Native to southeast Asia, the evergreen Aquilaira and Gyriops tree families are responsible for the world's agarwood oud oil. It is formed when the trees receive some sort of damage. The sap of that tree goes to protect it and heal the damage. This sap is where we will find the very best Agarwood oud oil. Agarwood oud oil is more expensive than gold itself. It is rich in spiritual history and longed for by many in the middle east for its scent. Many religions have reference to the Agarwood oud oil.
This oil is made from that resin that the tree produces to help it to heal from a fungal infection. It will coat the area and the roots of the tree with this sap. This sap can be very heavy and can make the wood overall very dense. So dense that it will sink and not float on water after several years. The denser it is the more saturation that tree has, which means that it is more valuable.
Without infection, the tree doesn't produce this sap. So, it is important to have an action to get the agarwood oud oil that we are after. Because it is so dense that it will not float on water, the Chinese have named it "ch'en hsiang" which literally means sinking incense wood. It has many historical references throughout many religions as well as history. In fact, it was mentioned as early as the third century AD in ancient China. While it is highly sought after and very expensive, it is typically used in religious ceremonies for anointing.
A Scent Like No Other
To give an idea of how expensive Agarwood oud oil is, it takes 70 kg of wood to make 20 ml of Agarwood oud oil. One ounce of this oil will cost around $1500 and should come with a certification of authenticity and the distillation process explained. This wildcrafted Agarwood oud oil is very rare but is believed to have healing properties and tied to many religious beliefs as well.
The second type of Agarwood oud oil exists but is considered to be of a lesser grade than the wild Agarwood oud oil. Depending on where the wood is and what the climate around the wood is, it will produce a different scent. This is believed due to many factors such as what is in the soil, air, and the amount of rainfall, to name a few. The trees are sustainably managed and infected on purpose to get the oil. This process is a managed process and not that of nature. Although it does produce the Agarwood oud oil, it has a slightly different scent to it. Nevertheless, this type of oil is more sustainable. It still does come with a nice price tag of $920 per ounce.
Another use of this oil, besides religious reasons, is in perfumes. This oil is said to have a scent all of its own. It is sought after by many and deep woodsy, rich, earthy aroma is loved by many. It also has many medicinal properties as well.