My First Oud Experience

Discussion in 'General' started by Woodland Note, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    My First Oud Burn...

    ....kind of literally. ;P

    Malacca Double Super from Al Hashimi

    What I wrote maybe 2 weeks ago:

    I could not resist the temptation, I have 3 different samples of Al Hashimi oud wood.

    I sliced a tinny bit (maybe 1cm long and 2 mm thick) and put if on steel wire, that I started to heat with soldiering iron from the other side. I know I know, this is a Spartan way, and not the proper way to do it...
    Anyway... after it began to bubble and produce smoke. I started to smell woody resinous smoke, and very very sweet. It was reminding me something, but I’m not sure what.

    And there is some kind of “perfume” effect to it too, encapsulated within this sweet haze.

    But lol, you might laugh, I probably sniffed more of this smoke to my nostrils than I let it to slowly rise in my room and perfume surroundings. Another silly thing, was the mentioned method... in some moment, like 3 minute after I overheated it and it started to burn with fire...

    What I have learned:

    - It’s much harder to control heating oud wood than resins (myrth, frankincense, my beloved fir etc). Better get or build some proper heating device.

    - Oud wood smoke is very sweet (at least this one was)

    - As mentioned before everywhere, it is having perfume inside

    - What they say is true, but oils seem to have more complex scents

    - You don’t really need much to perfume your room, if you do it right way. (so 1 gram should last quite a while)

    - As mentioned before somewhere the only thing I tried before was cheap agarwood powder $5 per 50 gram bag. This is nothing like it! Nothing even remotely close.


    Ok now I’m going to bathroom, to wash myself, especially my face and nose. (not like I don’t like it, it’s beautiful, my kind of scent! I usually hate most burnt scents, but this one I adore. However, I don’t like to wear scent on my face, even most beautiful one – because it distorts the perception of external scents.) And then I’m going outside of house for a bit, just to come back in an hour with rested nose and review how my room smells like.


    After one hour:
    Soft, silky, delicate, pleasant, one could not be fully sure if there was something burned in a room I think. There is some smokiness in the air detectable, but it’s so velvety and delicate... hmm...

    Do I smell some notes in this depth, I think I do - honey, herbal/floral, hint of spices... it’s difficult to describe... :(


    And now:

    The proper way!!!
    Yesterday I finished my little heater project. Well, it’s not fully finished and beautiful but it’s usable. :Thumbsup:
    I think I have never had anything better to heat up resins, with so much temperature control.
    I could heat up a tiny bit of colophony of the size of rice grain for like 7 minutes
    and it was turning into vapors, slowly, and I could do it way longer if I wished, and the scent was better than with any other method I tried before, induction cooker, hot wires, soldiering iron, charcoal burner and so on... much better.
    I think this is the proper way to do it.
    I have no means to check the exact temperature on the surface of mica sheet, but it’s way above 100°C and much bellow 230°C. First I used 12.4V current but it shown not good, heating to much higher than 230°C temperature on the surface of the mica plate. I was doing tests with a tin metal (because of its melting point 231.9 °C.. the temperature of paper ignition is 233°C) and resins (colophony, pine, fir) I removed 1 battery and it’s working currently at around 8.1V the wire spiral is no longer glowing red (I decided to go for now with a spiral made of 40cm of 0.4 kanthal D wire) I will go to more details some other time. Anyway, this way wire is no longer glowing red but the temperature seems satisfactory, very satisfactory! (at least for the resins) Temperature on the plate once reaching some point in less than a minute seems to me quite steady. After turning it off it cools down even faster.

    So I placed a bit of agarwood shavings on it, again Malacca Double Super from Al Hashimi.
    And... Now we are talking! A completely different story! I was heating it for like 10 min and it did not char.
    The wood was like sweating, not really bubbling but sweating. Only after long minutes, maybe 8 it started to blacken, but it did not seam to really char... like giving some burnt smell and such. I could not notice smoke either. I’ve seen vapors or maybe tiny smoke with colophony resins, but here not really. Hmm... this means temperature is probably lower than most people use. Anyway, I like it this gentle way so far a lot. I will surely though experiment with higher and lower temperatures very soon. Anyway... let’s go to the true purpose and the point, the scent!
    That tiny pieces were emitting it al the way, quite a lot and did not seam wanting to stop at all. I did 10 min but I could probably do longer. The fragrance is like... a perfume to me.
    The first note that came to my mind was honey, woody honey...very pleasing, the second thing I was thinking about after a while was like sweet vanilla cacao, but not that much buttery cacao like in chocolate, something more soft. So a sweet perfume, honey, wood and maybe a hint of something like cacao, but not really cacao.
    The scent seems to be way less complex than what I experience with oud oils. It’s definitely amazing incense but oils deliver quite different sensations to me than heated wood. But maybe it’s too early for any definitive judgments... :Thumbsup: If however this is the case with all of them my reviews of the woods might be shorter than oils that seem so much more complex fragrances.


