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    Royal Jaya

    Price: $175

    If you want to know what ‘sinking-grade’ oud is all about, slice off a sliver of this. Dark plums. Burgundy red, vanilla, pollen powder. Irian agarwood packs less playful fruitiness and way deeper green jungly oopmh.

    On a low temp heater, the chips continuously emit a delectable crisped sugar sweetness that makes it a challenge to pull your nose away. With the temperature dial turned up (or when heated on charcoal), the savory top notes fuse into a creamy pollen chord rich with a Lignum Vitae earthiness and the butter & cream of Palo Santo. Turn down the dial for your next chip and you’ll discover a subtle fusion of soft oak and red santalum, all drenched in that warm crème brûlée caramel that oozes only from resin-heavy agarwood. And heavy is the keyword here…

    Compared to Indian or upper Far Eastern raw agarwood scents like Cambodia’s, and even the midland Malaysian profiles, Port Jaya packs an oudiness that’s less fruity, and more deep forest jungly. In fact, many will find it the most primordial of all aloes, with the most steady, uniform aroma.

    These strips are fully resinated front and back, so much so that they sink in water due to the heavy resin content (i.e. ‘sinking-grade’). You don’t need to aim for the top layer trying to choose the best bit to shave off. This batch was specially separated to contain only completely burnable, sinking-grade pieces, with no patches of bunk stuck in the chips here and there.

    Because of the rarity of this grade of wood, and to get the utmost out of each sliver, opt to heat them at low temperature. If you’re using charcoal, do one of the following:

    - Let the charcoal settle first, so that it cools down a bit.
    - Add a piece of aluminum (which you can fold a couple of times to increase thickness).
    - Put a few mica sheets (about $5 a packet on Amazon) on top to give you a smooth release of all the sensual notes the aroma wants to reveal to you.

    But honestly, how you want to heat these strips doesn’t matter too much… they’re tough enough to hold strong even on high-temp burners; so resin-dense they’ll keep bubbling no matter what the temperature.

    Irian oud oil is already a rarity, but you’ll be surprised to discover that high-grade Irian oud wood is even harder to find. That’s why so many have been looking for this – and why I’ve had these in my collection for years now. But I want you to have access to companion oud chips to heat along alongside a swipe of Port Jaya — and Royal Jaya is the perfect compadre.

    So, for a total agar-immersion, dab on a swipe of Port Jaya as Royal Jaya’s smoke starts to dance into the air. Incredible.

    I don't have as much experience with wood, I have tried only a dozen or so... I've tried a lot more oud oil vs wood. Royal Jaya is probably the best wood I have tried. It's closer than I thought it would be to the Port Jaya oil, the oil has some smoky incense and a deep green note not found in the wood but it's subtle, they are instantly recognizable as the same scent. I put a few slivers on lowish heat and they lasted all day, then turned it up and got a lot more out of it... this contains a lot more aromatic material vs the other lower grade wood I have, so the price is reasonable, at least relatively. My main impressions are spicy and sweet deep-brown oudiness, earthy and musky at higher temps. It has a depth and complexity, you can tell it's very high quality wood. – Dave, USA

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