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Agarwood -

A rich, musty and nutty scent with a woody backbone. This highly prized oil is rare to find in its original form. Mainly found and used in the Middle East.

Agarwood, also known as ‘Oudh’ is known to be the most expensive type of wood in the world. It has been used to make incense and fragrances for centuries and is praised for it’s long lasting, sweet but deeply balanced aroma. Oudh in China is used by many doctors to treat colds and digestion problems, however it is now mainly used in perfumery.

Agarwood is resinous heartwood that occurs in trees belonging to the species of Aquilaria. These trees grow to roughly 20m in height but what makes them different is that they secrete special oil to areas of the tree that are subject to fungal attacks in order to protect them.

By steam distillation, the oil is extracted from a 12-year-old tree (minimum age) that is immersed in water for 3 months. The soaked wood is then placed in a boiler that evaporates the water from the bark, along with the resin. This is then condensed and the oil, being hydrophobic, sits on top of the condensed water and collected.

Oudh, although used for centuries in old Arabia and Eastern Asia, is now used in a lot of high end prestigious perfumes starting from £150 ranging to a few thousand pounds for quantities as small as 3ml. It is for this reason, that a lot of perfume manufacturers tend to stay away from the expensive, yet amazing scent.