A joy-joy-joyful waltz along the Turkish rose-petaled riverside, beneath a violet sky, the softest sandal breeze, orange peel, blackberry jam, honeysuckle blossoms twirling around an all-musk mountain top, with the chirping of jasmine all around.
Pure Rosa Rugosa, the finest sandalwood oil I ever owned, Santal Sultan Privée, infused in Siberian musk in Mysore from 1984, rounded off with the most exquisite (and expensive) jasmine money can buy that flows through the whole fragrance.
Borneo Zen was already so beautiful it’s hard to imagine that the ingredients used to compose this Royale edition is several notches higher, with a scent that puts Borneo Zen on a loudspeaker to, not shout, but sing even louder. There are a few reasons for this:
After my Shaykh told us to, we stopped dealing in musk and re-steeped the same grains every time we made a new batch of Borneo Zen. Now, more than ten years later, we told him about the legal quotas and licensed acquisition of Siberian musk we have access to, and with a strong word of advice to ‘make sure it’s real…’ we flew to Russia and the fresh pods were crushed for this grander edition of Borneo Zen.
On top of the fresh musk, you get much higher grade sandalwood compared to what went into Borneo Zen, which was already a grade most wouldn’t use in a perfume (being too expensive). And it took a lot of doing to finally get enough precious jasmine to drown the fragrance in it head to toe.
This fusion of raunchy musk grains and the sautéed butter aroma of vintage sandalwood oil imbued with jasmine petals lets you smell notes of citrus that you can't quite put your nose on ‒ not lemon, not orange, pomelo, nor tangerine. The beauty of perfumery lies in the ability to create unique smells. Jasmarine is what I dubbed the scratch-your-head-this-is-so-familiar high note that leads you into the musky overtone of Borneo Zen until a super rare Irian oud, aged for nine years, greets you in the drydown.
Flowing with the cycle of your day, the jasmarine rays shine from dawn to midday, keep you driven and energized. Almost without noticing, you suddenly find yourself in the relaxing sway of a rose-musk duet as you approach sunset. Get home, throw off your shoes, get the kettle brewing, and quiet down. Enter the Oud.
Spaced out, trying to forget about the day for a second, a baritone breeze starts to blow around your shoulders, massaging, untying the knots. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Reviews of Borneo Zen:
I cannot stop myself from being greedy to get one more bottle of Borneo Zen. It helps me to walk and work cheerfully in gloomy winter days! I adore Ensar for developing a new path for olfactory adventure. – Toshihiro, Japan
Now that I’ve smelled this Borneo Zen all the other ones I smelled are bland, almost child’s bonbons smelling like aromatized sodas. I’ve found my perfume for the next year. – Matt, Canada
I’ve REAAAALLY been enjoying Borneo Zen. Such a superb scent… absolutely brilliant. Very pleasing to my colleagues and friends too. – MS, Canada
Borneo Zen is LOVELY, my friend buried her nose in my wrist yesterday numerous times. She was crazy about it. I love it as well. For some reason, I smell gardenia in the top notes, even though it is not supposed to be there as per the description. – Svetlana, UAE
You know, I have not been able to put down the Borneo Zen at all. I initially said to myself I’d savour it for special occasions but I can’t help it, I apply it every day. I need to calm down with it. It is incredibly addictive! – Shabhi, UK
By all the divine in this universe, you have me completely mesmerized with Borneo Zen! The first sniff was like a gentle kiss in the morning, alluring and simply magic. Never have I smelled a perfume with such well-balanced ingredients. For a long time now I have been looking for an all natural, high-quality fragrance and I came across a lot of niche designer fragrances, with mostly ridiculous price tags. Unfortunately, I had to learn, that even in the very expensive scents, there is a maximum of 18% pure essential oil. Ensar Oud however not only uses all natural ingredients but moreover works with the highest quality possible. And that sure makes a tremendous difference in the olfactory experience. Borneo Zen is a masterpiece, plain and simple. It's sensual, alluring, captivating and most of all addictive. – Samuel, Switzerland
