Blind Oud Test - Results And Discussion

Discussion in 'General' started by powdernose, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Aleata

    Aleata Oud Mood

    Eh eh eh, oh oh oh...:nose:;):handwaving:
    Joe King likes this.
  2. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Yet I respect all vendors. I strongly supported the project to face 'my own self', not to know about the vendors.

    This Blind Test Project is the first leap towards the destination- better understanding of the market by liberating ourselves from ourselves. Respected Shabby rightly said the experience was shattering as well as liberating. De-tag the oils, and let the reality smile. This is what I learnt. Oud wafts coming through $$$$ smell gorgeous. Moreover, how easy it is to think and then to say majority of non-forum brands sell diluted or low grade oils.

    Brand pressure. Description pressure. Peer pressure. Already done review pressure. Forum pressure. Olfactory has gone astray amidst the clamorous pandemonium caused by such pressures.

    God willing, this project will be further refined to unveil more dimensions of Oud oils, brands, and wearers. May this triangle not be a Bermuda Triangle, but visible enough like clear azure sky. "Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill." Of course, after a pause, the second phase of the project is to be initiated with some changes in modus operandi.

    Peace and cheers!
  3. Joe King

    Joe King AttitOud

    A question (or two) for the reviewers.:Geek:
    Did you recognize any of the oils? (which?)
    Did you think you recognized any but were mistaken?(which?)
    To my embarrassment :eek::confused:I mistook the Suriranka Senkoh for feel ouds Virgin Sumatra Island :Roflmao:
    Only one of my test oils had I tried before.(cambodi vintage)
    powdernose and alcolado glacial like this.
  4. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Dear Joe, it is all because of a 'virgin nose'.:Roflmao::Roflmao::Roflmao:
    OudGood and Joe King like this.
  5. Faizal_p

    Faizal_p Resident Artisan

    A great experiment by @powdernose and congrats to @alshareef.
    One thing I would say is that many times we come across an oil that initially doesn't tickle your fancy however in weeks or months to come can become a favourite. Also an experienced nose may be better able to discern the quality of wood used, representation of a region, distillation technique compared to a "newbie". However all in all its a great start, this along with a better larger Oud Fayre with perhaps some blind tasting is all a step in the right direction
  6. Louis Miller

    Louis Miller Whats this Oud About?

    What a pleasure and a privilege it was to participate in this project! To everyone involved in organizing and executing the test, thanks!

    The experience as a reviewer was challenging and fascinating. Having only begun to explore Oud in August, I was relying on a fairly limited number and variety of oils. I've done my best to sample as many varieties as possible, but I knew thag there'd likely be oils that were entirely foreign to me, so I aimed to focus more on evaluation than recognition. Rather than attempt to identify, I attempted to feel and express honestly my overall impression. Of all the oils I sampled, 'Fajr' had the most striking, unmistakable opening notes and also the most uniquely intoxicating aura throughout the dry down process.

    Interestingly enough, sampling Borneo Deisel was my first ever experience of an oil deemed "Kinamic," and the most expensive oil I'd worn to that date. Had I been more familiar with that particular signature, I'd likely have priced it higher, but I'd still not have rated it higher than Fajr. DB is quite powerful and long lasting, and even stays in my memory, but somehow not so incandescent and identifiable as Fajr

    Fragrant Harbour was also a beautiful oil whose experience might have rivaled Fajr for me, if not for the duration; its gentle citrusy musk is too quick to dissappear on my wrist!

    Final thought: it's interesting to note that certain oils have a greater capacity to be burned into memory than others. As time has passed, I've noticed that, in pondering each of the samples, the smell of Borneo Diesel is by far the easiest to recall . . . I suppose Ensar's oil wins the "Haunting" category. For better or for worse, BD seems to have left a mark that lingers in my olfactory awareness.