    Edit: I tried again at night, same pieces, since they were not finished. They give some smoke, at night, in the dark room with a flashlight it’s more visible. I also see wire is glowing dull red after all. Seems perfect! :Thumbsup: The wood gives me still the same scent. Well, it maybe transformed a bit... In first minutes of the heating at afternoon it was hmm... more delicate, like a nectar... then it’s getting more hmm.... this sweet woody cacao like maybe with a hint of vanilla like note more....

    I've noticed there are many ways to make temperature higher or lower, changing the voltage, using shorter or longer heating wire, tightening (higher temp.) or making more lose (lower temp.) spiral wraps, moving mica plate more close or far from the spiral coil.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  2. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi Oud Fanatic

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    Bingo. You want vapors. If you get smoke you have gone to a point of no return and many of those fine nuances are now lost. Good news is there is still plenty of beauty in high temp smoking too. It’s just that ultra low temp vapors are something else
     
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  3. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    I was thinking lately among other things that it’s amazing how much variety and complexity is in oud oils. Each one is very different from another, yet they all have something in common, and they could be segregated into groups that share even more aspects, and then even smaller groups, and smaller, and smaller that share even more aspects. The whole complexity of agarwood oils is getting more and more clear to me... and at the same time it’s a surprise after surprise.

    I was thinking that it’s incredible that so many different ones, so much variety (22 different oils) can together smell so beautiful, making me want to sniff that aura into infinity. I imagine that if I put 22 synthetic perfume bottles together in my cabinet the smell would be awful, like a cosmetics shop. My nose dislikes those.

    My electric heater in action : https://files.catbox.moe/yc91dm.mp4 :Thumbsup:
    I’m sorry for the video quality, I don’t have any better, modern cam. (you might also want to turn off audio - there is street/car noise )
    I used here a tiny amount of fir (abies alba) resin. Not agarwood because as mentioned above it's on very low heat, and the vapors of agarwood are less rapid and less visible. With such video quality no one would see a thing.

    Speaking of fir... I struck a gold mine today :Thumbsup: :

    fir-resin-cones.png


    Edit: I added some rock music to the video replacing the street noise.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  4. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    Superb!
     
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  5. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    @Ouddict
    Respected Ouddict (Admin), just a humble suggestion: The thread reads 'My First Oud Experience', but, for me, majority of posts are now fourth or fifth experiences, and certain posts are not about experiences relating to Oud. Sometimes, I get baffled. If possible and it seems rational to shift the posts to their logical threads, please do it. Sorry for this inconvenience and discomforting post of mine.

    Cheers
     
  6. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    Dear Rai. You could read it as a journal of impressions by a person in his first year of experience with oud and then it would not be a problem ;) Moving posts would cause more confusion.
     
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  7. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    In fact I really rush to the thread when I receive an alert, but find fir instead of Oud, and I get entangled into that:Roflmao:.

    So far the post goes, they are my favourite, and many new things added into my limited sphere of information due to those posts.

    Yes, general impressions about fragrances will do. Even if not shifted, no problem at all. You know, the title of a thread cannot be edited:p.
     
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  8. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    Hehe, I know. I rush to the thread too. And am glad it is not only about oud, much more lively it is :)

    And may I say that I love your photo of the deer, always staring at me with those looong fangs, makes me chuckle :Roflmao:
     
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  9. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    Awesome! That is a treasure!!! Your room must smell wonderfully fresh now.
     
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  10. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    Well, I promise to write more about oud here. ;) ...but occasionally there is something minor, related to natural fragrances that I don’t think it’s deserving its own thread. And I just would not like to cause any mess to this tidy forum. ;)
     
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  11. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    You have no idea... or maybe you have. ;) Sweet grass, pine, fir, oud... OUD!!! With the latest addition (thanks to the generosity of certain ouddict member who wishes to remain anonymous) the scent in my room is taking my breath away. This room has never smelled as beautiful as now... As a matter of fact, I've never been to any room that smelled so nice... :Thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  12. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    That sweet grass is a nice recommendation, thanks for that!

    I have the samples from the same generous ouddict (god bless him!) in an old wooden box and whenever I open it it is like opening a heavenly fragrant treasure chest. The collective smell is better than the ouds by themselves. So lovely!
     
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  13. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    Treasure is probably very suitable word. ;)
    I am thinking about the storage solution too. The older I am the less I care about material things and I’m also both blessed and cursed with quite good memory that is my true box of treasures and other stuff... but... Yeah... they deserve some proper storage solution in order to be preserved and who knows, maybe even shared with someone in future...

