolessness, and the same sort of strong sexual connections. – Mark, USA