Discussion in 'Rising Phoenix' started by RisingPhoenix, Nov 28, 2016.
Drinking from the boot glass
So lovely thanks for sharing this wonderful moment!
Thanks for taking us on this amazing trip with you @RisingPhoenix ! Really enjoyed your reports and the pics, and it could not be cooler that you and @Faizal_p crossed paths!
There is Paul in Dubai...ajib!
It was great meeting jk, in some ways we work very similarly. The guys at Ajmal were top lads, loved smelling everything, they liked the uniqueness.
@jalil Paul is absolutely everywhere!
I share !
It was a fitting ending to a grueling two weeks abroad. Haha Layed over in Istanbul at the moment. Still have quite a hike to get home.
Really was nice crossing paths with @Faizal_p He's right - I think we do have a similar approach to the work we undertake. As long as we had together, I wish we had had more time. Rare to get to meet our colleagues in person in this little corner of the Oud market. Was a real joy.
The guys at Ajmal were a pleasure. Was fun watching their expressions as they sniffed through IO's oils. (PS - I think IO's Ceylon series has Ajmal beat in that arena ) I had quite a bit of fun smelling through them, as wel
I'll have more stories and photos in the near future. Stay tuned!
There is another Newsletter coming out soon, along with some new toys I brought back from Dubai.
I've also made a few new Attars that I think folks will wet themselves over
Here are a few photos as I've been packing up orders. About 1/2 way through getting the orders shipped, now.
Some eye candy for now. Stay tuned for more toys and stories from the trip!
I'll be sending out the next newsletter and the continued Saga of my Dubai Trip sometime this week.
Tried posting a video of the Raman Thaqueel (1989 Hindi that I brought back) - but the site doesn't seem to like that. So, suffice with a photo. Thick like molasses
The Continued Tales ofRISING PHOENIX IN DUBAI! Volume 2
For those that didn't know...I spent 2 weeks of September in Dubai!
I had a number of objectives that I set out to accomplish - the last of which is still in the works of being finalized. But the most important objective was...
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.
Most oils are synthetic.
Not many places have pure or natural oils.
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 sourced.
Fortunately for you - you have me
In this second installation of Rising Phoenix in Dubai,
I'll have some more stories to shareas well as some beautiful aromatic oils and woods.
These are items that have been acquired and are in hand as we speak -
**so no waiting for these items.
Between being out of town for 2 weeks, having family in town for a week for my brother's wedding, and taking multiple orders while I was abroad - I came home to having to fulfill over 100 orders and juggling a lot of family as I was doing it. Many of those that ordered oils had a slight delay in getting your orders shipped, as I ran out of bottles from the high volume of orders (for which I'm terribly sorry). Fortunately - all existing orders from September have shipped, and so we are ready for Round 2 of aromatic toys to showcase!
We are fully stocked again with bottles,
so I imagine fulfilling orders for this Newsletter will be swift!
I'll try to be succinct - so enjoy the show and tell...
Given that these items are in hand, you can place your order at any time, given the availability of the items.
Let the show begin...
First up...The Wood!
Premium Red Meat Mysore Sandalwood
Premium Red MeatMysore Sandalwood
One interesting thing I've noticed about different Markets...
Gulf folks don't go nuts for Sandalwood the same way that our American, European, and Asian clients do. This might explain why we saw so little Sandalwood in Dubai...
I saw some low quality Sandalwood in a handful of places. The lowest quality was usually of Australian origin, or it was very young Indian plantation material
(i.e. - harvested at the youngest possible "ripening" age of about 25 years old).
I saw very little Indonesian or Indian stock, and the material that I did see was not up to par with your expectations.
I did, however, stumble across somepremium old-stock Red Meat Mysore.
The pieces are rather large, so I'd recommend ordering a whole finger that I can weigh out individually for you.
**They tend to be in the
As you can see in the photos above, these pieces are really beautiful. I bought what I could afford to pick up. hehe
If you've never had raw Sandalwood like this, let me tell you...this stuff is as hard as a rock.
Therefore, as an added option, I can provide cross sectional cuts, or Kukawari (squares) that I hand cut, myself, per the photos above.
I think I slipped a sample slice into most packages, so those that placed orders have no doubt been awaiting this newsletter for details!
Prices are as follows for uncut fingers...
By the gram: $2
Prices are as follows for Kukawari or cross sectional cuts...
By the gram: $2.50
As I mentioned before - most of the fingers weigh roughly 20-30g. I recommend ordering a full finger which I'll weigh out for you, individually - simply because these are great pieces and it's worth getting at least one fully intact (that way, you can enjoy the official Mysore stamps at either end, as well)
I can cut smaller sections for you at no additional charge if you're just wanting to get 5 or 10 grams, but if you'd like slices...it's quite a bit of work and time, so there is a little extra charge. Totally worth it, I might add
Next Up...The Attar!
