Oud is the heartwood produced by a number of Aquilaria species in South Asia. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Papua New Guinea are the main producing countries.
Formation of Oud occurs in the trunk and roots of trees that have been infected by fungus (Phialophora parasitica). Trees begin to produce an aromatic resin in response to this attack. As the infection grows, it results in a very rich, dark resin within the heartwood.
The process of infection and subsequent development of Oud is completely natural and needs 60-70 years to mature. Man has not yet found a way to artificially infect the plant or speed along the process. It is therefore expensive with the best quality coming from India. The Arab world with its increasing demand, has also escalated costs
After harvesting, Oud undergoes a tedious process of cleaning and polishing before it can be sold. On the counter you will see the more expensive grades as large, shiny pieces of wood while second grade Oud is relatively less shiny and available in smaller fragments.
The value of first-grade Oud is generally high. A whole range of qualities and products is on the market and the value depends on geographical location and cultural deposition. Prices range from hundred US dollars per kilo for the lowest quality to over thirty thousand US dollars for top quality resinous wood.Leave a comment
The Agarwood is harvested in the jungles or plantations and brought to the distillers. Prior to distillation, some of the wood is separated and sold as chips for burning as incense. The remaining resinous wood is distilled into Oud oil or Agarwood oil. To facilitate extraction of the oil, the wood is soaked in water prior to the distillation process. Two distillation techniques are common. Forced steam distillation is used in Indonesia, while hydro-distillation is more common in Indian, Cambodia and Thailand. These methods leave their distinct mark on the Oud oil. Unlike perfumes or Attars such as Amber perfume, Arabian perfume, Arabic perfume, Islamic perfume or essential oils such as Jasmine oil, Frankincense oil, Arabian oil, Egyptian musk oil, our Oud oil is 100% pure Agarwood oil and is not blended with other oil perfumes. One should not be confused with products being sold as Arabian Oud since the Aquilaria tree does not grow in the Arabian Peninsula. All Oudh oil sold in the Arabic world is imported by wholesale perfume oil companies from Tropical Monsoon Asia.
The Aquilaria Tree
This is where the process begins - with the Aquilaria tree, in the vicinity of the Assam region. These mature evergreen or agarwood trees need no artificial inoculation. From these mature trees we will get our agarwood chips and oud oil.
The Agarwood Artisan
This artisan is meticulously sorting through the unprocessed distillery chips as he removes the unusable wood, leaving only the sinking-grade resinous agarwood for incense and for the distillation degs to become oud oil.
Ready-to-be-Processed Oud Chips
These true craftsmen will soak the agarwood chips until they are ready to be put in the degs for distillation. This is a true art which will result in various essences of the pure oudh oil.
The Distillation Process
After soaking, the distillery chips are transferred to the degs where the distillation will inevitably begin. As you can see, there are four degs pictured to carry out this important step in the process of making oud oil.
The Final Step
After the completion of the distillation process the oud oil is kept in open sunlight to evaporate any excess moisture within the Oudh oil. This ancient ancestral method of distillation has been passed down from father to son for generations, producing true oud oil 'legends', indeed.
Own A Legend
Now go ahead and treat yourself to one or more of these fine oud oils and agarwood chips, from OudSelect!