Discussion in 'Rising Phoenix' started by RisingPhoenix, Dec 2, 2016.
Actually found some Iranian Saffron and took the plunge and bought some
The world was never straightforward. It will never be. I did appreciate you sharing the pictures. I would do the same for the Oud tag team. Respect ? We are talking in general about a market obssessed with Oud. And a forum obssessed with Oud heads. The point is even in a Market which is influenced by a historic Oud culture, it is tough to find good oud infact proper Oud. You have industry contacts. Its highly unlikely one of us will ever come across such artisans there. And people not caring about their Oud is their choice but is also contradictory to the belief that Oud is still the same precious novelty item in the Gulf market as it once were. Purity is originality. If someone walks into a commercial street market they can still get Oud. But when you go to specialised markets/niche brands/when u know how to pick up good pieces of bukhoor - you definitely are looking for good oud aint it ? So I do cherish artists who sell pure/good stuff. The definition of purity may vary. Thats all. I am a surgeon too. I am not obssessed about purity of food etc because I dont have a choice. But I do grow a lot of my vegetables and fruits in my own farm also milk from our own cattle.
I can understand why you might feel that way. It is a topic we have covered here on my trip with a wide variety of people. It is good being able to speak face to face with folks, as I think reading comments can sometimes be taken out of context.
IF I am understanding Al Shareef's comments correctly, he is referring more to the dominance of the manufacturing industry in much of the developed world. It's terribly true in the US. Everything is mass produced, quality is standardized with artificial practices and ingredients, and the true heart of the artisan made products that was present throughout history is dying out in these parts of the world. We see it happening all the time even in less developed areas - as it relates to fragrance, the traditional NATURAL distillation in areas like Kannauj in India have suffered tremendously to competition of both performance and price from synthetic aroma chemicals.
You are very correct, Ouddict - there is a large market in the Gulf catering to folks who otherwise couldn't afford the luxury of some of these items. And truth be told, the sheer population couldn't sustain using the completely natural materials indefinitely. But it is for this reason that folks from more Western and Industrialized countries get frustrated when we KNOW artificial and fake is being sold as genuine and real. And when we want to come to a place like the Gulf - arguably the biggest consumers of these types of products - folks are discouraged to see so much artificial stuff being consumed by people thinking it is real, when indeed it is a manmade creation of perfumery.
Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with wanting to use artificial products (putting aside the environmental and health implications). It's just that you can buy kilos of some of this stuff for $20, but a 12mL bottle is $100. Every company NEEDS profit. I'm not arguing with markups or profit, believe me. What people get frustrated with is people are really paying for branding, and not the actual product.
I understand your frustration, but I really don't think the comments are meant to be derogatory or racist. After all - these forums are about peeking behind the veil of the modern products and industries that control the world and cultures we all live in. I imagine what we see behind the curtain won't always be pretty.
Fortunately, I didn't take it that way And I think our messages crossed somewhere in cyberspace! haha
Hahahaha thanks bro!!+
Also interesting to note, in Christianity, when Jesus was born. The three wise men brought gifts - incense, gold and aloes from Assam. The birth of the modern religions came quite late. Vedic period predates modern Hinduism. Buddhism arose from Hinduism and the practice of burning aromatic woods was a tradition passed from India to China etc. I think Shinto was the first established school of incense. Don't remember very clearly.
Yeah - Agarwood was known to the Romans and to the Egyptians before them. The wood has been a globally traded commodity since at least 10,000 years ago, which is when writing first made it's appearance in the Horn of Africa. Agarwood was mentioned among the inventory tablets, which is what writing was invented for. Keeping tally of the spice trade, at which point was already Global
Globally is more recognized as Agarwood. The Oil is generally referred to as Oud. The recent introduction into Western commercial perfumery is what popularized the term, Oud, to a global audience. Previously it was known as Agarwood or Aloeswood, and the Oil was Oil of Aloes.
This is all so interesting are there any copies/translations of these early uses of Oud in these old civilisations?
You're welcome brother.
Indian used it as incense from long time, so did chinese I dont know from when both used it. I knew about Japanese culture out of oud.
But actualy it's not the point. Point was arabs got good taste but not good knowledge but it's general but no but yes ...
Arab got knowledge in oud since at least from the 7th century.
Distillation process was mastered by arabs since the 8th century for medical and perfumery purpose.
Babylonians in middle east used already sublimation process 2000 year before AD for perfumery purpose.
