When it comes to the world of oud, there’s a rare shade that catches the eye.
Hijau as they call it in Malay. Akhdarr. Green. The shimmering jade of the oud world that’s as rare as it sounds and always a treat.
But not all green gaharus are the same of course. There’s the green oceanic marine of the Ceylons, the green cola-jungle vibes of the Acehnese, and the green bitter-cacao incensiness of the Meraukes.
And then there’s this hijau.
Where the other greens dive with you to the dark depths of oceans and incense-laden jungles, this takes you very much in the opposite direction. Up and up for a breath of fresh air, high above the waves and wilderness, and up into the cotton-candied clouds of Malinau’s air.
It doesn’t smell of cotton-candied clouds, of course (?) but opens up instead with a beautiful airiness, a soft powdery cloud of bergamot-like citrus alongside wildflowers and honey, all underpinned by the tiniest hint of violet leaf’s green powderiness in the background.
With time, this incredible opening slowly settles and gains in sweetness, slightly resembling to me the tart and powdery scent of raspberries, or a mysterious narcotic floral of the tropics, before eventually arriving at its sweet green oudy drydown.
Artisanally distilled from high grade wild Malinau oud, the result is nothing short of sensational. One waft of this will tell you all you need to know about why true Malinau is one of the most sought-after profiles of Borneo – itself replete with many other treasured regions – and why its gorgeous old gaharus are only getting rarer with every passing year.