What is Barn?

Discussion in 'Agarwood Discussion' started by Nikhil S, Nov 1, 2017.


Prefer barn or no barn

  1. Strong

    9 vote(s)
  2. Medium

    7 vote(s)
  3. Little

    6 vote(s)
  4. Zero

    5 vote(s)
  1. Nikhil S

    Nikhil S Resident Reviewer

    I think the community needs to define these terms by consensus by giving specific 2 or 3 oil examples for each. It will be an extremely useful scale for all of us esp for new oud seekers:

    Here, is how I see these specific terms:

    Barnyard: Typical organic compost odour coming from fermented Upper Assam Oils. I also use scale of 1 to 10 to gauge its intensity. Not human fecal but more like cattle feces odour used in compost.

    Animalic: I usually use this one to define Castoreum like dirty butter salty vibe/cheese popcorn/human fecal coming from fermented Laotian/Chinese oils like Hainan Arabi. Basically Musk in its original form.

    Tan Leather-y/Gentle barn: Almost like the wild agallocha chips on low heat barn. Its there always but it never hampers the experience. I find it in Oud Zacchariya to Manek like oils.

    Since, animal/barnyard/leather are practically synonymous in daily life these terms could be confusing for someone for those who are not used to such aromas.

    So if we could have a voting or a separate thread by seniors who can categorise oils accordingly will be of immense help. Esp the old Sultans, royale etc will be of much help. I havent any of those beauties.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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  2. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan

    It would be interesting to hear how different Ouddicts describe barn notes aswell as anamalic ones. What notes would you use to describe each one? Is there a fixed string of notes to define barny/anamalic oils? Is it mainly Hindis that people find barn in?

    Also a poll to see which level of barn you guys prefer :Poop:
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  3. Nikhil S

    Nikhil S Resident Reviewer

    Thumbs up brother :)
    Habz786 likes this.
  4. Ouddict

    Ouddict Administrator

    I think the poll questioning is somewhat confusing. It depends on the mood I’m in, or even time of day.
    peter4ptv likes this.
  5. Shabby

    Shabby Junior Member

    I think one very important factor is also how age integrates the barn into the rest of the scent profile. With Assam Organic for example I feel that the barn is almost like an extension of the black tea notes. Several of the aged 'barnyard' oils I have are similar in this respect. Meitei is another example, as is Zachariyya. In this sense it can be more or less 'auxiliary' (if you will excuse this highly controversial term which I am using slightly differently here).
    Ashfaque, Ouddict and Habz786 like this.
  6. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan

    Maybe confusing for you :D the poll is for a generel overall prefence of barn and not based on moods or day to day feelings. Hope that makes it clearer to understand :thumbsup:
  7. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    What is barn?

    The most complex equation it is. Yes, equation, so objectivity would lead to the answer. Subjectivity has room, but not to rule. There are three major categories of ‘barn’:

    1. We all have been talking about ‘barn’ in Oud oil, remember not in Oud-wood. While how many have ever been to a herd of goats and sheep? Especially the OPEN PLACE under the sky where that herd stays. If a herd keeps staying somewhere for a whole month, that smells NOT FECAL at all, not PUNGENT BARN at all, NO DUNG SMELL at all. Dry poop and urine absorbed in soil, and later dried in the sun. That very place emits some sort of aroma, THIS IS THE FINEST ‘BARN’. At least for me. This aroma is impossible to have without being a shepherd. A true OUD SHEPHERD gets mesmerized when he finds that aroma in Oud oil. (Semkhor, Sasong, Sri Pada, Assam Organic’s dry down)

    2. Cow and buffalo dung is heaped somewhere on fields to be used as fertilizer when a new crop is to be cultivated. That heap is again under the sky, not in a room. That is kept there for months, at least 4 to 6 months. The sunrays, rain, etc. everything blends mysteriously. When that heap is transferred to the fields to scatter before sowing seeds, that emits a specific aroma. NOT FECAL at all. NOT SHARP at all. This very barn has another nuance: Barnyard. Not modern barnyard at all, but the old one where there is no concrete at all. Roof made of reeds, mud walls, and two large sized windows. Cattle are kept there in winter season at nights. Every morning dung is dragged out of the yard. The sun and air dry the inside. That particular room smells particular aroma, when cattle are not in there. That ‘barn’ is NOT FECAL at all. NOT DUNG-Y at all. (Ajmal’s total Range, Oud Zakariyya, Assam Organic: Assam Organic’s Opening Note; Oud Zakariyya is not highly refined barn at all, though I like it, but it is not highly appreciable. It is fecal-istic)

    3. In villages poop is dried and kept in a store house to use as fuel to cook something. Those poops are piled up in a store house, and that store smells the ‘barn’ that is no way detestable. (Tigerwood, Kedah, Jing Shen Lu, : In Oud-wood this is rather evident; so far as oils go, the ratio of this ‘barn’ varies, but presence is there.)