I’m sure you’ve heard it all but I have to say I am jealous of you as a perfumer because of this one. My wife adores the scent of jasmine. Sambac in particular. We used to have a garden in the front of our house in Thailand and quite often the jasmine flowers that lined the garden would bloom alongside birds of paradise and in the evening and early morning our carport was filled with the most beautiful natural perfume. I’ve been trying to create a perfume for my wife that captured this experience and you, my friend, have accomplished that with Borneo Zen. I am truly grateful that you are able to provide us with a reminder of a great experience. Very nice jasmine used in the composition and just the right amount of rose, just a pinch I’m guessing. Also, I finally know what the fuss about the difference in synthetic and natural musk is. Completely different. I mean, there is the tiniest, harshest part of real musk in the chemical version but I actually despise that scent. I enjoy natural musk. Soft, powdery but not too powdery, citrusy, salty, all very smoothed out. None of that fill-up-the-room abomination that is synthetic white musk. I actually purchased a full bottle of this for my wife without previously smelling it. She put a drop on and said, This smells like the perfume I’ve been looking for all along. I smiled and said, I know. – Matt, Canada
I absolutely adore Borneo Zen. It truly has won my heart. Subhan’Allah I almost want to believe that it was composed especially for me. A beautiful, deep musk with ripples of jasmine, hints of blossom and what even seems like honeysuckle. The oud and musk are very delicately balanced. The muskiness comes through the oud very well, but neither scents compete nor intrude on each other. Almost like the oud and fragrant night flowers are dancing together on a hot summer’s evening. A fine, subtle, sensual scent. I call it romance captured in a bottle :)
Each time I wear it, I do wish that it would last even longer. Although more than often, the most marvelous natural experiences whether we see, feel, or smell are transitory by nature. The fleeting splendour of the sunset before it’s overcome by the night, the brightness of stars before daylight breaks, the appearance of snow before it melts, the radiance of the moon before it retreats and the beauty of flora before it wilts. Like so the charm of this sublime perfume lies in its transience. You want to devour it before it fades... till the next swipe :) – Sajida, UK
First impressions of Borneo Zen were ZING! Wow, where does that bright intense 3-dimensional Jasmine’y floral come from! Ensar’s coinage of ‘Jasmarine’ is no less than perfect to describe this. Almost hallucinogenic to me! Perfectly balanced against that gentle, almost elusive spicy musk... What a blend this is! So balanced, so invigorating, absolutely fabulous! – Jim, UK
Words almost can’t describe how dynamically and powerfully even the slightest swipe of this elixir presents itself. It starts out with a piercing Jasmine note tuned to the highest possible frequency. A deep good benzoin Rose joins in whirling and spinning into the mix. Resonating with this unexpected floral-like accord, the accompaniment of Oud is balanced and almost a musical background, a perfect match for the mystical musk. It is almost hard to believe that a mere two ingredients can come together so harmoniously and symbiotically making so much more in the joining than either one was by itself! This is Synergy. – Woody, CA
I own more than 70 Western perfumes, designer, niche, oils, etc. and have never had anything like this. I am using it today and I’m in a trance. Note: I’m your fan. – Pedro, FL
For all who are curious about musk, Borneo Zen is the way to go. I don’t know how Ensar did it, but the perfume perfectly exemplifies a muskiness that is all too addictive for me. It plays with rose and jasmine, has an incredible vivaciousness and sweetness, and also a most mysterious citrus note which Ensar dubbed ‘jasmarine’. Very accurate! It’s my favorite perfume, by far. – Neeshee, Hawaii
I have purchased four bottles of Borneo Zen in the past few months. THAT in itself is saying something, given that I am by no means wealthy. I never want to be without this perfume, so I am stocking up on a lifetime supply before Ensar runs out. It’s such a mindblowing, beautiful fragrance.
Ensar created an absolute masterpiece when putting Borneo Zen together. Beautiful, beautiful MUSK (oh baby!), sandalwood, Oud and florals. Oh that musk comes through so smooooooth! HEAVENLY. I can actually feel the stress leaving my body and mind after applying Borneo Zen and inhaling several times.
