Musings On Kinam/kyara Oils With Focus On Eo Kyara Ltd. 2.0 And Nha Trang Ltd.

Discussion in 'Oud Reviews' started by Rasoul Salehi, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi True Ouddict

    hello fellow ouddicts and in particular kinam heads:

    heads up: long post ahead. This is a critical post both celebrating ensar oud's work and criticizing some of it. i think you all know that staying 100% true to my thoughts and being as humanly objective as possible was/is and will be my first and foremost goal. after all, who stands to lose the most is me. my integrity and aligning my experience.

    with ensar oud release of kyara ltd 2.0, return of oriscent ouds and nha trang ltd. (ensar's own pick as his signature oil of all time) coupled with a number of PM messages with folks asking me for my thoughts, I figured it would be an apt time to do a post on this and spill all my thoughts in one place.

    first off, kinam/kyara is not just about the scent but its effects. some use it as a mean to an end. no judgement here. think those who consume wine for purposes of intoxication vs. those who do so as a form of appreciating a living art and spending time with it to get to see the origin, time and place. cistercian monks did it as a way of coming closer to their creator and many still do it for the same purposes. wine consumption in moderation with a meal (as it was intended) also happens to have mellowing, mildly tipsy generating sensations, but that is not the goal.

    secondly, kinam/kyara while is a specific scent profile, it is not. contradictory words. i know. Kinam/kyara have a wide range of notes within them. if someone has only smelled brunei kinam and now sees yellow oil kyara, they may not (mostly likely not) realize the common thread, albeit he/she immediately knows they are in the presence of something truly outstanding in both. in farsi we have a beautiful saying : "aankeh ayan ast, che hajat be bayan ast" or " what is clearly evident as epitome of quality, doesn't need its virtues explained or spoken about. its there staring you in the face".

    vietnam red kinam, green, yellow and black oil kyara (never had white to date), hainan green kinam, hong kong purple kinam, hainan skins all have their own truly unique and recognizable notes, while all have that trasnporting quality. the energy they emit. the chi or qi or whatever you want to call it.

    there are oils that i love and i speak of with great reverence: ASO Ceen, IO shah jahan, AA kenmei, KSK (even kanzen), EO hainan 05, kinam rouge, purple kinam (although this one does partially seem to have actual kinam or something awfully close to it)... these all show different facets of the kinam/kyara note, some more clearly and with better defiinition and fidelity than others, but at the end of the day they come short when it comes to the way they make you feel compared to the actual thing (again minus somewhat purple kinam). the scent is beautiful but it doesnt induce the same sensation one feels when one is in the presence of actual kinam/kyara.

    both nha trang ltd and kyara ltd. 2.0 emit the energy, the buzz, of the real thing. At the same time elevating while grounding. make one feel floating in outer space, yet very much "with it" and in control. head feels light and in the clouds, but is clear and in a perpetual meditative state. time loses meaning. presence gains meaning. staying present becomes easier.

    back to the actual scent and to hopefully help you select the right oil for you. I have not wore both of these oils at the same time but did so today in the spirit of sharing something hopefully valuable to my community here. by the way i dont recommend it. too much of a good thing and one oil mildly suffers next to the other as things will always be like when we start juxtaposing.

    sorry. one more thing, before going to the actual scent: both oils have immense lasting power. 10+ hours easily and even more. also to get the full experience you dont need a swipe. a tiny dot will be enough. so in someways a 0.5 gram (what i have of each) can last you the same number of applications as with a 3 gram oil.

    nha trang ltd.
    first off, i see an irony in ensar's message on product description page of kyara td 2.0, which basically (paraphrasing here) goes on to say if the oil smells like the wood on low heat then it was a waste of time and energy and money. oil needs to be more and show something else than what went in the pot. I say irony, b/c this oil to my nose and multi wears truly does smell just like the wood it is distilled from.