Today even mass clients use oud mixed with synthetics like other people in other places promote Jean Paul Gautier in wich I'm still looking for 1% of non synthetic compunds in it.
Sincerely I'm not arab and I have average interrest in arab culture.
It's just about making statments at the test of facts not according to X or Y conviction.
You know I know a Thai Oud farmer, working far before online sellers. He does also fruits flowers he is even licencied from a perfumery school, a very classy guy.
When I asked him technical questions on oud distillation, he answered : you know know even myself sometimes I'm not even sure of what I am doing ...
He has a classy humility that I find in his oils.
I hope soon I can share some of his oils with all of you ...
Crack Open an Old Testament. Mentions aplenty "Precious Aloes", and references it's use among the Egyptians, as well.
Study Roman and Egyptian incense compounding, or the old perfumery traditions of Cyprus, Crete, and Egypt - and you'll find many mentions. There have even been a few Egyptian sarcophagi that have been found that were made of Agarwood. I've seen one in a museum, actually - can't recall which one
Can you let me know which version of the old testament? I would love to study these old traditions but times not on my side right now! Maybe in the future i'm sure Oud was part of other traditions before Islam. In todays world most Oud consumption is by Muslims so either it was centrel in the Arab/muslim tradition or simply we have good taste lol
Yes market is strong there but we are witnessing generalisation of oud consumption and it's a good thing when people of different cultures know each other thanks to oud or trade or whatever
RISING PHOENIX IN DUBAI!
For those that didn't know...I'm currently in Dubai!
I've been out here a week, and have another week to go.
It's been an interesting time out here, meeting with clients, doing some networking, evaluating the market - and most importantly...
Buying some great stuff for all of you!
The market in general out here is interesting...most of the oils and fragrances are really creations of perfumery.
Rarely are there genuine oils to be found, and many of the
woods are a little questionable.
With that being said - if you know where to look and who to connect with, there are indeed some real gems to be found.
Fortunately for you - you have me
There are several things I'll likely be offering over the next few months, and I wanted to start out with some things that I've had people asking me about. These are items that have been acquired and are in hand as we speak - so no waiting for these items.
There are also some oils that we are going to do a quick pre-order on, as I am here and will pick them up specifically for this pre-order. I only have a few days to get this done...so think quick and act decisively. I'll be offering these oils at a special rate since I'm picking them up rather than buying them up front - so I'm passing that savings on to you.
I'll try to be succinct - so enjoy the show and tell...
I'll be taking pre-orders until SUNDAY September 17th.
My internet is a little shoddy here, so get your orders in and
I'll get invoices sent over ASAP.
I fly back to the US on the 21st.
Orders will commence shipping your way shortly thereafter.
First up...The Wood!
Premium WildHindi Assam
There is an interesting local practice out here - one that turns many customers off. Many of the lower grade woods out here are sanded down and polished with oil. Higher grade woods are sanded with a high grit sandpaper to bring out the shine.
This particular batch I picked up from a friend who supplies the top shops - but this batch is neither
polished nor waxed.
This same wood in your top shops runs about $45-$54,000 per kilo. You read that right.
I am able to offer the same quality of wood at a much friendlier price. I picked up a kilo of it, so there is plenty available.
The best thing next to theprice I got this at...
this stuff bubbles like a tar pit!
The pieces are rather large, so I'd recommend getting a minimum of 20g, but I can handle whatever sizes you'd like to pick up.
As you can see in the photos above, these pieces are really beautiful. I bought a kilo, but since I'm here, I can pick up more if people go nuts on the ordering.
The chips are rather Large, Double Faced, Resin Dense, and Aromatic at Room Temperature.
As I mentioned, I'm here and I got a great price on these, and I'm passing that savings on to you
Prices are as follows...
1 Kilo: $12,000 (@$12/g)
250g: $3250 (@$13/g)
100g: $1500 (@$15/g)
50g: $825 (@$16.50/g)
By the gram: $18
Keep in mind - this same wood retails for $45-54/g here in this market. The next grade up goes for closer to $100/g. For serious.
I'll be taking pre-orders until SUNDAY September 17th.
My internet is a little shoddy here, so get your orders in and I'll get invoices sent over ASAP.
I fly back to the US on the 21st. Orders will commence shipping your way shortly thereafter.
Next Up...The Resin!
