Oudh & Leather, Leather & Oudh. It has become a staple of the niche perfume industry of late with endless variations spawned at a winks notice. We have seen and smelled them all to the point of no return where little ground is left to explore or even conquer. Leather-Oudh-Rose..Leather-Oudh-Florals..Leather-Oudh-Incense and you can almost guess where this analogy is headed thus far. So now its 2016 so where else can you take this combination, what else can be accomplished? Arriving early into the beginning hours of 2016 is Almas Al’s stimulating elixir: Leather Oudh.
Almas Al is a start-up niche brand from Thailand that specializes in the best enigmatic and profound pristine smelling essential Oudh oils, Incense Powder, Oudh chips and now Perfume Attars. Almas Al takes a simple ‘No Frills approach to making great perfume by implementing a stronger oil content in their scents to where they are akin to Perfume Extract strength. Perfume Attars such as
Mountain Breeze-Green, powdery geranium and milky freshness;
Oriental Sweet-a nice seductive blast of Citrus-Jasmine-Iris-Fruit and Wood;
Rose Oudh-an interesting turn on the Oudh and Rose combo with distinct Animalic and spicy notes
and lastly, Leahter Oudh.
Leather Oud is a very simple and basic perfume fusing Mossy notes, Animalic musk, Citrus, an interesting Leather note that is more smoother and creamy than headstrong and the signature scent of Thailand Oudh which Almas Al grows in their own backyard which allows them an unlimited source of pure Thai Oudh oil all their own to distill and experiment for creative purposes that you will experience in all their perfumes including Leather Oud. The Oudh is engineered for specific scents that really brings out the sillage, longevity and the fragrance notes to a spectacular finish. The brilliance in Leather Oud is the hallmark presence of Thailand Oudh which has its own unique smell just like Laotian Oudh has in some of the more notable perfumes such as Oudh Palao by Diptyque. In Leather Oud, the oudh is smooth with nutty highlights that gives it a creamy aroma with the leather and highlights of animalic musk that is eco friendly (smile). Overall, It is subtle but very elegant. Leather Oud is a must try for 2016 along with impressionable line of perfumes.
Almas Al Perfumes is from the creative leadership of Head Perfumer and Founder Keeradit Angsutornrangsi who turned his profession of Engineering into making perfume. Based on his former profession, you can smell the engineering results. I had the opportunity to catch up with Keeradit to give Fragrance Daily a brief interview.
Fragrance Daily (Sterling Nichols): You were an engineer. why decide to do perfume
Keeradit: Yes, I was an engineer but we always planted the agarwood trees since I was studying at the university. I gained more knowledge about Agarwood along the way for the last 5 years where we started our own distillation factory and start cooking oudh oil. At first I was selling only pure oud oil and it is difficult to sell and it was a very small market at that time. I needed something that link to more consumer products so I had an idea of making oud perfume as oud is a very exclusive raw material with a long history already. I never had any knowledge about perfumery before so I took a perfumery class at Perfumers World. It was a good class for beginning to advance techniques of perfumery. It was conducted by Mr.Steve from the UK. He was a good teacher of perfumery. I became a perfumer since early last year 2015. I created a website and started to sell perfume online to customers along with my pure oud products. I also sell to wholesale markets for customized perfume compounds along with my oud oil. It is great because my existing customers also like perfume and they are in the same related business.
Fragrance Daily(SN): You mentioned you grow you’re own Oudh rather than receive it from a third party or have it imported. That reminds me of Perris Montecarlo Perfumes who grow their own raw materials as well.
Keeradit: I grow my own oud trees. This helps me to control the quality of the oud oil that I sell and they are also a good source for knowledge and to experiment with along the way too. My oud is similar to Cambodia oudh but it is from the Trat area in Thailand where it is very close to the Cambodian border. The aroma signature of Thailand oudh is also different due to the soaking and distillation process. I can control the tone of the smell of the Oudh by playing with these factors as well. It can be dark, strong woody, harsh or can be a floral fruity sweet oud as well even they are all pure without anything adding to the oil.
Fragrance Daily: Why decide to make a Leather Oud when there are so many Leather Oudh Fragrances on the market?
Keeradit: My leather oud is made because I am an Oud distiller where I can get 100% pure oud oil from my own plantation and distillation facility. I decided to make some oud perfumes and I know that Oud goes well with leather accords or rose aromas. I chose to start with the Leather Oud and many of my trial customers liked Leather Oudh. For other Leather oud scents, they have a different aroma but not quite a signature scent as mine. I wanted to do my own formation and besides this is a very nice perfume as well..Leather Oud!
Fragrance Daily: What are your plans for Almas Al in 2016?
Keeradit: This year I plan for more of a variety of pure oud oil product and attars. For perfume I may introduce only one or two new ones during the year. I will stick on what I have now and expand customer base first. Oh, by the way in case you were wondering Almas Al means Almas means diamond and Al means oil. It is Arabic. Oud oil is used by Arabic peoples. Many of my Arab customers like this name.
Fragrance Daily: Oudh is popular in the Middle east but I’m learning that Oudh grows in India, Asia and the Pacicific Islands. I guess Oudh is part of Asian culture but a lot of people don’t know. So how did Oudh become so popular with Arabs in the Middle East if Oudh grows in Asia? What or when did this fascination with Oudh begin?
Keeradit: In Asia oudh is used only by Royal Families and not for the common people. In the past, it was a tribute sent to the king. It was an expensive, valuable wood since it’s long history. Many centuries ago this wood was used for the Sultan of an Arab country. I think when the culture changed this wood was used by rich people as it was used by royal family. Everything with oud is more expensive than normal. For oud perfume, I think it has become more popular in the last 10 years. Before, it was used in pure oil form. For medical usage, oudh is listed as an ingredient of traditional medicine for centuries. In thailand, we do not use that much oud but we export more to other countries.
Fragrance Daily: Your prices are very reasonable. what do you say to people that say the quality might not be good if your perfumes are not $200-300 dollars.
Keeradit: It’s not so expensive because I have my own raw material of oud to produce a perfume and also I do my own formulation. No need to out source a perfumer to do it. The big brands also have a lot of costs related to marketing and branding while I don’t have that much costs. My perfumes use good quality compounds and real oud. I also have stored these compounds for 3-4 months before using and also have kept in a freezer. My filtration process is similar to the branded ones. I am sure of the quality.