For many of you, this will likely be
your first encounter with the rare Aquilaria Malaccensis
variety of oud from Thailand. For Agar Aura, its certainly
the first Thai offering of this species of agarwood.
Part of our Japanese-inspired Jinkoh Series, the aim behind crafting Rakoku Jinkoh was more than just presenting our first ever Thai Malaccensis production.
Our mission was clear: capturing the scent of Thai Rakoku (羅国) agarwood found in Japanese Rikkoku-Gomi sets (read more here).
We used our wild-harvested tremendously oil-rich wood from southern Thailand for making this oil. Assessing the aroma of the raw material, it was clear that the wood was perfect for capturing the archetypal scent referenced in the Japanese texts.
Bitter-&-sweet in a 50:50 ratio, with a touch of warmed spices. Just perfect.
The aroma of Rakoku agarwood is often likened to the scent of a samurai. A dignified agarwoody bitterness is the salient feature, and that is certainly the first thing you will experience when you first apply Rakoku Jinkoh.
But sweetness is also a commonly-observed and unmistakable trait of Rakoku wood, and with this oil as well you will notice it comes out and becomes more prominent as it develops on your skin. We used not one but two different copper alloys at the pot level, to give the oil the multi-faceted sweetness needed to balance out the bold bitter oudiness.
We could have used the more readily-available Aquilaria Crassna from Thailand, but it would have given completely different results. The rugged oudiness would be gone, and the sweetness would be fruity instead of the oudy sweetness required for matching the Rikkoku-Gomi scent profile.
In short, it would have turned out to be just a glorified version of the fruity Thai ouds you can acquire anywhere else.
Its similar to Pencerahan in some ways - the species is the same, after all (and the very same apparatus and extraction techniques were used). The bitterness is oudy, the sweetness is oudy, and there's a touch of dried mullberries and powdery sweetness in the drydown.
But here, you have oud from a different geography, from trees that were nourished from a different soil and whose thirst was quenched by Thai water. And that makes all the difference. This may be of the Aquilaria Malaccensis species, but its unlike any Malaccensis oud from Burma, Indonesia or Malaysia you have tried before (and even more different when compared to typical Thai Crassna ouds).
Here you have the mighty Rakoku scent in all its glory, the pride of Thailand.
Rakkoku has a beautiful Oud
bitterness up front which I love. That bitterness is
persistent but quite refined. I really like that as the
oil sweetens the sweetness does not displace the slightly
bitter woodyness of the oud. The oil lasts all day on my
skin allowing me to delight in it hour after hour. Rakkoku
is bold yet refined and, in short, everything that I want
an oud to be.
The Yang Terang is very nice. But the Rakoku is exactly what I was looking for... it really hits the mark in terms of what I like in an oud oil.
I carried Rakoku Jinko today who is for me my first oil wild Thaï, pure oudiness, basket of dried fruits surmounted by a few red berries, she has a green side slightly ethereal piney, as if she had relatives near on the Cambodia, but her oudiness is magnificent when I carried him I had the impression to be in the boiler with the agarwood seeing him sweating with all his oil and its smell, this oil forces the respect.
Rakoku is very nice and again unlike any other Thai I smelled so far. It's all about oudiness that indeed varied as it can be bitter or sweet in a very good way (only sweetened oud and not caused by fruity feature like it is often the case in many Thai oils, that is the way I prefer them to be).
When I wore Creed Royal Oud simultaneously with Rakoku Jinkoh, the 3D aura was great. The RJ really put the 'Royal' into the Royal Oud.
This oil I had mistakenly dismissed as short-lived... wrong! It certainly outlasted Sumatora, and is still projecting very well after solid 8 hours. Upon application, it marches at you with unmistakable Thai spirit. There's tart fruit, similar to Granny Smith apples, that reveals itself almost immediately. But within minutes you start to notice a stoutness that isn't usually present in Thais; it's like dipping a wood branch into small jar of resin. As the scent warms and moves through its phases, the fruit recedes yielding more of the resinous woods. Actually, the underpinnings of this oil are surprisingly... Malay to my nose!