    Does Oud smell ‘barn’ that has been mentioned above? Well, not hundred per cent. ‘barn’ in barnyard, or ‘barn’ emanating from heap or store is not the ‘barn’ an Oud lover refers to. Oud oil does smell barn; no doubt. But there is a bay of difference between ‘barn’ and Oudy Barn. I am sure about it. If Oud is without that particular barn, that is NO oud at all. (Oud Yousuf, Trat Selvagio, Velvet Keyn, Fragrant Harbour, Xian Lio Ling, and majority of Chinese oils: Oud Yousuf and Fragrant Harbour smell like ‘wet powder of hina’.) Now just imagine, if someone doesn’t know about shepherd, pastoral, cattle grazing in the fields etc., one is not viewing and reviewing, but only imagining things. If I haven't smelt cinnamon in real life, I cannot appreciate or depreciate this particular note in any oil, or anywhere. I assure you the modern high-tech barnyards exude just fecal-istic rawness, which cannot be a reference.

    Last day I watched a video about vanilla tree, and I really felt ashamed of myself that without having real vanilla or seeing real vanilla, I kept relating certain notes with that. It’s pity! Books about fragrances or some other’s words are hollow unless something is one’s personal experience. I myself acquire and wear majority of oils available on the market including barn-y or no-barn-y.

    I feel the majority of customers are now inclined, or are made inclined, towards non-barn-y oils, which are refined perfumes actually. Oud without 'barn' is like words without spirit. This is the way I perceive ‘barn’.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  8. Ouddict

    Ouddict Administrator

    Be quiet you :mad:
    Mandeel AlMandeel and Habz786 like this.
  9. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    I think I swype too much oud and now got a too high barn tolerance :Thumbsdown:

    I find classical what other people call barn.
  10. jalil

    jalil Oud bully Staff Member

    I love a good barny oil like KZ classic hindi :Inlove:

    Iam at the begining of my journey in barn oil.

    I mean, barn is different from other scent as there is planty of different barn.

    For the moment, I classify barn in three principal category.

    Cheese barn: FO bizet
    hay barn: ASO Hind
    musk barn: IO semkhor

    And what is beautiful in barn oil is in each categorie you can find many sub-category.
    Rai Munir and Mandeel AlMandeel like this.
  11. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi Oud Fan

    Bingo. To me it shouldn't be about barn or no barn although if forced to choose I would say none, but more about the type of barn and distinguishing it with animalic(musk ambergris) sauvage, fungus (cheese, poo ,etc.) leather...
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  12. Chip Burns

    Chip Burns Oud Fan

    without the "barn" you would never know that there was another Oud lover around.

    My Sheikh/Teacher once stated in regards to the strong pungent aroma of a very barny oil we were sampling (Assami darja awwal @ an AJMAL outlet) while on Hajj that the "fragrance smells better on a good person than on a not so good person" ...

    ... yeh I bought the bottle.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  13. peter4ptv

    peter4ptv Member

    i am sure that everyone likes the barn smell there is no person on earth not to like it, i am talking the real barn smell like you are walking and smell the air here:

    most people associate oud oils from bad over fermented material that smell nasty fecal etc...... with barn and that is were the problem comes with the barn oils and not to many people like them.

  14. KHH

    KHH Just Arrived

    it is an interesting part of oud ! the barn .. :thumbsup:

    i pretty new here and to the subject of oud. I started off with oils from india that have the opening of barny - fecal smell . I am used to it now and look for it whenever i get something new. Then i got oils from thai and cambodia .. and their opening notes are barny - hay/green ... which is also very refreshing. Some barn notes are long ( hours ) and some short . I guess you need to study the oil character and enjoy them .
    btw, i have not ventured into artisinal ouds / so many names/character of ouds quoted i am not familiar with.

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