    All in all, a wonderful experience. Let's do it again!!!
  7. OudGood

    OudGood Oud Fan

    Joe King likes this.
  8. Mr.P

    Mr.P Oud Fan

    Pearl, I agree somewhat in that I am trying to figure out what to make of the results. It is nice to see some reactions with the placebo effect more or less neutralized for a change. That’s a first, and although I don’t know what to make of it exactly, it might perhaps be considered interesting in itself as a way for a bunch of oud nerds to work out their oud muscle in their spare time and experience some camaraderie and the thrill of a blind taste test.

    Definitely way more interesting than the usual “oud of the day” oud-selfies. :eek: No offense but if I never see one of those again it will be too soon.
    PEARL and rojas like this.
  9. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    I’m an oud-selfie-kinda-guy.
    I like sharing my daily agarwood cloud, wether it’s oud, incense, oud chips, or oud blends.

    But I can feel you bro:Cooler::praying:
    That’s why I only post it in it’s “respective thread”.

    It all started at basenotes. When I first started reading about fellow scent junkies posting what they’re wearing, I thought it was cool, and am trying to keep with the tradition:D:thumbsup:
  10. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    The blind test was superlative, but I share your sentiments.
    I declined participating because I wanted to remain a spectator.
    In doing so, I am left wanting more than the parameters that were set.
    Hey.... it wasn’t my baby so I’m not knocking it, but I see room for it to evolve.

    Hats off to powdernose though, he executed the test like a champ:thumbsup:
  11. Mr.P

    Mr.P Oud Fan

    Sorry... it’s all good. Oud selfies, blind tests, just having fun with oud. I just meant the change is nice.
    OudGood likes this.
  12. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    Just ribbin’ you to get a reaction.
    Likewise, in the spirit of fun, and forum-friendship:Whistling:
    Sproaty likes this.
  13. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    @Joe King @Aleata @PersonelHigh @Shabby @Louis Miller

    Thanks guys,
    and thank you for participating!

    A lot, certainly. But there are still many points on which reviewers converged :)

    I hope so too.

    Yes, there seems to be untapped possibility in the 'cultivated' realm.

    Regarding perceived value, to be fair, the two most expensive ouds were perceived as such.
    I consider that a double success.
    a. the said ouds proved to be of that quality
    and b. reviewers were able to perceive that quality and value.

    Shabby had messaged me pointing out the bell curve of quality/value,
    he is of course correct, I'll just quote Shabby as he already eloquently explained it and I don't want to paraphrase,
    (I'm sure it okay with Shabby to share):

    ""As a side note, one might want to incorporate the fact that the more expensive an oud is, the less accurate the perception of its price is likely to be.
    Oud quality would be plotted as a bell curve since it is a natural material and so the higher quality the oud, the rarer it is.
    Correspondingly, the price increases exponentially as quality increases. Thus the $:quality will vary significantly and more greatly in more expensive ouds than in cheaper ouds, thereby also making it harder to guess accurately.""
  14. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    To @all reviewers,
    There are no embarrassments!
    You all did an excellent job.

    I've not tried Virgin Sumatra Island, but that doesn't sound unlikely,
    have you now done the side to side?
    How are they in direct comparison?

    Well I picked you as one of my 'beginners', but there is nothing 'green' about your reviews.
    You did an excellent job!

    Is it though?

    I found FHI of excellent tenacity and projection, second only to Hareer in that aspect.
    jensz likes this.
  15. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Thank you!
    And thank you for contributing so handsomely to this project!

    Congratulations also to the Imperial Oud team.
    FHI is definitely one of the winners, and as already pointed out Cambodi Vintage also had relative success.
    In my opinion FHI is a very good oud!
    That FHI and Borneo Diesel were recognised for their quality and value, I believe is a success for both sides of the equation.
    Fajr's success does not completely detract from that success. Rather, that it competed blow for blow and eventually came out top, is testament to the quality of Fajr and indication of the possibilities available to us in the form of cultivated oud.

