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. 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... 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! 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.