After a grueling couple days running around between airports, meeting agarwood suppliers, and checking out the Bukit Bintang oud shops of Kuala Lumpur, I finally have some time to post a blog entry.
While I was gazing out the window, staring down at what’s probably the most prized region of Malaysia for agarwood (and the most dangerous), my family was freaking out. It was only after landing that I learned that a sister Malaysia Airlines flight had mysteriously ‘vanished’ around the same time I was in the air as well. Grateful for my safety thus far, I am of course nervous about the further travel that lies ahead!
I was greeted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport by the jolly trio of Ahmad, Nuh, and Yusuf. They are not only gaharu hunters themselves from a tiny village located in the opposite end of Malaysia, but they are also the distillers of AgarAura’s Malaysian ouds like Agar Supreme, Sempurna, and Kemegahan.
Soon, they will be official partners in AgarAura’s expansion, specifically pertaining to far east operations. Yusuf and Ahmed are brothers, part Cambodian and part Malaysian. Easy on the eyes and fun to hang out with, you would never guess they’ve got powerful agarwood contacts in Malaysia and Cambodia, and also extended family who work in the jungle patrol units in the jungles of Malaysia that monitor illegal felling of trees. This should tell you why we were able to acquire massive, ancient trees that were close to being centenarians (the trees which were juiced for producing the 3 previously mentioned oils).
While my first day here was mostly ‘dry’, i.e. discussing the operations side of business and so on, we did swing by the oud shops of Bukit Bintang.
Nothing new to report; its as bad as always. The market is flooded with overpriced low-grade wood, because the Chinese heavy-hitters directly buy all the top grade wood which therefore never even makes it to the local market.
Those of you who recently bought some of the sinking Malaysian agarwood I had for sale a few months ago know first-hand it was some pretty damn good wood. But it was difficult to obtain. We have a few tricks up our sleeves though, and if everything works out, AgarAura will have carved out a very unusual niche in the market (the details of which I cannot reveal quite yet, but a setup that I don’t think exists currently). And what exactly does that mean? Stay tuned to find out!
In the next few days, we will be travelling by road across peninsular Malaysia. Lots of appointments with hunters, lots of exciting stuff, but mostly just boring things that need to be taken care of.
While I may be off the grid for some time, I’ll try to post more photos and videos, subject to internet connectivity of course. So once again… stay tuned!