Yesterday and today have been blessed by the beautiful fragrances of ASO Hindi Ouds. The impressions are just that, not in depth, but first thoughts that came to mind while trying these oils. Still need plenty of wears to fully appreciate the finer details. Still have not tried them all. Hind Dark and heavy opening giving promise of a wonderful dry down. The opening is my least favorite aspect of the progression. But after 40 minutes the resinous heart of the oil comes to the front which is much more to my liking. It has the aspect that for me defines what I perceive as depth in oils. That full-bodied feeling of an in an impression that seems to get larger and larger, like that feeling you get when you smell the spring air with its myriad scents where even when you can detect some of them you still feel a depth behind them which seems larger than what is present in those aspects you are conscious of. The dry down is wonderful. The resinous note with its dark chocolate smoothness (there is even a somewhat sandalwoody edge to this that one could mistake for a musky, animalic note) blends with a cinnamon like texture which gives it a slightly spicy vibe that is complemented with a touch of rose. And then it transforms again as the resinous note goes more into the background revealing a warm wet clay that has a somewhat fruity sweetness to it. Quite a refined scent and a perfume in itself. Zuhayr Even as I was swiping this on my arm I knew that I would love this oil. In contrast to Hind I love the intensity of the opening. And it is intense - as I smell from afar the cloud of scent is strong but as I go near my wrist I can barely smell anything due to the sensory overload. As the oil settles a bit and my senses adjust I can go a slightly nearer (not bury my nose in the wrist though ). Leathery and dark but unlike with Hind I feel as if the opening is more refined, smoother but still very primal, not pretty at all, not sweet but holding a beautiful energy that is focused which gives it a calming harmonising effect. A few minutes in I already feel a cool minty-myrrh like resinous center that I so love in Hindi oils. Yet there is so much going on around it. Aged flower petals, roses, crushed spices. There is even a tart aspect lurking at the edges that is evading me, can't seem to recognise the association yet. It is like a shy beauty, hiding in the shadows . It is covered by another aspect - that of some wild shrubs that have a particularly strong green "medicinal" acidic scent. Yet this is just a small aspect - the whole does not smell green. I honestly can't believe how complex the scent is. Now I don't care for complexity if it is lacking in feeling and thankfully here the feeling is fiery. Like a red setting sun that you observe in a wild meadow with an overflowing fullness of life. The notes do remind me of Hind but IMO they work much better together here. It is less smooth than Hind but somehow more balanced. This just makes me think how much more I love a hindi oil that not only has the resinous sweet depth but also all the other myriad notes that contrast it and give it a place it deserves. This is why I could not fall in love with Hindustan 1 by AA, even if I found it to be a beautiful oil, for me it still lacked the contrasts and the orchestration. Same with some other non-hindi oils I tried. They feel like a moment of serenity in ecstasy from movement and life whereas Zuhayr gives the serenity of the immanent life. Life in movement. Al Shareef has a poetic heart which shows itself in the oils :"Vast hills covered in dense forest, valleys of flowing rivers, rich sun-baked earth, and the thick pulsating scent of forest life." This is the best description of how alive the oil seems. Pulsating life (two of my favorite words). Safwaan A very smooth opening that reminds me of Aasifah. Rich, creamy scent, a bit more leathery than Aasifah though. There is a sweetness to it that I enjoy very much but also a dark bitter and sour aspect which is like a mix of dark chocolate and a piece of a cut tree that is soaked in rain. And then an unmistakable soaked sandalwood note comes through with an indolic flower macerating in it, maybe even hyraceum. A forest after rain. Soaked woods, a little musty at the edges but with a graceful clarity in the central notes. As the scent unveils I feel a floral element emerging, not really fresh petals but more like opening a jar of pollen and with it a fruity sweetness that reminds me of plums. Lovely lovely stuff. The clear resinous heart that I so love seems darker than usual - myrrh and labdanum and black soil. Beneath this I sense a mix of cut grass and of a variety of crushed wild herbs and shrubs. How can this be only a single Hindi oil and not a gorgeous blend. Then the resinous heart takes center stage again with the other notes lurking in the background. The orchestration of notes is incredible and very much seems like an Al Shareef signature that I have not encountered so far in any other oils. Qandahaar III A subtler opening than the other oils. This I appreciate very much. Instantly I get an almost hainan sinensis vibe to it but this might be a hallucination as the oil is unfolding very slowly thus revealing its immanent aspects like in a slow dance. Mesmerising. I have yet to decipher any of these aspects. Perhaps I am smelling a mix of molasses, but gentle, refined, smoky but not burnt, fruits somewhere in the depths but again very gentle. Ahhh now woody resinous wafts come from the dark mass. It is like a folded treasure slowly giving out a glimpse of this and that aspect. This is slowly building to a full bodied beautiful hindi scent that has all the wonderful aspects in unison. Depth, creaminess, spiciness, not heavy nor light, not loud nor soft, amber, dry petals and leaves, resin, neither dark nor light, wild herbs, cut grass that has been scorched by the sun, golden hay and molasses mixed with translucent honey and the smell of high altitude pastures brought to you from afar by cool summer winds when you are standing on an even higher hill. The dry down has the complexity of a burnt lichen together with the dry golden hay and sandalwood. This one has it all.