    Some may see these words as an attack on taha (after all he has been very clear that to him the greatest hommage to pay to a great agarwood is an oil that captures its exact scent without any auxiliary, etc. notes). I also humbly disagree with ensar if the oil smells like that of the wood it is basically a fail. i say so, b/c the oil can be carried with you on your skin or pocket but the wood not so much. further, there are minor differences in the projection, dry down, etc.

    I personally don't see ensar's words as an attack to anyone or taha but simply him sharing his current beleif deep down inside on what he feels a truly great oil should be like. It is silly to argue further b/c no one can say sashimi is greater than 1000 chili chicken made in hunan. sometimes the mood calls for minimalism sometimes maximalism. none is inherently better or worse. we, thru our cultural backgrounds and personal aesthetics (not to mention season, context), favour one over the other. i go back to saying that variety is spice of life.

    it is not an attack b/c the person quoted here is taha. esnar quote: "Upon smelling it, one of my brothers in the craft said: “Wanna know the first thing I said to Ensar when I smelled Kyara LTD v2? I said, why does any other vendor bother to stay in business when you have oils like these?”"

    well, I happen to be fortunate to havemulti pieces (from various sources) of really really old nha trang wood (sugary formation and crayon looking pieces) and i can tell you this oil smells like the wood. reach out to tony bolton and ask for vietnam super sink nha trang and hopefully you get some. be warned: his quality standards and consistency is not tht of kyara zen. when is good is good but manipulated wood has snuck past his team and i have gotten it before. he has always sorted it out but again be warned that by smelling a single piece sold by xyz as nha trang old wood is not enough to form a real opinion of what this note really is and why is there such a fuss about this subregion agarwood.

    in comparison to kyara ltd. nha trang ltd is more refined, subtle and finessed. it may not be a wow oil right off the bat. it is that subtle dish that makes you come back for more and more, while kyara ltd. has more immediate wow factor like how winter white truffle from alba compares to Perigord black summer truffle. or how saffron compares to curry, a grand cru aged burgundy comapred to a california cult cab...

    bitter, cooling, mildly medicinal, very vietnam, very nha trang and the epitome of this category. game over. p

    Kyara ltd 2.0
    is a meeting of all types of kinam/kyara coming together. as mentioned in the past i get a different facet of it each time and as the scent lingers and goes thru changes on the skin. sometimes i see the hainan kinam skins, other times is red cambodi, other times is very Vietnamese, while at times i get green oil kyara not heated but burned at higher temp. KZ green oil kyara stick, kyara enju both come close to the scent of this oil (facet of it). yet there is no smoky notes in this oil. i simply mean the notes here are not that of gently heated kinam/kyara, but higher temp.

    it is regal, powerful (haven't seen a bigger boned and more muscular oil to date) and chuck full of goodness. it is a head-turning oil (not others heads but your own). it is not about which subset of kinam/kyara is at play here, but all combined together to show you the common note.

    in sum:
    you cant go wrong with either. i think kyara ltd. is more immediately appealing and also casts a wider net and will wow more people. nha trang is best for those who love Vietnam agarwood and have studied enough of it to really appreciate how big of a deal this oil really is. i dont mean any disrespect what so ever to my brother taha who i love his work. i love his kenmei, kiyosumi, VSK, wanmei... and they are very very high end Vietnam oils, but it is not even possible to talk of these oils and nha trang ltd. in the same sentence or even the same day! we are in very different worlds. thankfully they are priced accordingly too and thankfully all sorts of oils ar being made these days to have soemthign awesome for so many occasions, budgets, aesthetic preferences, etc.

    insider tip:

    ensar doesnt use words like senkoh, ltd. or grouping of oils under oriscent name lightly. much like taha really exercises restraint and careful consideration with use of special K or royal. much like imperial oud and their grouping of oils under imperial, or ASO and their namesake naming oils...

    oriscent oils are all about chasing the dragon's breath and while still very pricy, gives you a good hit of kyara ltd. notes. when i crave that note, i go to borneo diesel for it helps me preserve my tiny stash of kyara ltd. but also b/c borneo, specially malinau is the next holly grail place for oud for me.

