During the 2017 OudFest, we did a blind test. We gave our guests a Japanese kyara pellet to chew on. With their gums and tongues numb, I asked them to savor the taste of the kyara, breathe it in and let the green medicinal brainfreeze run through their nose and into their forehead.
I then gave them a swipe of oud and asked them to go back and forth between the taste on their tongue and the smell on their wrist.
The result was the same every time: The swipe of oud smelled exactly like the taste, only louder. They found the oud was an olfactory extension of the numbness in their mouth.
If you’ve chewed on a bit of kyara, you know the difference between smelling a piece gently heated and the minty bite you feel when crushing a pellet with your teeth and sucking in the kyara juice.
A chip of kyara has layers of enjoyment. From the way it feels to how it smells raw, when heated, or when a saw-blade runs through it. Not to mention its taste when you chew it or drink it as a tea.
A swipe of Kyara LTD hits you with the whole shebang; the kyara top notes as you take your first whiff and feel that lingering cool flush through your nasal; the kinamic prickle as your taste buds feast on the smell. And the moment you realize there’s more going on…
The oud presented to you here was proclaimed by our colleagues and fellow distillers as the ‘No 1’ oil of all time.
Its aim is to capture as correctly as possible the scent of Vietnamese Kinam, and to that end, Vietnamese, Chinese (Hong Kong & Hainan) shavings were distilled along with cleaning dust from proper Cambodian Kinam. For every kilogram of agarwood that went into the pot, we threw in one full gram of Hainanese kyara skins.
It is the most complete and accurate kyara note in oud oil. Medicinal, bitter, layered like a baklava and resonant unlike anything you will ever smell.
Upon smelling it, one of my brothers in the craft said: “Wanna know the first thing I said to Ensar when I smelled Kyara LTD v2? I said, why does any other vendor bother to stay in business when you have oils like these?”
The smell packs so much punch, the different batches so sizzlingly synthesized into a new scent, you can’t even pinpoint a single note. There’s no cardamom, no mint; no jungle vibe, earthiness, or forest note. It’s so repletely kyara there aren’t even discernable top notes, heart notes, nor much of a base. Most amazingly, it doesn’t smell like resin at all!
Instead, as with a sliver of kinam sizzling, you encounter a single pristine note of immediate beauty that goes beyond origin.
Kyara is the heart and soul of the Oriscent aesthetic. To not only capture its multi-layered charm in a drop of oud but to go beyond that. To smell more. That’s the real challenge of distillation. Throw together random batches from Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia, and… you won’t get this smell. Why is that? Dunk the blackest Nha Trang logs you can get your hands on into the thickest copper cauldron you can forge, and… it won’t smell like this.
That’s what I learned from my teacher. If the Holy Grail is to capture the scent of gently heated agarwood, why not just gently heat the agarwood? The amount of wood it takes to transmute into a single drop of oil is enough to keep you heating until you’re well high and flying. The cost and toil and time… none of it is worth it if the oil doesn’t surpass what you get straight from the wood.
Kyara LTD was distilled six years ago. Something folks who haven’t juiced this kind of oud don’t know yet is that for ouds of this caliber, age is everything. Argon gas holds it back. Force oxidation kills it before it ever gets going. This is a scent years in the making. Yours, now.
It’s the aroma that permeates everything I do. It’s the exquisite olfactory uniformity and kinamic warmth I’ve tried to capture in my Guallams, my Hailams, my Chiem Po Chais, even my Borneos and New Guineas. This proves that ‘Borneo’ is defunct and ‘Cambodi’ doesn’t mean what they tell you it ought to. ‘Papuan’ is just different spelling for ‘Guallam.’
Once the Oriscent aesthetic grabs hold of agarwood, it doesn’t matter where it comes from anymore.
Kyara LTD’s narcotic tone, its medicinal bitterness is my personal benchmark. The yardstick that gets branded into your mind’s nose after drinking one too many cups of kinam tea, chewing one too many cuts of chinan, and lighting up way too many of those Hainan skins. The scent that makes you fork over your life savings to make one – just one – Oud. This. And you spend your very life trying to echo its smell again and again as your thoughts verge on the artisitc abyss and OCD is as much a blessing as it is a curse.