I have never received so many compliments on ANY fragrance. Sillage is excellent. I was grocery shopping last week and a woman who was way at the other end of the aisle came running over and said she had been following the trail left by the perfume so she could find out what it was and get it for her boyfriend.
Without a word, I’ve had random women come up to me and try burrowing their noses into my neck where I’d applied Borneo Zen. The same thing even happened to me once when I wore Borneo Zen to church! If you are wearing Borneo Zen and hug someone, be prepared for them to not let go right away. My girlfriend says I can only wear it when I go out with her now.i have nevber
I’m so glad that those around me enjoy this fragrance as much as I do. Borneo Zen is a little bit of heaven on earth. – Dan, NJ
I have to thank you a thousand times for creating this truly unique perfume. Borneo Zen is fabulous! It contains its individual ingredients in such perfect proportion that it becomes a unified scent which makes it difficult (at least, for me) to realize all the notes. Your description has greatly helped me to understand this mukhallat; the jasmine, rose, sandal and musk... But then again, maybe I shouldn’t think too much and try to decipher this glorious scent, but simply sit back and enjoy it. I loved the Thai Tabac, but I love the Borneo Zen even more! – Thomas, Germany
The name Zen speaks clearly to give you a hint of this oil’s traits. Perhaps a warning not to operate heavy machinery would be better than a hint, because like all the finest of fun things, this one might interfere with coordination and send you into dreamland. Upon smelling this, You are brought to a new, hitherto unknown place in your mind. Blood begins rushing in your ear, your pupils dilate, your senses are alive! This is bright like the world’s finest Jasmine. Mysterious Layers of Leather and Cognac combine to form a new experience that small inadequate words like ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ could never appropriately describe. – Robert, CA
Borneo Zen is too bright for me at the opening, but the drydown is a delicious skin scent – woody and salty, with a hint of leather and musk. – Igor, Canada
I have a friend who used to sell essential oils and perfumes ten or twenty years ago. I gave him my Borneo Zen bottle to smell without telling him anything and he instantly recognised musk and said it was a fine one! – Andrej, Croatia
In my mind, smelling it paints a picture of a Japanese winter scene. Snow on the grounds. A hut in the distance with smoke raising from the chimney. Next to a lake. Its surface frozen with ice. And amazingly, a cherry tree on the shore in full blossom, with fragile warm pink flowers. – Hisham, Florida
I have been really enjoying Borneo Zen today, and have noticed the deer musk has become more pronounced since I last wore this parfum. Beautiful notes. Borneo Zen wins the award for best composition. A delicate and refined musk note that develops into something that is akin to a floral note. Very different from the conventional perception of ‘musk’. I can’t believe people waste their money on conventional perfumes and mukhallats, this is far superior. – Neeshee, Hawaii
Speaking of Borneo Zen, this is one of the most amazing fragrances I have ever smelled, hands down. I’m not one that’s into too much sweetness, but Borneo Zen and Pink Papua are otherworldly (figuratively speaking). Borneo Zen has a jasminy accord that has captivated me along with the musk which is noticeable at intervals. My wife said this is a pleasant aroma and she is someone who uses perfumes like Guess etc. Now she just told me that because of Oud Yusha, d’Angkor, Pink Papua and Borneo Zen she is totally into oud and will not be wearing that stinky stuff anymore...
I can’t express my thoughts the way I would like about Borneo Zen, so all I will say is, Zen it is! Very friendly mukhallat, which I am not allowed to wear outside the house... haha! – Dondre, Canada
I’ve just spent a bit of Zen. I could already see the quality of the musk. Its sweetness and harmony with other components is correct. – Alan, Brazil
Borneo Zen arrived. So nice, since I am leaving tomorrow for Vienna for the rest of the week, and I finally got to smell musk. It has nothing to do with synthetic ones, the smell for me is neither animalic nor unpleasant at all. Not sure I can pinpoint musk exactly, but I get a good general idea. I think it gives me a slight euphoric feeling after deep inhalation for 15-20 seconds. It is pulsating, or slowly undulating...