Sheikh Khalifa Attar
One of the interesting cultural things I noticed while in Dubai...nearly every shop and restaurant and hotel had photos of the country's current leadership hanging somewhere on a wall.
As an Amercian, I found this to be a very curious custom, as we are not a royal family kinda country. Every so often you might see a photo of the current president somewhere...but not in 90% of the spaces that you enter. There was a cultural pride that I found myself to be rather fond of - and considering that 85% of the population of the country are non-Emirates...
it seemed infectious to quite a few of the locals, as well.
The most notable of these was Sheikh Khalifa - the current
President of the United Arab Emirates.
His photo - the very same that you see above - seemed to be everywhere!
As Crown Prince, he had already been acting as president since the late 1990s while his father was in ill health, becoming the official President in 2005. Khalifa is also chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which manages over $600 billion in assets. The Al Nahyan family is believed to have a fortune of $150 billion collectively. Yowzah!
(I bet they own some really spectacular Oud Oils and Woods!!)
Another interesting custom was that many of the shops had oils
named Sheikh This or Prince That - often named after a local Royal or cultural Royal Icon - as well as Attars that were made for a frequent customer to the shop which was converted into something sold to the public.
This was a very bizarre practice for me, personally. It's not like you walk into a store here in the US and find President Obama EdP or Pres Bush EdT for sale. So I found this practice to be a very interesting one - and a unique cultural reflection in that it speaks to the importance of fragrance in the region, and that people really do want to smell like their spiritual and political leaders.
Not surprisingly - many were cheap and often entirely synthetic, while others were made with a mix of synthetics and quality naturals. One thing I didn't see much of, though - were high quality pure naturals...which had me feeling like there was an
Attar Gap that needed to be filled.
Considering that Sheikh Khalifa seemed to be following me everywhere in Dubai (spying on me from near every wall!)
it was a no brainer that he was going to be my inspiration.
While I was there, I saw many Attars bearing his name, and the common themes seemed to be that he liked T'aif Rose, Saffron, and Oud.
I do want to make special mention that genuine T'aif Rose was difficult to find. Most of the stuff being sold as T'aif was really a T'aif smelling fragrance (often sold for crazy sums of money considering that they were not pure or altogether natural).
I never saw more than a Tola or two of genuine T'aif in any given place. Most were diluted, which many of the shops admitted to, as well as admitting that most of the T'aif was not pure or all natural.
Bulgarian Damask, when very good quality, can be citrusy smelling like T'aif, as well. Most folks don't realize that they are actually the same species of Rose simply grown in two different locations - so it is no surprise that most of what I saw being sold was likely Bulgarian rather than T'aif in origin.
Top quality Bulgarian can smell almost as citrusy as genuine T'aif.
You really have to know what your nose is smelling to differentiate them.
Given that I saw very little genuine T'aif - I bought what I could when I'd find it at all, let alone at a reasonable price (which wasn't much). It's also why I decided to use it to make this particular Attar.
Many of you that placed orders from the first Dubai Newsletter may have received a sample of this Sheikh Khalifa Attar that I composed from materials that I picked up while out there.
So far, the feedback I have gotten on it has been spectacular.
I recommend picking up a bottle while it is available.
Sheikh Khalifa Attar
Citrusy T'aif Rose
Rich and Tobacco'y Aged Hindi Oud
1 Tola: $1200
Last Up...The Oil!
Mysore Buttercream Bomb
*I'm still working on finding a suitable photo to use for this oil...
I tried a LOT of Sandalwood oils while I was in Dubai.
Sandal wood was difficult to find - but everyone had a Sandal oil.
A lot of the Sandalwood oils I tried out there were reminiscent of the crap that shows up in our US market that gets passed off as "Sandalwood".
There is the Sandaliya oil that people write me about that they swear it is what real Sandalwood smells like, or they received it from some monk or holy person somewhere and therefore, "it's real". I saw a lot of that junk out there. It's definitely not natural, and is likely 110% synthetic.
There is the standard "85%" that is sold in the Indian market - there's an actual law in India that Sandalwood oil can only be sold as 85% pure without a special license.
This oil is either mixed with DPG to thicken it, or with synthetics to give it
that more stereotypical "Indian" scent.
There's stuff that was way too thick to have anything other than DPG and other thickening agents in it.
Oddly, there were also a number of oils that were essentially the same aroma chemicals as are being used in the Western fragrance market.
I smelled a few Australian and several New Caledonian oils which are being passed off as being Indian or Mysore oils. (I found many of my Indian clients that tried my Lupita New Caledonian Sandal from earlier this year that swore it is what Indian Sandalwood oils from their youth smelled like...hence why it is probably being passed off as Indian both in the Indian and Gulf markets).
Surprisingly - I didn't smell many Indonesian Sandalwood oils. If they are being sold in the Dubai - they are likely being used to blend or dilute other oils.
That would be my best guess.
I DID, however, find a handful of genuine Mysore oils, only two of which I felt "cut the mustard" - i.e., met the quality that you and I both expect.