Between my Chinese mentors, our mad Taiwanese kyara guru, and all these years chasing the kyara dragon’s piercing breath, I believe we’ve got the dragon in a corner. Kyara defines what I do and Kyara LTD is not only as close to kyara an oud oil can get, but one that takes you beyond the wonder of the wood into the labyrinth wonderland of oud oil where red kinam smells green smells purple smells more, all at once.
Now, it’s your turn.
Pull out a pellet of Vietnam Kinam. Heat it, chew it, suck on it until your tongue moves a bit slower than it should. Then, take a swipe of Kyara LTD…
Number 1 oil of all time: Kyara LTD 2.0. And my biggest swipe of it to date.
Game over oil. Try for as long as you can to stay clear of it. It took me months and months to be able to find joy in sub $700 oils.
Nha Trang LTD is already many fold over Royal Guallam and right there as the no 1 spot, yet the complexity of Kyara LTD is beguiling; thanks to all the wood studies, that cohesive, united yet discernible individual notes of Hainan, red Cambodi and Vietnam are a joy to study in this oil.
Nha Trang LTD is rather linear in the most beautiful minimalistic way. The scent is profound. Kyara LTD shape-shifts somewhat and with time different facets of kyara/kinam and different origins come out. – Rasoul, Canada
So I applied a dot of Kyara LTD... became totally zoned out, remembered I still havent eaten (dangerous following a workout), and then I learnt something - don't apply Kyara LTD while you are waiting for your naan bread to warm up in the grill - you'll forget all about it and the naan will burn and set your smoke alarms off. But I also learnt the overwhelming smell of burnt bread doesn't overtake the narcotic smell of Kyara. – Ayub, UK
Utterly fantastic! Tried a bit last night for the evening meditation and was just blown away by the richness and complexity. The beauty of the oil is staggering... I tried a little Kynam No 1 this morning to compare, as there are some similariites in scent profile - both are extraordinary, though I do believe I prefer the Kyara LTD.. Certainly the Kyara LTD is the bigger and deeper scent, with a rich dark woody quality in addition to the ethereal camphoric and green qualities - a lot going on, and all of it so enjoyable.. Kynam No 1 smells lighter, more like a delicate kyara perfume sort of thing, whereas the Kyara LTD is a freight-train blast of kyara vapors rising off the heater.. The oil is distilled in part from actual kyara, and the scent to me is the finest representation of Vietnamese green kyara I have come across. – Josh, USA
So I tried Nha Trang and Kyara LTD side by side. All I can say is, people who haven’t tried these oils are missing out on what oud oil is all about and it does to your mind. Words cannot describe these two oils. I totally agree with you in regards to Nha Trang being a full profile oil. It starts off kinamic then slowly morphs to almost like Royal Guallam. Kyara stays bitter and medicinal with hints of Purple Kinam in the background. I am totally in love with both oils. They are worth every single penny. They are expensive and they should be. I only wish people could try these oils. What oils… wow!! – Nazif, USA
This and Royal Kinam v2 are simply the finest oud oils I've ever smelled. In every aspect too, not just beauty, but everything else as well. I think Royal Kinam had a slightly more medicinal effect, but I do think overall Kyara LTD v2 takes first place.
Wanna know the first thing I said to Ensar, when I smelled Kyara LTD v2? I said, why does any other vendor bother to stay in business, when you have oils like these? [:p]
This dude has got not just a Rolls-Royce, he's got a whole fleet of them. And right behind them, another fleet of Maseratis, and, and..
Pity I couldn't smell all the oils Ensar wanted to show me as I had to rush off to Borneo. From the look on Ensar's face though, I could tell he was sad I was missing out!