    Sweet grass (hierochloe odorata) is very difficult to come by in the wild in my region. I searched for it for a long time and I did not find it at all. Easiest is probably to buy a pot of it online. It reproduces quite fast though by underground rhizomes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  14. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    It is not messy at all.:praying:
     
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  15. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    Just sharing my thoughts...

    I was recently holding a vial with the ethanol dilution of oud oil (Tariq) by my nose before the sleep in bed. Sniffing... When I sniff it with breaks I smell the complex multifaceted notes. When I sniff it without rest, taking oud fragrance to my nostrills with every breath after some moments I’m mostly smelling the oudiness, the multifaceted splendor is vanishing in the background. Hmm...a nose overload? Hmm... I don’t know... but anyway I’m trying to focus on the “oudiness”, find words for it... and I’m not happy that I’m unable to find them.

    I was deliberating what is my favorite fragrance recently too. Because I’m more and more in love with oud. Oud already exceeded all my expectations 100 times.
    I like scent of fir resin and fir cones, I like scent of sweet grass, I like scent of the forest after rain, I like scent of Russian olive blossoms, lily of the valley blossoms, and so many more fragrances... can I really choose one? All are different, they are doing different things to me... It’s like asking self what is your favorite, sweet or sour or salty? Sound or picture? A guitar or a piano? Those are different things, I can’t put them side by side and say I like this one more.
    Oud is for sure a different thing from the scents like fir resins or sweet grass. I would not call those scents single note but the complexity of the oud is beyond compare with those. Even one oud oil is like a whole forest, or at least some part of the forest. When I smelled Tariq I could find flowers, green leaves, animals, trees, mossy rocks, bark, roots... many things I could think of... they could be there... why not...

    Speaking of Tariq, I recently went to the Al Hashimi site. I was reading their story of new Philippine oil. And I thought to myself that since I am already there and that I am quite familiar with Tariq, I can actually maybe check what they wrote about it. I was surprised to find out that Tariq is actually a mix of 2 different woods! Cambodian and Indian. I thought it had some Indian aspect but at the same time I was convinced this is just one agarwood type, Cambodian.

    And this made me wonder about mixing different ouds. On the one hand I’m very curious about this because the collective scent of different oud vials in my cabinet is just breath taking and I’m left speechless and mesmerized. On the other hand the idea of mixing them sounds to me like a blasphemy somehow. You are not listening to 2 different songs at the same time. You are not watching 2 movies simultaneously. Of course I won’t do it now, my samples are small, I lack the experience. I even did not try all the oud oils I have here, just 6 out of 22. So I won’t even think about trying it for a long time. But in some distant future... I’m curious about this. Please share your experience with mixing different oils if you have some.
     
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  16. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    When you mix ouds, you will lose the “collective scent” that you smell in your oud cabinet. Blending will create interactions with varying results, not simply addition of notes. It’s like chemical reactions that may mute some notes, magnify others, or create new notes.

    Ideally, you should have enough oud so that you can conduct several test batches/blends. Then when you find a blend that works for you, follow that recipe to make a bottle or two. For vendors, that equates to entire distillations set aside to play around with:eek:.

    Let’s just say that one bottle of a oud has 15 notes. Mix two bottles together and it’s not likely that you will get 30 notes. You might even yeild only 12 notes. Mix three bottles and still, maybe just 12 notes again:(.

    In the very few blends that I experimented with, some high notes mask other notes, it’s like my nose is saying “I’m getting a lot of oud”, but my brain says “oh yeah, but I’m not picking up those notes”.
    Also, I find that the base notes are less affected by the union.
     
  17. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    And one must be brave enough to dispose off the blends that turn to be 'pretty' ugly. This is not a royal prerogative of the one who blends to always succeed in creating beauty.

    Salute to our artisans who provide us with the best creation. After extreme experimentation, I have realized that a stunning itr is not the outcome of first try. It emerges after multiple experimentation. Wastage of precious oils is always there. I am not a professional, and I don't have experiments at a large scale, yet I have disposed off at least 30 ml plus Oud and Santal oils and 2 to 3 grams Musk grains in last 7 months.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  18. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    Dear Rai, next time you dispose, I will give you my address, send it to me:Roflmao::Roflmao::Roflmao:
    Just kidding.
    So true though, more misses than hits with experimentation. Best to get advise from other successful blends.
     
  19. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

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    In fact, once I thought to give certain blends to some people, then realized how mean it is to give what I myself don't like. By the way, soon I am going to sprinkle certain oils that I purchased within last three months in my lawn.

    If you have some other use to suggest, I am all ear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
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  20. Arsalan

    Arsalan Oud Fan

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    No no don’t sprinkle them please! they can serve as ouducation tools for those of us new to this world! Planning on visiting in about six months!
     
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