Just a short note from Vienna. I finally sampled the famed Frederic Malle perfumes. Of 10-15 scents I tried, four went on tester strips and only two I had the desire to spray on my skin. The experience was a disappoinment. Both of them smelled flat, bland and synthetic. It seems that my experience with your oils has changed the perception for good. – Andrej, Croatia
Borneo Zen is simply magical stuff, everyone’s mouth seems to drop when they smell it because it’s so mesmerizing. – Dan, NJ
Borneo Zen is a true musk fragrance, the perfume of days past. Who makes perfumes like this anymore? This is a rare find, and I honestly would buy tolas of this oil if I could! This perfume ranks among the greatest fragrances I have ever smelled, even greater than some Oud oils.
The scent is surprisingly sweet. The rose eventually harmonizes with the musk and creates a most exotic and uplifting sweet-rosy-musk aroma that you will not be able to get enough of. I have worn this perfume many times, and every time I wear it I can hardly keep my nose away from my wrists. And I still haven’t gotten enough of that beautiful musky rosy aroma. But to really appreciate its sweetness, you have to realize the role of jasmine. And the the fact that the ratios of all the notes are perfect, from base to middle to top. What a composition!
This perfume is by no means ‘oudy’. Pink Papua is oudy. Borneo Zen is musky. All I can think of and smell when I am wearing this oil is musk, musk, musk, and rose, with a token of gratitude to jasmine. I do not know what has happened to the Oud in this perfume, except that it has melted into the fragrance, and given it that subtle touch of wonder and exaltation. It ‘shades’ the perfume with its lightness and sweetness. After all, perfume is alchemy. Ultimately, all the individual notes have undergone an incredible transformation. And musk is one of the greatest servants of this process.
This oil is irresistible. I feel as if I could wear it day after day without tiring of it. To my surprise, the aroma is so rich and otherwordly that I do not experience any olfactory fatigue. It is new with each breath, and even each breath does not seem to fully know the aroma. It reaches for more every time, but the fragrance remains ever elusive. – Neeshee, HI
Very mellow and aromatherapeutic. Once the sandalwood tempers down a bit it’s very smooth sailing, especially as the oud comes out. If anyone else had composed this it would have been either too sweet or two spicy. It’s a very interesting composition and I’m still carving out a place for it in my mind, especially since it seems to change on the skin of its wearer as it’s worn: If you asked me to describe it I couldn’t. I was happy to see that it wears well in public and has legitimate cross-over appeal to whose more Western in palate (e.g. certain family members). – Rodrigo, Egypt
The moment I put it on my skin, I could just see that it has the sandalwood as an ingredient. That yellow sheen is just joyful. The first blast I get is spices including saffron & sandalwood. It stays there for around half an hour. Then it gets very floral and airy. I enjoy this phase a lot. It will actually leave a trail of aroma behind you and unlike other oils, your companions can enjoy it too. – Faisal, WV
Wow, definitely the most unexpected. Floral and brilliant! An oud I could wear in the summer! I read one review of it that said “addictive” and I can definitely see why. Hard to stop smelling your wrist with this on. It’s just very, very enjoyable. – Adam, USA
Great and wonderful perfume! IT IS HEAVEN. – Iris, Switzerland
I love it! It opens with the rubbery/olive oil-like astringency of oud, but not forceful at all. And it introduces nicely the mothball-like indolic glory of jasmine. There's also the subtle animalic warmth of musk underneath. Combined with the at once indolic yet delicate jasmine, it actually reminds me of civet. When the indole becomes quieter later on, the gently honeyed animalic warmth feels like a velvety mattress placed on a sturdy oud bed, on which the jasmine and rose petals fall asleep into a tender sweet dream. The oud here is such a gentleman! Nothing like the forceful bulldozer in many western designer fragrances! The oud here can be felt and manifests its rubbery and woody characteristics that I come to associate with this material, but also blends harmoniously with the whole blend. – StellaDiverFlynn, USA
What I can tell you with certainty, and you will laugh, is that every time she wears Borneo Zen it increases my paranoia level about others noticing her. I don't have that effect (problem?) with anything else. – Mark, USA