It’s not just sinking-grade wood. It’s not just copper kissing sinking-grade wood. It’s not just Kelantan groundwater. It’s not just the stray little muskdeer that tripped and fell inside the pot… What it is is a completely different type of agarwood.
I think I speak for everybody who owns a bottle of Oud Ahmad when I say that this is not an everyday wear. It’s a ‘Would I even wear it on my daughter’s wedding day?’ kind of oud.
Were we to redistill sinking-grade Kelantan wood today, the price of a bottle would be no less than $15,000. And that’s without almost two decades worth of aging!
But we didn’t have to dish out $30-50,000 / kg for the raw materials like we’d have to today (as if people have kilos of such sinking-grade wood lying around to begin with). So, you’ve got the chance to own a bottle of oud that is literally impossible to make again, at a price far less than if we had released it fresh off the still this year.
It’s not a conspiracy theory that we’re seeing through the last few years of wild agarwood. Every voice in the oud world confirms this fact. So, imagine five years from now… ten years from now… Just how badly would we long for the days of quality wild oud? Just how badly would we crave sinking-grade wild oud?
Now, let’s say you do decide to indulge in a swipe of Oud Ahmad on the most auspicious of occasions. And here comes the twist…
You’re not just smelling the pristine incense profile of a quality sinking-grade extract. There’s a reason the piercing top notes never reside, why the most crystalline heart notes imbued with a musky red medicinal sweetness carry through straight to the drydown. Why, for a moment, you feel a cool tingle in your nose that makes you wonder ‘Is that numbness I feel?’ That’s what kinam does to an oil – that’s what it smells like. That’s why you probably took a second swipe just to make sure you’re not dreaming.
Whiffs of pure deermusk flare up against a wall of unadulterated Kelantan sinking-grade resin. If you’ve got your fumes down, you know this is an inimitable strain of Malay red kinam, and nothing less. The scent stays so tightly together, like you’ve got your nose to a super low temp heater as it slowly eats into a decadent sliver of kyara. Heated this way, you don’t pick up two seconds of top notes that turn to middle notes that turn to a burnt-out drydown. You get one continuous presence, one identifiable note – ‘red kinam’ from Kelantan, a more exotic cousin of its Cambodi counterpart.
Those who have smelled the profiles of red Cambodian kyara from the 70’s would recognize it, or those fortunate enough to score a swipe of red live-tree Maroke oil from the 1990s… No Malaysian wood can ever smell like this, no matter how high-grade. Only Kelantan Kyara smells like this. Wait, make that sinking-grade Kelantan Kyara…
What you’ve got here is a whole other scent category, regardless of whatever impact copper, steel, titanium, or spring water can have on an oud profile. Just heat a pellet of Brunei kinam, certainly even Cambodi kinam, and you’ll have your ‘Ah, now I get it!’ moment, which you’ll get even from oils composed of as little as 2% kinam – That’s how striking the similarity is!
So, that $15,000 / bottle estimate… well, as you can see we’d have to recalculate…
I didn’t name this oil Oud Ahmad by accident. I didn’t choose the dearest of names to put on a bottle of oud except that I am certain no other oil is more deserving of bearing that name. Whether it be in its stunning uniqueness, or in its unmatched quality of raw materials, or in its stunning resemblance to deermusk, or in its boasting the very rarest kinam profile ever smelled by anyone.
So… get your bottle and take a swipe, and see with new eyes what oudiness ought to mean.
Did a tiny bit of Oud Ahmad earlier today and so far it was confirmation that I love it for sheer pleasure. It has this amazing hazy smokiness without harshness that is super unique and I love. Up close there is a twangy greenness, but from a distance it’s that real vivid smoke that I’ve never smelled before in an Oud. – Matt, USA
Oud Ahmad truly is something from another world, morphing like a scent-based version of when you close your eyes- each evading a full description before changing. I also have Tigerwood Royale, and this exceeds it in breadth and depth of complexity and beauty in the way a wise, sagely king outshines a prince who aspires to be like his father but who simply could never reach his heights. It truly evades a concrete description. – Lucas, USA
You know the feel that’s said to be experienced with Kinam/Kyara; numbs your brain, psychoactive and highly uplifting... That’s what Ahmad does to me so just couldn’t pass on it. – Jean-François, Canada
Oud Ahmad is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It’s not just the scent, although that’s already incredible, but the effect that it has on me that is most astounding. I feel as though I am being embraced by an enormous ancient tree, or better yet, as though we are merging into a single being. A deeply settled feeling overtakes me, a rooted peace and tranquillity that evokes sigh after sigh of contentment. And then suddenly, in that peaceful state, I’m engulfed in clouds of supremely smooth aged musk. What?! How can this be? How can an ancient tree and a musk deer fit in this little bottle? In this tiny drop of oil? And yet there they are. Sublime. I know this oil will offer a lifetime of enjoyment. – Kim, USA
Received yesterday, wearing since then. It is too big to give you now deep impressions; I’ll have it first on me in five or six more occasions. This is what I hoped Purple and White Kinam, Suriranka Senkoh, Hainan 5 and even my adored Sultan Salahuddin to be and the most towering oud oil I have ever experienced. Ahmad could have been named Black Kinam or [better] Kyara Noir. Incense heaven. A profound fit for my soul. As for my taste, I’m sold. Kinam Rouge wears childish in Ahmad’s presence, by the way. – Jesús, Spain
Firstly, I wanted to thank you for Oud Ahmad. It boggles my mind! I had a shoulder surgery this summer, and shoulder surgeries are notoriously painful and difficult, especially so for me since my vocation is the 'cello for over forty years. The surgery was incredibly successful - my point is that Oud Ahmad did more for me than you can ever know, so I wanted you to know that. – Jeff, USA
WOW. I’m still tongue tied - mind blown. This was a truly new frontier for me. I had no idea. – Anthony, USA
I saved the best for last. Oud Ahmad is what collecting Oud is all about. Every once in a blue moon, if we’re lucky, we manage to find an Oud that transcends almost every other Oud we have. This is one of those. With an Oud this good, the scent becomes extraneous, even though this one is exquisite (caramel, resin...). This Oud transports you so far beyond ordinary consciousness that it Reminds you of our Origin. Sniffing this fills me with gratitude, holiness, and vastness, stopping time... Beyond this, I am speechless. – Hank, USA
One of the most singularly unique ouds. Period. A mature oil at ease. Non-terpy, comforting, with the scent of meadows and fields with grazing 4-legged friends. Gentle breeze blowing from a direction of lush flower-filled vista. Yes, it is very musky but a very mature and fragrant floral musk. Traces of anise, fennel tops, and a beautiful terra rosa clay being worked into a bowl. Even the scent of baked clay. – Rasoul, Canada
The sample of Ahmad was a dream come true, particularly when coupled with the Kinam Rouge. This for me is so subtle yet can fill a room with its glorious power. At first, the musk, and then all those gentle, completely smooth, round notes that are so powerful it’s hard to describe, and I will need a long time to understand. This is in a different class of course and it definitely reminds me so much of Oud Sultani with its sillage that follows you – but from in front of you. It is almost exactly the same with a great violin or cello where you hear the instrument behind you as well as in front of you when playing. It surrounds you. It’s indescribable. And in this vein I would like to say that I have always considered Ensar Oud to be virtuosi who always deliver the very best in the realm of Oud, and as such are an excellent and accurate judge of the qualities or performance of any Oud from anywhere, from any era or age. – Jeff, USA
I have to thank you for choosing Oud Ahmad as a sample to purchase last year. After wearing both Purple Kinam and Oud Ahmad several times, I have to say that Oud Ahmad is the most beautiful oil… period. I can go on and on about it. It unfolds something new all the time. It’s as if the oil has the capability of triggering olfactory deja vu. Sometimes I get Ambra, sometimes sandalwood, etc, but the one thing that is always constant is burning incense. I swipe it every day. I can’t believe that someone called it a mediocre oil. I don’t know anything about oud compared to most and even I can tell that Oud Ahmad is something special. – Steve, USA
For the last two surgery days, I put on Oud Ahmad. I usually take a little sample vial and dab a small amount under my chin. Once you put the surgical mask on, it is constant olfactory bliss. I swear Ahmad makes me operate better. I Imagine it’s a placebo effect but who knows. I feel like I can tell a difference, my control of my hands and fingers seems to be on a different level. It is incredible stuff. – Phil, USA
