Borneo trial distillation – progress report

About 24 hours ago, my distiller started a trial distillation using 4kg of wild-harvested East Borneo wood that he collected on his expedition a couple weeks ago.

What you see in the photo is 9 ml of oil that gushed out within the first 24 hours of distillation. A typical yield is 0.1% (i.e. 4kg would yield about 4 grams of oil) over 2-4 days, so I’m thoroughly excited to announce that the yield from the current distillation has been the highest I have ever gotten, within a period of 24 hours: 0.225% so far.

And guess what – the oil is still coming out!

You might have noticed that the average price of our Borneo oud oils have been around $400 per bottle. These oils were all extracted from very high grade wood – wood that the average distiller would not dream of using. Between my blog and Facebook updates, you have a pretty good idea of just how high the quality of the wood was.

Now the wood collected for distilling this oil is by far the finest raw material my distiller has ever worked with. I was a little apprehensive initially because I was actually expecting a higher than usual price tag, given the high quality (read: high cost) of the raw material. But the yield so far has been quite impressive – and there’s oil still coming out.

So… what does this mean? It means that for the same quantity of wood, my distiller was able to extract more oil than expected. At a 0.225% yield, this means the cost of the oil is about a half of what it would have been given a typical 0.1% yield. Which means the cost of the oil per gram is lower, and therefore the price per bottle will be lower too.

High grade + high yield + good price = win-win for everyone.

Stay tuned folks!

Borneo 2012 – Agarwood Quest

The setting is Samarinda, East Borneo island. My distiller sits tired and worn out, as I type. But he is happy.

Given the current dismal state of the agarwood world and the difficulty of sourcing good quality raw materials for distillation, after many discussions, my distiller and I agreed that we will have to go the extra mile to source truly fabulous raw materials.
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