DARK Green Omani Frankincense
For those familiar with Omani Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), you know that it doesn't get much finer than this. In the circles of Frankincense lovers the world over, Omani Frank is generally considered to be as good as it gets.
As hard as it can be to believe - there is a specific type of Omani that is considered the Sultan's Choice...GREEN Omani Frankincense.
And it is the DARK GREEN that is the creme de la creme of
the already premium material.
Frankincense is what the Egyptians built their wealth upon, and the later Arabian trade of the substance was the source of wealth long before "black gold" was being drilled in the area.
There has been a lot of myth and marketing hype with Arabian Frankincense. They have been marketing it to the entire world for at least 2 thousand years - at least twice that length of time if you consider the Egyptians, and longer still if you consider the various Kingdoms pre-dating the Egyptians.
After all - the oldest written language has been found in the region of the Horn of Africa, dating back almost 10,000 years. And what was the oldest writing? Inventory tablets. That's right...writing was literally invented for the Incense and Spice trade. Even more interesting - nearly half the recorded herbs and substances were not indigenous to the area, meaning that global trade of herbs and spices goes back at least 10 millennia. Guess what else was found among them...copious references to precious resins, among them - Frankincense!
Hard to tell the difference sometimes what is romanticised and what is fact.
Green Frank is a perfect example...
It is said that Green Frank comes specifically from MALE trees.
As if trees had genders...haha
The Frankincense trees do not have gender of male and female from a botanical perspective. Flower and fruit are born in the same tree.
There is Dakar Frankincense which is called "male" because it resembles testicles. The female version is shaped more like chickpeas.
But there are no male and female trees to the best of my knowledge.
Dakar, btw, means "male" in Arabic.
The Green Omani Frank is found within only 3 regions of Oman, and is usually much lighter in color. These super dark pieces have to be hand selected out of the larger harvests in which the various grades and colors are sorted,
and I have been told from several reliable sources thatroughly 10kg of GREEN is found and collected for every 1 ton of resin harvested.
For every 10kg of LIGHT GREEN sorted, only 1kg is DARK GREEN.
That means that 10kg of DARK Green would require 10 tons of resin to sift through.
That's a LOT of digging around!
I've been privately wholesaling Green Frank to some select vendors that I supply to. But this Dark Green find was just too good of a find to not share with you. For the record...I bought everything I found, and only a single vendor I've seen had any at all.
The good news, there, is that I have quite a bit of resin to go around.
1 Kilo: $850
1 Ounce: $35
One last thing I'll mention about this resin.
Green Frank is best known as INTERNAL medicine. It doesn't just smell damn fine - it also is considered to be very medically potent.
The most basic way to make use of it as medicine is to place a piece in a dedicated cup of water (dedicated, because you don't want to ruin your nice cups with sticky resin) and leave it over night. Drink the glass of water upon waking the next morning.
The more sophisticated way to make use of it is to tincture 1 Kilo in 1 Gallon of Sake, or maybe just use 100g in a Liter of Sake.
Frankincense, after all, is like the Blood of a tree.
When the tree bark is damaged - out comes the resin.
As such - Frankincense in Chinese Medicine is known to Regenerate Flesh - and is great for the Skin, the Stomach, and the Intestinal lining (which if we are all really just doughnuts - our intestinal lining is just "inner" skin lining).
Last Up...The Oil!
I don't have photos or names for these, nor have I had enough time to evaluate these oils to give complete olfactory profiles of them.
The backstory on these is that I met up with a legit perfumer that I know here in the area. We spent most of the day together out here, exchanging stories and tea, and eventually got around to smelling some oils.
I showed him some of my work - to which he was quite impressed that an Amercian made Attars and Ouds worth any mention. haha He's heard about my work, but never had the chance to smell it. I guess it wasn't all marketing. haha
Knowing that I'm only interested in naturals, he pulled out a few oils for me to try.
He had nearly 30 Ouds on hand, but only 5 of which he had curated to be distilled for him. As you can imagine...they were quite nice.
I also do believe him when he says that these are all natural - but I do want to preface that I can't verify that. They do, however, smell entirely natural to my nose.
These 5 Oils will be by pre-order, only, and I am offering them at a very small markup over the cost. The smallest quantity I am offering is 0.5g (roughly 1/2 an mL), and up to a full Tola (12mL).
You absolutely must get your orders in for these by SUNDAY September 17th.
Now...for the oils...