I hope everyone who smells these oils will give them the admiration they deserve, and I hope those who cannot do that don't get to smell them at all (i.e. leave them for those that know their value which, if you ask me, is worth far more than a mere dollar-value Ensar slaps on these babies). – Taha, Malaysia
Kyara LTD 2.0… Subhan Allah… What a wonder… Nha Trang LTD and then this. Both of these sans effort set off the senses sailing into an abode of recurrent wonderment although Kyara LTD still seems to retain some terrestrial links as if standing at a peak… linking both this world and the beyond. Nha Trang seems to have delinked itself. – Fahad, UAE
It is, without reservation, a piece of art. I pull it out on the most special occasions. Or the occasions I need its calming and centering presence. So glad you are able experience it. I have some incredible Hainan Kinam skins that I burn Monkoh style quite regularly. I took a couple small pieces and made a true Kinam tincture with perfumers alcohol. These are obviously different methods, but it's remarkable how true Kyara LTD is to its name. I am grateful there is a guy crazy enough to make these truly beautiful oils. [;)] to you Ensar. – Brian, USA
Kyara LTD v.2 is certainly a contender for greatest oil of them all… It is remarkable how potent it is, absolutely bursting with aromatic intensity… Apparently a small amount of actual kyara was added to the distillation - perhaps it is this that gives it the extra body and richness that sets it apart from most other oils.. A few other Ensar oils - Royal Kinam v.2, Brunei Kinam, Yunnan Kinam - apparently also had kinam in the distillation and have a similar body and richness, an extra level of decadence. – Josh, USA
The Kyara LTD is wonderful and interesting. I'd say it's about 90% similar to the Nha Trang. The Nha Trang makes you stop cold and consider what the Hindus mean by Pranayama, and maybe even makes you imagine that you've understood for a moment what Pranayama is. The Kyara LTD also hints at cosmic mysteries, but peering through the canopy of a Papuan jungle. The Kyara LTD is terribly wonderful, among the purest and most intriguing scents I have experienced in my long life. Maybe even more interesting in a certain way than the Nha Trang, because of the KL's jungle memories. Memories though can distract from mindfulness, and the Nha Trang is pure presence, resonating like a singing bowl, calling you back to mindfulness, helping you to see memories and let them go and be aware of the beauty you're being given now. – Larry, USA
In serious pain and agony tonight after an earlier long session of prolo therapy in my back. Some few dozen plus injections. Sore as hell and in pain. Irritable and edgy. Needed an oil to calm me down and help ground me to a sound night sleep.
This oil is not a scent but a portal. A portal to a different dimension. Dimension of?... Stay tuned in for updates tmr.
Update next day: slept like a baby. woke up with the scent of the oil on my upper lips and wrist smelling like it was applied an hour before, where as it was more like 10 hours since worn! not many oils do that. what a remarkable scent. i cant really explain it or compare it to this and that, other than scent of high kyara content and minimal other ingredient incense, in particular i get kyara kokoh and KZ green oil kyara incense note. the scent is NOT that of kinam/kyara on low heat, but instead high heat smoke. yet there is nothing smoky about the oil if it makes any sense. this oil to me is more about its transporting qualities and further, not what it smells like but what it doesnt smell like.
There is a rusted iron/alloy workshop scent that is both odd and yet enjoyable. at first, i thought is a pot smell and something young oils show. but this oil is old and i confirmed with ensar what i am smelling is part of the wood and not process or matter of age. i am growing to like this note. anyways, special oil and as far as i see it a must for any and all oud lovers. a teeny tiny toothpick dot size will be enough. so 0.5ml can go a looooong way. fingers crossed ensar team offers this oil soon and does an eid special on it. – Rasoul, USA
All this recent love and talk for Kyara LTD 2.0 is warranted. It is a special oil. In its opening. It’s drydown. It’s scent. It’s energy. It’s length of projection... an insanely awesome oil, Oud lovers need to figure out a way to have a tiny bit in their scent library. Humbly speaking if I was ensar I would limit the purchase of an oil like this to 0.5 a customer. Just so, as many people as possible, get to try it. This is a must. – Rasoul, Canada
Kyara LTD 2.0 is game over – Rasoul, Canada
Soul stirring. Butterflies felt in the belly. The mind becomes clear and instantly stays in present moment.
This evening this oil opens with more cambodi notes on the top and mid while the base is all medicinal dark red Vietnam. So goood. The Kyara note joins the party and takes center stage 30 minutes or so after application.
