Agarwood aka Oud Essential Oil

Price: $31.40
Agarwood aka Oud Essential Oil

Aquilaria malaccensis Steam Distilled from the wood in India

NOTE: The highest quality agarwood cost $50 to hundreds of dollars per ml. This is a "utility-grade" agarwood.

Aroma: Highly persistent, sweet, warm, deep, precious woody aroma, with shades of smoky, amber-y incense, honeyed tobacco, and sensual animalic notes resembling musk/castoreum.

Note: Base Note, Excellent Fixative

Originally from Southeast Asia, Agarwood formed the basis of the legendary Arabian perfume called Oud. It is also known as Aloeswood, Eaglewood, Kyara, Ood, or Ud, and many other names, depending on the wood's grade and country of origin. Revered and esteemed by many cultures, Agarwood is a highly valued addition to the natural perfumer's palette and is often used in sacred oil blends and for ceremonial anointing. Kurt Schnaubelt writes that "…[Agarwood oils] evoke mental or spiritual reflection and a rekindled sense of awe for the phenomena of nature."

Agarwood essential oil is made by distilling the heartwood of the genus Aquilaria, a flowering tree with various species that grow in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam (A. crassna); the Philippines (A. filaria); and northeastern India, Burma, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo (A. agallocha), but only those trees that have been infected by a parasitic fungus (Phialophora parasitica and others) are the source of this rare and highly prized material.

In response to the infection, the trees attack the affected wood by producing an oleoresin that, after some years, becomes dark and highly aromatic. The oleoresin accumulates to such an extent that the bulk and density of the infected wood causes it to sink in water, thus the Japanese call it jinkoh – 'wood that sinks' and in China it is called ch'en hsiang – the 'sinking incense wood.'7 It is the incense industry that accounts for the main commercial use of Agarwood – it is one of the oldest and most famous incense materials of the Far East.

Contraindications: None knew; please see Safety Considerations below. Agarwood is considered safe to apply neat (undiluted) on the skin.

Photo thanks to Yercaud-elango, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons