Agarwood, aloeswood or gaharuwood is a fragrant dark resinous wood used in incense, perfume, and small carvings. It is formed in the heartwood of aquilaria trees when they become infected with a type of mould (Phialophora parasitica). Prior to infection, the heartwood is odourless, relatively light and pale coloured; however, as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin, called aloes or agar (as well as gaharu, jinko, oud, or oodh; not to be confused with bukhoor), in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. The resin embedded wood is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incense and perfumes.
Uninfected aquilaria wood lacking the dark resin
One of the main reasons for the relative rarity and high cost of agarwood is the depletion of the wild resource. Since 1995, Aquilaria malaccensis, the primary source, has been listed in Appendix II (potentially threatened species) by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In 2004, all Aquilaria species were listed in Appendix II; however, a number of countries have outstanding reservations regarding that listing.
First-grade agarwood is one of the most expensive natural raw materials in the world, with 2010 prices for superior pure material as high as US$1000/kg, although in practice adulteration of the wood and oil is common, allowing for prices as low as US$10/kg. A whole range of qualities and products are on the market, varying in quality with geographical location, botanical species, the age of the specific tree, cultural deposition and the section of the tree where the piece of agarwood stems from. Oud oil is distilled from agarwood, and fetches high prices depending on the oil’s purity. The current global market for agarwood is estimated to be in the range of US$6 – 8 billion and is growing rapidly.
Benefits of Agarwood Oil
Agarwood oil has warming, balancing, purifying, and transcendent qualities and therefore it blends well with other essential oils, particularly with jasmine, rose, carnation, geranium, and sandalwood. European countries use it as a perfume (e.g. Yves Saint Laurent, ErmenegildoZegnaOud Perfume) and beauty ingredients (soap, shampoo). In some Middle-Eastern countries it is sprinkled on wedding invitations. It is also used in Buddhist and Hindu cultural occasions.
Agarwood oil is useful in nervous disorders, digestive, bronchial complaints, smallpox, rheumatism, illness during and after childbirth, spasms in the digestive and respiratory systems, fevers, abdominal pain, asthma, cancer, colic, diarrhea, nausea, regurgitation, weakness in the elderly, shortness of breath, chills, general pains and cirrhosis of the liver. Besides its curative effects, aromatherapy is another facet as it has the ability to invoke a deep sense of relaxation making it extremely useful in any aromatherapy session. It can be applied directly to your skin and is also non-sticky. Furthermore it also has therapeutic impact and is highly psychoactive as it enhances mental clarity, opens the third eye and all of the upper chakras while calming the entire system (medicine / ayurveda). It is also an ingredient for traditional medicine, especially in Japan and China.
Using a special steam method inherited from the Chowdhury family in India. We carefully extract the Agarwood oil from the Aquilaria Malaccensis grown in our own plantations in the Lao PDR.
This extraction and filtering process using pure steam enables the removal of all impurities. Our oil is guaranteed 99 % pure and 100 % chemical-free and hence the strong demand for our products.