Yes indeed – Oud Ahmad immediately went right up near the top of my list after the first wear… It’s a ‘red’ oud for me, in terms of the sense of color the oud brings to my mind, whereas Oud Sultani is more gold and purple for me… Oud Ahmad is like looking at a beautiful cut red gemstone, and seeing that inside the gemstone is another gemstone, and then another inside that… There is the most wonderful combination of rich clean woodiness, camphor, musk, and decadent floral sweetness (and in that aspect it shares a good bit in common with Oud Sultani, though the sweet floral aspect isn’t right up front like Oud Sultani)… The scent is incredibly smooth and well-integrated, while at the same time presenting various sides of itself… Many times we think of or describe ouds as ‘royale’ in some way, and for me no oud I’ve tried evokes that sense of royalty, grace, and dignity more than does Oud Ahmad… – Josh, USA
Perhaps you can answer one quick question for me regarding Oud Ahmad, tell me what happened to the little musk deer that had the misfortune to fall into your distillation apparatus? It is unbelievable Ensar! I’m taking a deep whiff off my left hand right now and if you hadn't told me otherwise I'd swear that I'm wearing a lovely musk agarwood blend! – Brian, USA
Oud Ahmad is indeed incredible – especially that phenomenal, arresting opening! What a picture-perfect rendition of genuine deer musk, with its ability to blow air between layers of scent. I really like the transparent depth. I get an almost palpable sense of space – like being in a very nice smelling room. The sonic equivalent of listening to music in a concert hall rather than through earbuds. When I need reprieve from mundane cares, I will be spending hours in that room. – Rodney, USA
Oud Ahmad is supreme! The darker brother of Sultani. – Ammar, USA
And I’m so glad to have Oud Ahmad. He is like a refined king! Usually after washing the affected area the scent of the oil comes out weaker than before but Ahmad stayed with the same intensity permeating my hand. – Kevin, USA
Today I went with the mediocre Oud Ahmad by Ensar Oud! Sorry, I had to, LOL! What a beautiful oil. In fact, this is my favorite oil to date with Purple Kinam a close second. Oud Ahmad embodies all of the Oud qualities that you could ever want. Woody, musk, sweet in a way, strong, and most importantly for me, lots of burning incense. This is the type of profile that frag heads always look for in a ‘winter’ fragrance, but of course, one never truly finds something like this in a perfume. – Steve, USA
It is LOVE at first scent! Only in my dreams could I have imagined that such a scent existed. Un-freaking-believable! To say this oil is a revelation is a gross understatement. I am actually out of words on how to describe it. – Phil, USA
Adam sent me a little taste of Oud Ahmad with my last order and I am in love. Wow, that is one of those oils where, when I tried it I thought ‘This is my new favorite oud of all time!’ I’ve learned, however, that when a gentleman like myself has so many fine oils, trying to pick a favorite is futile – that said though, I'm sure that Oud Ahmad will always be very high on the list! – Josh, USA
Oud Ahmad is quickly becoming my favorite! The opening, which first hit me as fecal, I now see as an amazing burning oud wood note. Then it slowly transforms into what my nose detects as a fougere, complete with lavender and fern. It’s an amazing transformation. Feel very fortunate to have it in my collection. – Adam, USA
What a monumental release. Oud Ahmad is really really amazing. At first the ‘deer musk’ note was really what stood out. But as I’ve developed a bit, and have had the chance to spend a good deal of time with Sultani, Kannan Koh and Kambodi 1976, I’ve only really begun to appreciate the real splendor of this one. It’s almost like you were able to extract the best parts of those oils to make Oud Ahmad. – Brian, USA
This reminds me of a dark, incensed Ambra. Very animalic in the beginning, but then softens up to a nice, smooth Ambra/Oudy Incense blend. Very nice oil indeed. – Steve, USA
Oud Ahmad is definitely one of my most cherished ouds. A stunning profile that really has to be experienced to describe properly. A sweet dark animalic scent which is just so incredible to wear. A classic. – Phil, USA
My initial impression of Oud Ahmad is that I like it more than Oud Sultani… It doesn’t have the same sweet floral aspect that grabs the happy receptors in the brain right away like Oud Sultani does, but it is an exquisite and royal scent. I’ve just begun my appreciation of it. – Josh, USA
.7gr of insane. Words don't fit. Cat got my tongue. Richebourg of essential oils. – Rasoul, USA
After a few days of hardcore work out yoga and spinning I am laying low and gonna exercise the mind. Oud Ahmad comes out to play.
Generous swipe goes on. Sooooo goood. Polite, gentle in its gargantuan weight. An oud with presence. Mature and lost all its terpenic and camphoric youthful notes. It carries itself with a sense of calm maturity and confidence. A personal oil. As in projection is low and sits quiet to the skin. I love oils like this.
Of course, as always, it is a very very musky scent. Real deal musk. Hints of undergrowth and fennel tops. Super old vintage cigar box. A little more than small similarity to Tigerwood Royale, but less antique notes and more animalic in a leathery kind of way. I also pick up some Frangipani wax/paste.
This is an oud for advanced users. It is gonna be lost on newbies. I am sure I also don’t fully appreciate this oil but feel I am just worthy enough to be in its presence every now and then. I still don’t get the tingle and the piercing top notes that Ensar alluded to. I get the heart. The red musky vintage heart in abundance and it's beautiful. – Rasoul, USA