There are great oils and then there are outstanding oils. But then there are select few true legends. This is one of them. Period. – Rasoul, Canada
Sun moon and stars have lined up for me and this oil tonight. It is firing on all cylinders. A w12 engine on a Bentley. Powerful but poised. Regal. Intense but smooth. Great balanced to it.
On the opening, I see the Hainan notes clearer than before and the narcotic cambodi bitterness. Of course Vietnambittersweet green medicinal did I say bitter and green dragon smoke is the main character in this play. Mind numbing yet mind opening. It induces a state of trance. Special gift of nature handled very well by man to coax all the beauty and genious out.
With time the cambodi like notes strengthen and kyara enju incense notes take over. Deep. Bottom less oil that comes across to me and base yanked to the top note. With distinct notes weaving in and out.
Loving this oil. Wishing all fellow oud lovers the opportunity to score a tiny bit of this oil. It is profound. – Rasoul, Canada
This am the day got started with a gentle and small application of Kyara LTD. 2.0. It is now 14 hours later and this oil is still going. One of the longest lasting oils to date. No doubt. Not sure which other oil beats it in it’s longevity and beautiful evolution. Super incense. This is a high Kyara content incense stick with minimal other ingredients smells like. A dark green bitter smoke. It’s intoxicating. Only bizarre thing is a subtle to moderate note of grilled steak served blue. Off putting to my nose but do much other awesome going on that I can get past it and still derive pleasure and still crave it again. – Rasoul, Canada
None to this date has been as clear, as loud, as evident and as glorious as kyara LTD 2.0 when it comes to capturing the scent of kinam and kinamic wood on higher heat. scent of such grade of wood on low heat is prettier and is more easy to understand but there is a case for its high heat smoking scent too. more of an experience rather than just a great scent. – Rasoul, Canada
Not yet released. Very different source of raw material compared to first version. Iirc Vietnam meets Cambodian kyara shavings and Hainan skins.
Monster oil but a gentle giant. Very balanced and instead of smacking you on the head it instead gently grabs you by the collar and pulls you in.
Fav part is the very impressive evolution to drydown and the overall weight.
With some oils is just super clear the base material were nuts and the juicing perfect. This is one of them.
I encourage oud heads to secure 0.3 gram of this oil for it is unlike anything else.
Last comment: this is by far the most incensy oil I have come across. Kyara enju/ Kyara kokoh – Rasoul, Canada
I went for Kyara LTD v.2 in the evening to accompany a long walk. It is the supreme oud oil experience. – Raaid, UK
Well it is Memorial Day here in the US. For a day of reverence and remembering, it is a day for special oud. Kyara LTD. Simply stunning. – Phil, USA
Kyara LTD is definitely in the running for the "holy grail" of oud. Its beautiful, therapeutic and an experience. – Brian, USA
Kyara LTD is a whole other level. If you can acquire some of that, IMO you will own one of the top Ouds ever distilled. Simply amazing. At that level, there is nothing really better, just different. It is not even a scent as much as it is an experience. – Phil, USA
This oil is simply outrageous, it has no peer. Yes, I have bits of some of your other high-end oils, and of course they are spectacular, but KLTD 2.0 seems to isolate and intensify the most exquisite possible scent elements of the most exquisite Vietnamese oils, and present them in a single oil. Not that it's a conglomeration or collage, rather it's an ordered universe of the finest molecules in balance, and it is shatteringly awesome to experience. And the olfactory density is of highest-caliber, it is immediately brain-piercing. That is the best I can do to describe how it feels. It took a while to write you because I wanted to wear KLTD 2.0 first, but have been in a difficult mental state and didn't want to potentially "waste" any of KLTD 2.0 when my outlook would have been an obstacle. I'm doing a little better recently, so felt I was ready to try KLTD 2.0. Am so glad I waited, and that KLTD 2.0 was waiting for me, and I am simply astonished. – Jennifer, USA
While top notes were enthralling, I will never forget the first moment I experienced the mid notes and dry down. It was as if time stood still. I felt a sense a calm and peace that is so pure. Alhamdulillah, I have had the good fortune to sample some of the best ouds from the far corners of the earth, and, clearly, Kyara LTD is not from this world. – Faisal, USA