Purple Sumatora’s fragrance is insanely resin dense. A deep purple, dark blue petrichor heart with rich herbaceous notes at the top.
If jungle chords could be described as creamy, then you’ve got a thick layer topping a forest cake. You barely smell any recognizable notes of spice or flowers — and most surprisingly, for such a foresty fragrance, there’s little trace of woodiness.
Instead of woody, there’s this echo of warm blue lotus infused with ginseng doused in patchouli absolute lacquered in the bitter-sweet (not-tangy) ripened scent of those fat plum-sized purple grapes.
But truth be told, the oozing scent of raw resin blocks most rays of familiarity, and any notes of herbal medicinal sweetness get filtered through thick clouds of agarwood smoke. And that’s what makes this heady breed of oud captivating to no end.
It’s so unlike any other type of oud, and so unique to even a richly trained olfactory palette searching for links to elsewhere on the scent spectrum, that it leaves you dazzled by the uniqueness of its deep-purple resin-drenched core.
But if, gun to my head, I’m forced to compare: Take a swipe, pull your hand to your nose, smell closely, and you’d encounter the beastly OR85’s agar-liqueur as Oud Ahmad’s waves of resin crash down and leave this exotic Sumatran awash in a pool of oudilicious nose-numbing tenacity.
Quality Sumatran oud oils seldom come around, and somehow each one finds its way into the top ranks.
You’ll rarely find them discussed in public, and they're hardly ever for sale (with exceptions like Oud Royale 1985). That’s because artisanal Sumatran ouds tend to be micro-batches available to only a few collectors. They come slowly, in small supply, and go fast.
Take Unnu Izza and Unna Accha. Both sold out in no time, and I haven’t seen a bottle offered anywhere. At the same time, I keep getting asked privately if I have any stowed-away Sumatran oils I may be keeping from the public eye.
The quality and scarcity of the raw materials and the entrancing aroma makes this class of oud a challenge to distill and a delight to own. It’s the kind of oud you either keep to enjoy its aroma unfold as the seasons change… or swipe liberally to indulge in an olfactory feast few ouds afford. (You can't go wrong, either way.)
Most ouds are good for all seasons, but Purple Sumatora has a special allure during winter. I’m still not sure what it is — the resinous warmth, revitalizing forest freshness, or that glaze of dark-blue slash purple spiceless oud-to-the-bone aroma?
With 2019 drawing to a close and the holiday spirit in full swing, spice up your wardrobe with a swipe of Sumatran oud that’s unlike anything else you’ll smell in the air this season.
Purple sumatora so far has absolutely blown my mind by the way. Hands down the best oil I've experienced so far, in my limited exposure. – Brandon, USA