Eleven year-old Maroke from the days of Maroke 2004—only done the ‘Royale’ way, i.e. Oud Royale I.
If you thought Oud Royale 1985 wasn’t a close enough replica of Oud Royale I, I’d like to see what you think of Royale No 5—same jungle, same distillation style, same price Oud Royale I was initially launched for in 2005.
If you’ve got any experience with Maroke oud—or any top-notch incense grade oil—you’ll get that this scent is easily worth its price thrice over. That supreme incense vapor rising straight from the start, pumping full steam through the middle, and baffling you through the drydown. The kind of pristine agarwood vapor you only get from heavy resin, cooked at a time when the adjective ‘incense-grade’ was still catching on and ‘copper pot’ simply meant good biryani.
If you were never into the darker, muddy tones of some Marokes, No 5’s immaculate agarwoody aroma will leave you a Maroke lover for life.
You don’t just get the scent of gently heated agarwood chips. No 5 actually smells like the raw resin itself—hold a handful of black resin-drenched oud chips directly to your nose and savor that primal ‘this wood is something else’ aroma!
As an addition to your collection of vintage ouds, No 5 gets its own slot, with a scent that takes its cue from the ’82 and the ’85 in its depth and grandeur, but goes on to set its own trend which every Maroke made during the last decade owes something to.
Royale No 5 doesn’t just share the ‘vintage agarwood liqueur’ facets of the first Royale, like the '85 did. This is an actual Maroke and the distillation style is the same as Royale I.
The royal incense profile never quiets down. In reality, this oud doesn’t even have a drydown. Its top notes are oudiness, layered with more oudiness an hour later, and another three hours thence, only to reveal a depth of oudy oomph where other oils would have long thrown the towel in.
If you’ve had a love-hate relationship with Marokes so far, it’s gonna be all Love this time round. If you’re already Maroke mad, two swipes a day of No 5 is mandatory.
Well you are, among other titles, the king of all things Maroke! – Edward, USA
For the sake of having great oud oil, for all oils currently or very recently available to the General Public, no one can top the offering of Oud Royale 1985 and Royale No 5 by Ensar, even if he charged double. For that, I sincerely thank you Ensar. – Curt, USA
I have enjoyed the dark, earthy, musky and green waves of Royale No 5. It has a nice projection and warm buzzing vibe. There is something primal, deep and intoxicating about Merauke oils. – Joel, Cambodia
I purchased 2 bottles because after Oud Royale 1985 I realized that these are rare opportunities that will not come around again by any distiller, in any country, quite possibly at any time in the future also. Of course, you might have more to come but that’s the exception. You just “can’t” find oud like this! And this realization is just flying over the heads of some people. – Customer, USA
My mom asked me to order Royale No 5 last week but I forgot. I’ve checked and it’s sold out. My mom would be upset if she knew. Can you please help me? – Afnan, KSA
I haven’t applied any of the oil, I’ve only smelled the open bottle. What an amazing scent, but then again you don’t need me to tell this to you. As promised, attached is a drawing that I did right after smelling Royale No 5. India ink with a broad, dry brush. – Matt, USA
My No 5 received right now. No time to test it, only smell it from the dipstick… and the scent is amazing, green and minty aroma seems to be even more pronounced compared to Oud Royale 1985. – Mohammed, France
I just got it, it’s been 10-15 min since application and I am getting a really nice, very oudy incense smell so far, not feeling any green notes and it’s completely different to Oud Royale 1985. Never tried Oud Royale I so I cannot compare to it.
Starting to feel more notes coming, dark, intense, exotic and earthy, some kind of very light sweetness in the background but barely noticeable. Absolutely no animals or barn here. Still don’t feel any green notes.