    a word on naming of the oil borneo diesel: sorry ensar i don't like the name as 1) the oil while vaporous is not as vaporous as an oil like kinamantan 2) there is no diesel didn't here. i know you didnt intend the use of the word diesel as literal and only for its vaporous qualities, but this oil while vaporous is not even in my top 5 most vaprous oils.

    lets forget about the name and focus back on the oil... it is AWESOME.

    thnx for reading and hope this helped some of you in your decision making.
  2. alcolado glacial

    alcolado glacial True Ouddict

    Exellent post! really valuable for me, as kyara scent profile and what it does for the psyche is for me the holy grail of incense/oudh. it just happens to be the most expensive and my wallet is crying. kyara ltd is available for purchase now on ensar's site and i am really looking into buying. maybe have to get a small loan first.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  3. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi True Ouddict

    i humbly firmly and sicnerely beleive if you look at the dollar attached per experience this oil is comparable to ones in the $500-$700 range. i mean with some oils you need a full swipe to get to really enjoy them, while others are so potent that a dot will be enough. in addition, some oils need repeated swipes if one wants to be with them all day long, but oils like this last you all day with one dot.
    VPhong, Grega, KHH and 1 other person like this.
  4. Woody

    Woody Whats this Oud About?

    Many thanks for this post. This gives me some direction on where to look to experience more of kyara. This summer, I did a couple runs of explorations in the world of Japanese incenses. Lots of research, lots of humility at the vastness of knowledge out there. My favorites tended to be things like Minorien’s Kyaras, Kyara Seiran, Enkuu, and the Shoyeido premium sampler, topping out into Go-Un, Myo-Ho, and Sho-Kaku. So, tending to be in what I gather is that kyara notes category. I even pick up a bit of a kyara note in the drydown of EO Oud Extraordinaire (which is a lovely oud in its own right).

    Now my focus is, where to go next? How to reasonably experience more of the various facets of kyara, kinam, whatever the “correct” categorization would be, for more of an introspective leaning? So this is a nice thread. It gives me some targets to try and find. There’s even a thread up in the forum with nha trang and wanmei. I can now get a glimpse of why there is such interest in what I will generally refer to as the incense wood realms of Oud. They are quite captivating.

    I am rather interested in the oils, as they offer a measure of portability and convenience that is rather useful. It’s not always possible for me to fire up a stick of Enkuu for a fix of the kyara notes.

    I’m also amenable to any trading or care packaging that might be of interest, although the oud vials that I would offer as trade tend to be on the lower ends of the cost spectrum: Sweet Siam, Camellia, Kusuma.
    VPhong likes this.
  5. VPhong

    VPhong Oud Tea

    Thank you @Rasoul Salehi To reiterate everyone here, awesome post!

    ref "kinam/kyara is not just about the scent but its effects"
    As someone who likes to chew on the wood and brew it from time to time I wholeheartedly agree. Consumption will reveal new dimensions and qualities. Personally speaking I get a much deeper level of appreciation from consuming a high quality wood than smelling it. It does not have to be kinam but I would stress it should be wild as organic/farm is risky.

    ref "in comparison to kyara ltd. nha trang ltd is more refined, subtle and finessed. it may not be a wow oil right off the bat. it is that subtle dish that makes you come back for more and more, while kyara ltd. has more immediate wow factor"
    I have yet to try EO oil version but this description is really spot on when I think of old woods from nha trang.

    I've also become a big fan of Borneo mainly thanks to @Habz786 and his awesome woods.
    Rai Munir and Joe King like this.
  6. PersonelHigh

    PersonelHigh Oud Fanatic

    I still have no idea what this might smell like. Not smoky. Ok. I do with you would detail so I can live vicariously. Does it change much over the 10 hours? No tobacco you mean right with not being smoky?

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