    You are right that time can slowly reveal a favourite,
    but 12 days in my opinion is not an insignificant amount of time,
    also I'd relegate 'many times' to 'sometimes' :).
    Personally, I find it very rare that I drastically change my evaluation of any oil.

    You are also correct about how experience sharpens one's ability to discern the various facets you mention,
    however I must say I was impressed by the ability the 'newbies' showed.

    Here is to taking steps in the right direction.
  16. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    The primary goal was to strip ouds of all extrinsic information and see how they fared when reviewed by representatives of the community (consisting of different preferences and experience levels).
    In that respect I think this was executed in a successful fashion.
    Everything else is a bonus.

    I think Rai Munir hit the nail on the head here:

    Figuring out the results is a good challenge to set.
    In my opinion there is plenty of data to work with.

    I'll start with the minimum. If nothing else, we got to know how 10 of our own evaluate oud, what ouds and styles they like and dislike.
    Then, we got x5 unbiased reviews (as unbiased as they can be, that is) for 13 different ouds and x10 for Sweet Trat.
    No small thing!

    I've had a further thought or two,
    As an example, I think there was region bias, Indonesia/Borneo seemed to fare better on average.
    If I were a vendor, I'd be combing through the data to see what works and what doesn't for Ouddicts.
    Isn't there value in that?

    Thank you!

    As for parameters, I had an open invitation for anybody to contribute ideas, and was open to receiving suggestions up until the day the test commenced. You were welcome to make suggestions ;)
    What else would you have liked to see?

    Rasoul Salehi after the test noted that he would have liked a parameter for 'Balance' and I think he makes a good point.
    When I was considering factors I also though about 'Clarity', as an example FHI displayed great clarity in its notes and in its overall progression; to me that attribute oozes quality. One might say Borneo Diesel also displayed that attribute.

    I agree. I hope there was a fair amount of self discovery for the participants.

    Yes, there is always room for evolution.
    When breaking new ground, it is impossible to do so perfectly.

    When looking at the results I hope one of the things considered, is how to better focus future trials.
    @Rai Munir what do you recommend for a second phase?
  17. Sproaty

    Sproaty Boudly Staff Member

    Great experiment and well planned out, powdernose! Very interesting to see the results.

    Oddly, I had a dream about this, where Fajr sold out very quickly after this post :Roflmao::Roflmao::eek:
    jensz, Grega, Arsalan and 5 others like this.
  18. rojas

    rojas Junior Member

    It did bring immense joy and excitement Being a part of this Blind reviewer . stripped of all the information was a beautiful part of this experiment.

    The way this test has been planned scripted and executed was phenomenal and heaps of praise it garnered only attests the fact that it has been carried out brilliantly . A meticilously planned to detail one.

    I dont know whether iam correct in thinking that some improvements in ithe parameters of its scale needs to be worked upon , IMHO

    I felt as the test involved some oils which carry a exotic nature eg Borneo diesel FHI Hareer Sumbawalla and Suriranka Senkoh are pitted along with some others and without a parameter to scale their uniqueness is where it should be improvised.. I feel apart from oudiness complexity & longevity , artisnal oud is sought for some uniqueness sensuality exotism and rarity .....which make them stand apart . And this dimension also needs to be given a place on the scales.

    Thankyou so much for making me a part of this beautiful experience @powdernose. And also to all those who were a part of this experiment.
  19. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member


    Your template was very comprehensive, and already tackled a lot of information.
    I did not want to burden you with any suggestions.
    There will always be more opportunity to cover more ground in the future.
    I give you a double pat on your back:hand: and a clap for good measure:clapping: for your awesome effort.

    If there will be a second blind test, I promise to provide some input:Cooler:
  20. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Thank you @Sproaty, @Oudamberlove and @rojas

    Thank you for participating rojas!


    :thumbsup: I'm sure it will be useful.

    That is a decent idea, but I'm not sure how it would implement.
    rojas and Rasoul Salehi like this.

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