Yes, Royale No 5 is really an amazing oil. I usually wear my oils with a swipe under the chin for best and longer smell. And when I use my forearm for testing I don’t feel any aura around me from any oils, but Royale No 5 is different. For the first test I just put a single drop on my forearm to have a closer inspection and I already gave you the impression I had from it. Now it’s been more than an hour from that drop and I feel a really nice aura around me. No other oils applied to my forearm do I get that from. Not sure what it is but I think this is what a green jungle would smell like. Never been to or smelled any jungle, but maybe this is it, very different from the green note in Oud Royale 1985. But yes, smelling this nice aura around me I can think of myself walking around a green jungle. – Peter, CA
Mine landed today too. Initial thoughts are as follow:
This oil is dark but a shade or two lighter than the Royale 1985; viscosity is about the same. The scent from the stick is giving me the same sort of gentle, integrated menthol I got from the 1985. However some significant differences are immediately apparent: This oil is BIG on old wood, like pews in a medieval church. There is also a rich chocolateyness; an ambiguous sweet/savoury/bitter cacao liqueur. I’m being teased by a Rikkoku scent actually; I’ll have to dig through my sets to find the match (Manaka or Manaban I think). There’s a certain fruit-sweetness intermingled with everything else too; rich, dark dried fruits though.
This is only off the stick so far. Smelt this way, I’m finding the menthol numbs a little as I sniff ever harder. A proper application tomorrow will solve this, allowing those cooling volatiles to blow off to reveal the subtle complexities I know are lurking there.
Final thoughts for tonight are the that this is in many ways a substantially different profile to the 1985 but I’m going to reserve further judgment until tomorrow. I’m actually really looking forward to tomorrow now. My colleagues are just going to have to put up with it! – Jonathan, UK
Okay, I’ve been wearing this today, so following on from last night’s notes:
On the skin, this oil has been showing its Maroke heritage much more clearly. Certainly the dry down is strongly remiscent of Maroke 2004; not a carbon copy, this oil definitely has its own identity. I’d say the initial stages offered a little more depth and interest than Maroke 2004 as well; a few more contrasting notes layering with the monolithic Maroke jungle theme.
Overall though, this oil has no crisis of identity. It is what it is, but it executes very well. I’d pick out a certain subtle sweetness throughout the journey that I don’t recall being present in Maroke 2004. Ensar made reference to Royale 5’s dry down remaining full bodied and I can honestly see what he means over 5 hours in. – Jonathan, UK
I am just a little confused about you comparing both to Maroke 2004. I have never tried Maroke 2004 but these two Oud Royale oils smell completely different to me so I am not sure how both can be similar to the same oil. I completely agree on your notes on Oud Royale 1985. I get exactly what you are getting from the oil: Wet stone, damp cave walls. Herbal grassy notes; moss; peat. Gentle cooling menthol note. Minerality. But Royale No 5 smells nothing like that. All I get is: very nice resinous aroma, oudy incense, light background sweetness, dark, intense, exotic and earthy turning into green jungle in about an hour, then at the end the last few hours the aura around me starts to feel again very oudy, not harsh oudiness but very nice creamy one. Very long lasting and just from one drop creating nice cloudy aura around me for hours. – Peter, CA
Fair point; I should clarify:
Now that I have the oils side by side, I can appreciate marked differences in their scents. However, I maintain that both oils are in, or right next to, the Maroke sector of my ‘Oud colour wheel.’
I relinquished my Maroke 2004 last year to a Maroke lover in dire need so I’ve had to work from memory with my comparisons. Now, with the benefit of both oils together, I can see that this Royale No 5 is a closer match to Maroke 2004. However, I still maintain there’s not much in it when I sit them both beside, say, a Cambodian or Indian oil. – Jonathan, UK
I have the 1985 on one hand and the No 5 on the other and I cannot say which one is better even if their scent profile, origin and age are different... These two oils were really a great buy for sure! – Mohammed, France
Smooth with a cooling vapor… bitter roasted bamboo medicinal vibe which fades rather quickly… gentle sweetness. Then the cooling turns more minty which is contrasted by dark incense. Early morning jungle teeming with dewdrop-laden green foliage. There’s oudiness, woodiness, Marokeness, and chips on a burnerness. “Now comes the Royale part!”… some Colorful Complexities arise and I feel Drenched! from Fumigating with Yummy Maroke Aloes!! :-) :-) :-) Drydown has less minty darkness and more sweetness and resin. – Curt, CA
My first, and fleeting, impressions; definitely shares similarities to Maroke 2004 (I have a bottle). Has a lovely Cola vibe, smooth. What really surprised me was a sweetness that I picked up. I need to wear it again to better describe it, but it had a warming sweetness element. – Zartash, UK
Just got the Royale No 5 – this is wild stuff! I have Maroke 2004 and do not see these two oils as very similar at all. I get the spicy cola balsamic thing very strongly with No 5 – and in general No 5 is heavier, earthier, perhaps swampier. Maroke 2004 is more crisp and clean with dominant green minty jungle stuff happening. – Josh, CA
Royale No 5, I can’t say a word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One thing only I can say:
Please I want another one or 2 more, I am serious please help me I AM IN LOVE with this oil.
