Sultan Al-Hind

100% Pure Indian agarwood oilWhen people think of Indian oud, they immedietely think of Assam. Most Indian oud oils, including most of our previous offerings, have been distilled from agarwood from the province of Assam in India.

We are excited to introduce Sultan Al-Hind, our first oud oil from the province of Meghalaya – Sanskrit for ‘abode of clouds’. The combination of high altitude and being the wettest place on earth makes Meghalaya just about the most ideal place for agarwood trees to grow.

The creation of Sultan Al-Hind was an experiment of sorts. When distilling oud in India, it is standard practice to use the shavings collected from carving agarwood chips. For our Indian oils such as Bhavana, only shavings with clear streaks of resin went into the distillation pot, to ensure high quality.
But now for the first time, we used actual agarwood chips for crafting an Indian oud oil. It was a huge risk to take because of the higher resin content in chips. Under heat, resin can undergo ‘resinification’, which can prevent oil from getting extracted.
Fortunately the yield was great, and the phenominal scent of the oil obtained from the experiment made it well worth the risk.

Hindi Sauvage is the wildest, funkiest and what some might call the most ‘masculine’ Indian oud we’ve offered to date. Bhavana, on the opposite end of the spectrum with its sandalwood-like buttery woodiness and delicate aroma, is considered by some to be just about the most ‘feminine’ Indian oud. Sultan Al-Hind lies in the middle with its perfect balance of rugged and delicate notes.

There’s sweet hay and tawny suede. Crisp, rugged woodiness balanced by smooth and creamy woody notes. A sweet balsamic resinousness permeates the entire scent spectrum, and hints of spices enliven the heart notes. But the most salient feature of this oil is the fruitiness. Soon after applying the oil, the most scrumptious notes of tart plums and sticky raisins emerge. Notes of plums and raisins are usually found in Cambodian and Burmese oils, and sometimes in Indian ouds hailing from eastern regions of India like Manipur and Nagaland. Meghalaya, on the other hand, is at the far west of the agarwood-producing regions of the world.

Sultan Al-Hind is plush and velvety, and exhudes a sublime aura of regality. Despite its gentle and well-behaved scent it is by no means weak, and is impressively long-lasting on skin as well.

Due to the cost and scarcity of good Meghalayan agarwood, this is our first and probably last oud oil from this region. Be sure to claim your bottle before we run out of this rare oil.

Our valued blog subscribers can use the coupon code SULTAN40 to get $40 off the purchase of a full bottle. Offer ends May 31, 2012.

3 Comments Add yours
  1. Sounds like beautiful sunshine. I am always looking for fruity notes in Indian Oil to mitigate the fecal/Barnyard notes. (3) quick questions; is the chips from Plantation or wild harvested? Second, if the Oil doesn’t come from resin then what is the significance of distilling it from chips having high resin content? lastly, this is Hydro distillation with pre soaking, correct?

    Thank you and looking forward to trying it

  2. 1) The chips were indeed wild-harvested. I am not aware of any cultivation practices in Meghalaya. Moreover, my guess is that Sultan Al-Hind is of the Aquilaria Khasiana species which is only found in the Meghalayan highlands. And the only species that was used in the Indian Government’s cultivation efforts (and successfully, I should add) was Aquilaria Agallocha.

    2) There are 3 different aromatic ingredients in agarwood: (1) oil, (2) resin (these two forming a symbiosis of oleoresin), and (3) other volatile organic compounds.
    For the purpose of distillation, highly resinated heartwood is actually NOT ideal. Rather, it is the wood that is closest in proximity to such wood. Since my experience with agarwood is most extensive with Indonesian varieties, I refer to it as ‘Kulit’ literally ‘skin’ in Indonesian. Now this wood is higher in the oil content than the resin content. Cost/efficiency wise, it is wiser to use such wood for distillation than highly resinated darker agarwood.
    The chips that went into the pot for creating Sultan Al-Hind were chips that weren’t very dark. Does that mean ‘lower quality’? Nope. It means ‘smarter distillation’. The oil content of the oleoresin symbiosis is pretty much the same in the darkest (most resinated) parts of the wood as it is in the areas juuuuust around it.

    3) Yep. It was soaked for around the same time frame as Bhavana, and then hydro-distilled.

  3. By the way…
    I should add that the oil is still somewhat fresh (distilled only about 2 months ago). You will find it to smell EVEN better in about 2 months, and jaw-droppingly EVEN better in about 4-6 months.

    I remember when I first got Bhavana, and I could smell some of the fresh notes, and a mineral-ness in the background. All that’s gone, and what’s left is an utterly sweet, creamy sandalwoody aroma. ‘Prettiness’ wise, in my estimation its currently the prettiest Hindi oud you can get.
    But Sultan Al-Hind is sweeter now than Bhavana was when it was the same age. How it will smell in 2 months, 4 months, I can hardly wait to experience!

    From experience, I know that the following will happen:
    1) after 2 months: all fresh notes will disappear. The individual notes will intermarry and become ‘tighter’.
    2) after 4 months: it will get even sweeter and creamier. All the notes will now fully settle into their places.

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