Cambodi… Cambodi… Cambodi… Cambodi. You’ve heard the word a million times. You might still feel the impact when the sound hits your ears: Cam-bo-di. What it means, what the label stands for. ’Cause for many, Oud = Cambodian Oud. But some ears have grown deaf to the chant. And with good reason…
I’ve used and abused, tested, reviewed, and distilled more Cambodian oud than I can remember. ‘Cambodi’ is probably the profile I’m most familiar with – as an oud man in today’s scene, you have to be… ‘Cambodi’ must be the most dodgy tag in the oud world, after all. But I’m not gonna go into that now.
I’ve been so obsessed with ‘red’ Cambodis the last few years, I’ve forgotten that there are other colors on the palette to paint with. I’ve been so obsessed with that 80s Koh Kong oil Mr Sokha keeps in his prayer niche, that I’ve gone to extremes to imitate its ripped kinamiferous redness. Because of that smell, I’ve spent the last 6 years breathing in ‘Cam-bo-di’ and breathing out ‘Koh-Kong’.
But this time I’m not talking about a Koh Kong Cambodi. I’m talking neither red nor raw. I’m talking about the bottle Mr Sokha had next to that bottle of Koh Kong…
For this oud, you better pull out your earplugs because the ancient chant is back with full force. Loud and – boom! – clear: CAM-BO-DI – and it’s a sultry song you don’t want to miss…
If you ever wondered when Cambodian ouds became equated with ‘fruity’, here’s a hint: When did they start distilling in Pursat?
What you’ve got here is the kind of oud that melts your nostrils. The kind of oud that shows you why generation upon generation oud lovers crave nothing but the scent of zesty old-school Cambodis. The kind that Mr Sokha refuses to sell for love or money (believe me, I make him a very handsome offer each time I see him). No novel techniques or modernized tweaks. Oud the way they used to make them… at a time the Borneo 3000s and Royal Kinams were getting pressed – juicing the kind of mother crassnas available back then.
We’re not talking the linear playfulness of jammy Thai oud here. This is fruitiness of a different order. Crystalline maturity with layers of molasses and lick-your-lips cane sugary sweetness in its top notes. Where Koh Kong oils are raw red, vintage Pursat oils are clementine. There’s zero trace of any soaking or the tartness you get from low-grade wood. The top notes are clean, the heart notes ethereal and the base resonates just the right balance of heavy oudiness and Pursatian tang that just ain’t found in most Cambodis – gives it that good old good wood left to steep and steep for a decade oomph that lets the fruitiness stick around, but lets the straight-up crimson crassnaness hold the lead right till the end. (PS: If you want to amplify that note, wet your hands just a bit).
So, get a bottle and discover what makes oud… CAMBODI.
1. extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.
“her ethereal beauty”.
synonyms: delicate, exquisite, dainty, elegant, graceful.
Ethereal, not light but rather seeming too perfect for this world, certainly not as simple as breaking it down by notes. Pursat 2005 is creamy, not like berries and cream or anything remotely dairy. Not the creaminess of certain notes in sandalwood but rather the creaminess of Frank Sinatra’s voice; thick, rich and smooth. Pursat 2005 takes a while to open up on the skin but when it does has good projection and sillage. As far as longevity, it clearly lasted through ghusl. – Lance, USA
Pursat 2005 has the thickness of honey nectar, a ruby color, and a fragrance that evokes cherries, roses, freesias, and cherry blossoms all lusciously married together in a luxurious pool of exquisitely pure Oud resin.
Even though it's an Olde Oud, it is incredibly lively, and has a deeply enriching effect on the psyche. It's so scrumptious that I want to eat it, and it's so soothing that I want to scent my pillows with it.
This is an outstanding Oud. Perfectly balanced, incredibly refined, and heartwarming. – Hank, USA
Deep fruits, fuzzy florals.
Balsamic and Oudy for the most part, with some tobacco and the tiniest bit of spice.
Then… the cherry raspberry Oud takes center stage, supported by a lavender freesia rose hybrid.
Then… it’s a juicy plum Oud.
Then finally… it’s a tobacco Oud.
The Oudiness is first rate like Kinam Rouge.
Gem Quality! – Curt, USA
A Cambodi symphony starts with adagio. It is in the cherry-soaked tobacco spectrum of the Vietnamese and Koh Kong crassna. Very smooth oil, starting shy on the skin and opens its way. The main theme here is dried fruits (not ripened) with mild toffee-like milky sweetness on background of fresh pipe tobacco. No spiciness I can detect here. In the drydown, the dried fruits become slightly ripened without over sweetness or sourness, and the pipe tobacco aroma starts fading without complete disappearance. No leather undertone. A hint of floral in the distance… A suave polite cousin of Kinam Rouge. – Ammar, USA
I only got to try Pursat 2005 and it’s fantastic. Very high quality crassna comparable to high quality, old resinated Vietnamese. Definitely get a very refined bitter sweetness, is the note I enjoyed very much! 👍👍👍 three thumbs up! – Bilal, Pakistan
So very pleased with Pursat 2005. Silky smooth with such an exquisite sweet matured tobacco note that is packaged so nicely alongside soft florals and ripe fruit. I have found myself wearing it daily since I bought it… Another example of oud tradition showing its beauty in the right hands. It’s an oil I will cherish in my collection. – Taher, UAE
This unmistakably Cambodi elixir opens softly with highly relishable cashmere-smooth, delicate notes of dried candied fruit and flower blossoms. Its further development gives stage to rich Oud aroma that is both classy and delicious. One will not detect any awkward or loud notes in this elegant olfactory harmony. It is a classic in the Cambodian oud category. – Svetlana, UAE
I detected some barn-like note similar to Oud Mostafa No 5, but surprisingly in Pursat 2005 I am not offended by it at all. It is quite comforting actually. I feel like I was lying down in a barn, with juicy sweetness aroma lingering in the air. The ‘barn’ slowly disappears over time, leaving just the mouthwatering sugary sweetness. – Razak, Malaysia
This oud is light and not heavy as other ouds, but wow you know for sure you got a Cambodi oud on with this one! The opening has something of vanilla custard but not just any custard you buy at the grocery store. Here, I am talking about looking for the most expensive restaurant in the city which is known for serving some of the best desserts which are out of this world. Ordering a beautiful custard-filled parfait. The middle hints towards the Cambodiness of the wood and by the end of the Cambodi wood rises above all and greets you with such happiness, that it becomes difficult to put your hand down. – Shaykh Abdul Wahab, USA