Agarwood Leaf Hero PicAgarwood Green Tea

What is Agarwood?
Prized Agarwood Chips
A bottle of Oud essential oil
Nature at work, stem borer frass
Agarwood or Aquilaria is much sought after and prized for the resinous 'heartwood'.The resin enriched heartwood is produced as the tree utilises a natural defence mechanism that combats desease and insect attack. Wood with a very high resin content, enough so that it sinks, is priced up to $10,000 per kilo and even more. This wood is used for religeous carvings, trinkets, and incense burning, particularly in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Lesser quality wood is distilled to make Oud. Oud is one of many names for the essential oil. Oud has a distinct aroma that has considerable staying power, it is a key ingredient in western perfume manufacture. Pure Oud is highly valued in Middle Eastern markets, where Oud 'chain stores' are commonly found. The best way to think of Oud is to compare it with wine. There are many aspects that combine to produce an individual product, it is not a factory made industrial product where consistency can be maintained. Soil, water, distillation techique and environmental factors all contribute to the end result.

Deforestation and hunting of wild trees has led to CITES listing the species as endangered. The immediate impact of this listing was to substantially inflate the value of resinous heartwood, further stimulating the hunt. Plantations are relatively rare due to a number of factors. Nature takes time, land space can be utilised for more immediate income in poor communities. Replication of the natural forces that combine to produce resin has not been perfected. There are chemically induced products, and fungi innoculated products, which are not believed to be of the standard of wild or naturally infected trees. There are many programs that promote artificial infection, they are usually designed to make the innoculant manufacturer money.

In the wild context, the heartwood is infected by a number of combining natural factors. The stem boring larvae of a beetle drills into the tree trunk, then tunnels vertically up the core of the tree. This action can kill younger trees or provide a weak point that will snap the tree in strong wind. Once the stem borer has done his work, the next insect to move in is a species of red ant. Nest building ants will inhabit the safe haven of the bore hole. Whilst foraging, the ants become vectors for micro organism transfer. The tree will activate a natural defense mechanism that creates the resinous heartwood.

As yet, we are not in the business of Oud and 'heartwood', though this is our aim. If you are interested in finding out more or are interested in buying quality products, we recommend Agarwood Indonesia as a trusted source. Agarwood Indonesia are artisan distillers, distillation equipment manufacturers, and, have a great deal more knowledge on this subject than we do.