And that brings us around to Sultani Sandali - the Sultan of Sandalwood.
I don't know exactly what year it was distilled in - but it does have some age on it.
I included it as a sample in some of the packages that went out to folks
(I tried to get a nice mix on what I sent out).
The feedback on it has been very, very positive.
It's buttery. Like buttercream buttery.
If you love the silky creamy sweetness of Mysore Heart and Basenotes...
then this oil has your name written all over it.
I have only 6oz of this available.
First come, first served.
1 Tola: $450
1 Ounce: $975
As always - to place your order, please respond to this email with what you'd like to get, or any questions you might have.
There's no deadline on this order, although it is first come first served - and with these item's limited availability, I'd suggest getting your order in if you want to make sure you get what you're after.
I'll work on getting these items up in the Etsy shop, as well, as ultimately - folks always end up there wondering where the Newsletter items are in the shop. haha
There is a little bit of the Laos 2002 and Raman Thaqueel 1989 Hindi left on hand, as well a little Dark Green Omani Frankincense - so if you didn't get your fills worth the first time around, or missed out on ordering some -
now is your chance.
I should have enough items to have one more round of Dubai Newsletter... so stay tuned for Dubai Volume 3!
Hehe...the Newsletter post was too long. Here is the last half of the Dubai Newsletter Vol. 2:
Folks have asked for more photos from the trip and my brother's wedding I was rushing home to get to...so here they come!
My traveling campanion on the trip - a friend, fellow American and Oud lover
I think most Americans may make it to the Dubai Mall - but may overlook making it to Wafi Mall. I hadn't realized there was a basement the first time I went there. haha
Two gorgeous levels built to be like an old Soukh - lots of eye candy down here.
Most of the oil shops out here are like this.
As much fear as there is about exposing oils to the air...every oil here is exposed to the air and they all seem to survive. Something to ponder...
There's a Turkish restaurant in Wafi Mall that we ate at. Expensive...but OMG
This was the best dish we had at the place. Delish!
This is a Japanese product that I was a bit surprised to find out here. Everyone seemed to love them...and they really do help to rehydrate you in the god forsaken heat...104-117F while I was out there!
This was probably the single nicest looking piece of Agarwood I saw while in Dubai.
Malaysian Oud at its finest...
JK maybe not so patiently sitting in one of the thousand clothing shops we stopped at for my friend...haha
Some beautiful bottles at the Ajmal store in the Dubai Mall
On my last day I was able to spend several hours with this handsome bloke -
Faizal from Imperial Oud in the UK.
We had a great time checking out some of each other's oils, grabbing a bite, and then grabbing what was probably the best cup of milk tea I had while in Dubai at a little tea shop down in the Soukh underneath Wafi Mall.
Rarely do we get to meet our colleagues in this little artisan industry - was a real pleasure getting to spend as much time as we did together!
Thanks @Faizal_p !
A lot of folks love Amouage.
Gratuitous photo in the Wafi Mall Amouage Boutique.
My brother and I at his wedding.
The very same wedding that made getting packages out difficult for a few days!
Super trip ! Thank you for having shared this funy moments !
sorry for this question but i dont understand in your sheikh khalifa attar its taifi rose ?? or bulgarian damask ?
what mean citrusy taif rose ? have taif rose without citrus note
thank you JK this attar look so greta mouthwatering hmm lol
The Sheik Khalifa uses a genuine T'aif Rose - and you'll notice it has a citrusy opening.
Not all T'aif will smell citrusy. Good quality T'aif should smell citrusy.
French perfumers, oddly enough. don't like Rose smelling citrusy. Different markets with different expectations.
Hope that helps to clarify!
For all you lovers of distillation...a little suggested reading for you
Organic Plantation wood at its finest.
Look at that RESIN!
Nice quality look like Bengali agarwood isn't?
@RisingPhoenix JK I am not certain what to make of that plantation wood. Is that the real deal? No "enhancements"? I've not seen cultivated wood that dark. It's pretty impressive. Also, did you burn any?
@Mandeel AlMandeel and @Santal Claus - yes, this is some old Bengali plantation wood.
I have indeed heated some, and it smells pretty darn incredible.
I am told that the odor profile is known as Kalanam, from the Sylhet area of Bangladesh? This particular wood came from one of the very, very old plantations in the area. No funny business on these - simply drilling and leaving the trees for a long time.
Leather and a hint of chocolate has this scent about nailed, with an occasional hint of berries. I could see the leatheriness being termed spicy - although I have a feeling by "spicy" (if Japanese literature) they mean less hot/spicy and more of a pepperiness or zesty aromatic scent - which I would also say is present.
It's very complex wood. Beautifully resinous. As black as the photos make it look. And if I didn't have the wood and just the odor to gauge by - I'd never have known it wasn't wild wood. It smells like some beautiful old Hindi wood samples I've gotten my hands on over the years.
This wood doesn't sink - but it's awfully nice.
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