Borneo ouds come in a few flavors, but few rarer than the variety Sheikh’s Borneo first introduced. The scent is coated in a layer of vanilla akin to what you’d smell in the original Borneo Kinam (distilled from similar quality agarwood) with a golden-hued warmth that joins between the raspberry top notes of Borneo 3000 and the delicious cinnamonesque spice of 50K.
The scent smells thick. Rich. And like it came from the Golden Era when Borneos first made their name, soon to be filed away in the archives of oud history once the China Market kicked off and all but cleaned out the very oldest, most resinous centennials.
Here’s a backstage pass to that magical era that changed everything and defined what oud now means to every connoisseur.
There’s more than one way to look at oud as an investment. Future financial profit aside, what’s even more valuable is the opportunity to smell oud like this in our day.
The proof is in the pudding, and it’s not lost on anybody how the oudscape has changed while attempts to capture, or re-capture, the scent of those acclaimed Borneos in recent memory have been a failure.
And I count myself among those who have failed… because it’s not the distiller’s shortcoming. It’s what happens when the jungles the trees grew in are disappearing at twice the rate of any other forest in the world.
This is the caliber oud oil that’ll be showcased in future scent banks; at a time, right around the corner, when it won’t surprise me if the world even gives up on natural rose oil in favor of its infinitely cheaper lab cousin.
You get a glimpse of it today with vanilla, jasmine, and blue lotus. And oud is on a totally different stage — one where even the King of Papua is taking off his crown.
Sultan Mehmet belongs to a withering class of aromatics. That the smell throws you back to the original Borneo 4000 and Sheikh's Borneo tells it like it is. To juice the sugarcane raspberry honeyed kinamic powder notes of towering Malinaus has turned into a pipedream for aspiring distillers (as they readily admit themselves) while veterans look back at a bygone time they had the privilege to be a part of.
A fellow distiller remarked that he suspects 90%+ of all oud oils distilled in Borneo these days aren’t even pure. How then can you expect anything halfway artisanal?
This is an olfactory investment. That the base cost for the same caliber oud, if at all distillable by then, will be more than the current retail price in only a few years isn’t a prediction. We’ve all already seen it come to pass over the past five years alone. People yearn for Sheikh’s Borneo and still ask me about Borneo Kinam because they haven’t smelled the likes of those ouds — cannot find the likes of them.
Sultan Mehmet goes out to the genuine oud lovers who have been around the block a few times and already take everything I’ve just said for granted — because you are the ones searching for oud like this, having exhausted all other channels… and you know its olfactory worth.
Your advantage is that we didn’t have to distill Sultan Mehmet this year or the last as the prices for the feedstock has quadrupled since Sultan Mehmet was born. This also marks one of the last collaborations we did with the man behind the original Sheikh’s Borneo/Borneo 3000 before his passing. This is a class of oud from that generation.
If you’re a Borneo lover, an early-days Oriscent aficionado, or if you’ve never had a glimpse into that Golden Era to begin with, this is a no-brainer. Sultan Mehmet is your brand of oud.
Sultan Mehmet is a very sophisticated oil. Its scent notes are subtle, perfectly balanced, truly lovely, and complete. One has to quiet down to appreciate its majesty, a very worthwhile pursuit. I can detect whispers of pine and amber and caramel -- and a scent that is radiant and comforting and spacious. Absolutely lovely! – Hank, USA
Malt barley, natural dark vanilla, a little bit of brown sugar and musk, I imagine a 1% booziness in the opening as the scent makes my eyes roll slightly. Then it develops into a white powdery floral interplay with a high pitch raspberry note. Towards the end I smell wet wood and petrichor that I get from Sumatra oud. – Terence, Australia
Sultan Mehmet is amazing masha Allah...So this is what Kalimantan oud smells like? I could almost swear there was this Papuan smoky facet in the opening. It's a lovely oil with many soft, sweet, sugary powdery notes. Every time I remove the dipstick, I get a different nuance masha Allah. – Tayyab, USA
I am so impressed with how fast the order arrived, I purchased on a night where I had been deeply appreciating Oud Ertugrul, entranced my mind was telling me I need to look for more and that the oud is so good It will not last forever. This is what led me to the Sultan Mehmet, which I was considering between the Borneo 50K (which after receiving the tiny sample you sent over I think I cannot resist picking up as well) but wow, what an Oud this is. Sultan Mehmet is a wonderful step for me after Oud Ertugrul. I am very pleased to find out the specificities of the Borneo aesthetic can have such expanse. I find a delicate floral element in Sultan Mehmet appearing later in the dry down which is a dispatch from the Oud Ertugrul. I absolutely adore both. – Martin, UK