Hailing from the ancient cradle of oud, this is a special 2018 co-distillation of incense-grade oud collected from various regions of Al Hind and beyond.
Artisanally distilled, with a short soak, low temperature cook, and several years of ageing now, it’s transformed into a beautifully balanced and rounded profile over time: A very refined Hindi oud full of character and depth, and yet void of all things animalics and barn.
As a high-grade Hindi, this can easily be called Kalakassi, but that term is actually a misnomer: an inaccurately-used label that’s often attached to top-drawer Hindis nowadays for marketing purposes*.
*(Kalakassi actually refers to one of the shapes of Hindi oud (wood). When a piece of oud is large and concave, i.e. resembles the shape of a banana leaf, it’s classified as Kalakassi, but that has no bearing on its grade or how resinated it is, simply its shape).
And hence, I decided to forgo this name for Choron instead, the Bengali distiller’s name for oud shavings. And not any shavings were used here; but the highly resinated shavings of wild, incense-grade oud. And the result is this gorgeous beauty…
Ultra-smooth, buttery almost, and complex, it opens up with a waft of soft incense, spices, and gentle tobacco around its beautifully dark Hindi oudy core.
As the scent develops, it gains slightly in sweetness, molasses now perhaps, contrasted by tobacco, woods, spices and leather, with a hint of hay and a clean barn somewhere in the distance, before eventually descending into a soft woody and spicy drydown.
Choron is most definitely not a loud Hindi oud roaring with animalics and barn, but it also isn’t a squeaky clean new-gen lacking in complexity and depth. Instead, it’s perhaps what many of its namesakes would love to be: A beautiful, delicate, tightrope walk between the two that shows you what Hindi oud, done right, can be.