Two separate oils, a Laos and a Cambodi, both from 2002
Two additional oils, a Burmese and another Cambodi from 2007
These oils above are all "Arab distillations". The only oil I'd say had some funk to it was the Burmese. The others were so refined that I'd almost say they were non-Hindi distillations, but I wouldn't say they are Zero Barnyard. They were just so tight and refined - quite beautiful. Nicer than anything I found in the Gulf shops.
The crown jewel: a very interesting Hindi from 1989.
It opens smelling like a gorgeous Tobacco and dark fruit (almost like pomegranate molasses) with a hint of very nice incense smoke, and those notes develop for hours. I mentioned smelling like pomegranate molasses - this oil also flowed a bit like it. Very thick. Maybe we will call this one Raman Thaqueel (Arabic for "Thick Pomegranate"
A note about prices...these are practically at cost. Since I'm picking these up for folks and not buying on my own dime, there is only a 5% markup. Not often you can find oils like this for prices like this.
This price I was given was the wholesale price to a friend (me), keep in mind. These oils retail for quite a bit more than this.
Laos and a Cambodi, both from 2002
$1890 usd per Tola
$472.50 / 3g
$157.50 / 1g
$78.75 / 0.5g
Burmese and another Cambodi from 2007
$1470 usd per Tola
$367.50 / 3g
$122.50 / 1g
$61.25 / 0.5g
The crown jewel: a very interesting Hindi from 1989.
(Tentative name "Raman Thaqueel")
$2310 usd per Tola
$577.50 / 3g
$192.50 / 1g
$96.75 / 0.5g
Remember - The deadline for the orders is SUNDAY September 17th. It's not as long as I'm usually able to give, given the time constraints of my trip.
The wood and resin are both already in hand.
The oil I will be picking up specifically for
the orders being placed.
I get back on the 21st, and will be having orders headed out shortly after returning home.
Many thanks - and here's to fragrant memories from Dubai!
Just for fun...a few photos from the trip so far!
Picking up all the stock worth having...
DARK GREEN Omani Frank
Top Grade Premium Mysore Sandalwood (upcoming)
The Best Onycha I've ever seen (upcoming)
As you can imagine...I picked up everything there was to buy
First time this guy has sold to an Amercian...he was thrilled!
Doesn't every woman need a solid gold dress??
How about a chest piece? Like we don't look there enough already...
"eyes up, mister!"
Ya know...just the local Walmart-sized mall grocery store.
Smelled as good as it looks!
Presentation out here is really something else!
Impeccable Indian food...finger licking good!
Took some time to meet with a few private clients to smell through a few things.
Like kids in a candy store...
Some of the finest sinking Sri Lankan Walla Patta...coming soon
Sincerely happy to see you having good times there JK !
And the man having like 1 liter of centenial hindi oud oil is the bald man eating Indian food lol
JK...love these images. Where would I put in an order? Here on the forum or website?
Wow what a post. It's posts like this that make running this forum worth all the (occasional) trouble!
You can shoot me a PM and we can go from there
Glad you're enjoying the photos! I only wish there was a way to really capture how much fun we are really having over here - the photos aren't doing the trip justice!
Thanks amigo - I really appreciate that! It's but a shadow of how much fun we are really having over here. The real blessing has been actually getting to connect in person with so many of the folks that I've been communicating with for ages. I've been traveling with a friend from the States over here, as well, and it's been a real blessing getting to make some unforgettable memories together!
Funny story to share...
So I was in a shop today, and there was a rep from a French company trying to sell the owner on buying a bunch of "Oud" oils that his company has developed.
I got in on the conversation and asked a few questions...which got me that famous French blow off because I'm not the customer...and not French. Haha...I digress
The oils were what we call "mixed media" in the industry - a mix of naturals and synthetics - which he was open about. A kilo ran about $85 bucks, USD. Can't be too natural, I'd imagine... The store owner and staff could tell - the price itself made it sound uber cheap, not to mention that they didn't smell nice at all. $85 dollar a kilo Oud...riiiiiight
So after the French rep left, I pulled out a few of my Attar oils I had on hand, and a few of my Ouds. We pulled out some scent strips and everyone in this shop is sniffing around.
The manager, this nice Bangladeshi guy, looks me straight in the eye and says so seriously with his beautifully thick accent, "Sir, your oils are 100 TIMES more beautiful than his. Not ONE Time. ONE HUNDRED TIMES!" And with that the entire store was cracking up.
Take that, Frenchie.
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