I did not try the other oils or the chips yet, I am just inhaling this heavenly aroma all this night. – Jalal, Germany
Just a few hours into Royale No 5 yesterday and today and I’m loving the wet incensey vibe! Like Oud Royale 1985 I think it will take a few wears to discover all the nuances, but I love this journey (: I wish I knew an appropriate gesture to express my gratitude. Maybe it’s by sharing these blessings, which is something I now do freely, inspired by your and Ensar’s generosity and kindness: a little 1985 to this guy, a little No 5 to that one, etc. – Jen, USA
My friend in Dubai got Royale No 5. He is very happy with it. He found it jungle green with that old wood aroma. I will get mine soon. – Uday, India
I’m so happy I jumped for both Royales. I don’t care who said what about them, I have no doubt in my mind about the authenticity and quality of these oils. Scents like these aren’t made… They are nurtured, just like man who reaches full maturity and his intellectual peak at age 40… I feel bad for those who missed out. – Taher, UAE
My mom loved Royale No 5 and she wishes to have more of it. You told me that it’s sold out but if in any way there’s still some left I’d be glad to have it. Thank you so much for making my mom happy. The last few months she’s been in constant pain due to the fifth cranial nerve and watching her become that excited about something and enjoying a simple pleasure like that put me in tears. I can’t thank you enough for the amazing products you offer that can make an oud collector like my mom this happy! – Afnan, KSA
Ma sha Allah! The Royale No 5 is awesome! Ensar’s description was spot on; it’s all about gentle resinous oudiness with an unbeatable longevity. I’m so glad I made this purchase, definitely a steal :-) – Ali, France
En decapuchonant on est de suite saisi par le parfum typique du Meroke. Puis en ouvrant la fiol un genie d’encens en sort. Le premier choque d’encens passe, c’est une profonde senteur de Meroke qui s’installe. Du bois d’agar delicatement chauffe, du bois mouille, de la jungle, le tout soupoudre d’odeurs menthole. Je suis en decouverte du Meroke, le Royale No 5 me ravi. – Thibot, France
I am wearing Royale 5 – to my right there’s a charcoal burning Aceh 2001 oud chips, and to my left a plexiglass display I built specially for Ensar Oud bottles and chips – and I’m playing “Ode to Joy,” the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Honestly, I don’t know which one is flying my soul higher!…
Thank you Ensar for making us so happy! Thank you for the enjoyment that we live in because of your oud oils! Thank you for the taste of Royalty that you’ve made available to us! Thank you for the reasonable prices! Thank you for everything you’re doing to make top grade ouds available! God bless you all and guide you! – Jalal, Canada
I only tried a little drop, but I can already say it is something altogether different, special and precious. On my skin, it smelled like a high end incense stick from Japan. – Thomas, Germany
Really impressed by No 5’s drydown. I can confirm Ensar’s statement: this oil doesn’t even have a drydown! – Mohammed, France
I have tried Royale No 5. It’s like a very superior version of Maroke Muah. Muah’s dark muddy vibe is far less pronounced and instead it’s a sort of shimmering woodsy aroma. It remains a Maroke but probably age and the superb wood available then makes it an extraordinary oil, at least for me. Sillage is probably where Muah is stronger, being a fresh oil. – Uday, India
Dark Moist Woods
Menthol Cigar Spice
Cool Jungle Mist
Green Mysterious Woods
Mint Chocolate Coffee Beans
Deep Mossy Earth
Fresh Pine Dark Musk – Joel, Cambodia