Also known as agarwood, aloeswood and eaglewood, oud is nature’s most exquisite fragrant offering.
Oud is a resinous heartwood that sometimes occurs in trees belonging to the genus Aquilaria (Thymelaeceae family). Aquilaria is a fast-growing, archaic subtropical forest tree, with a population range stretching from South Asia’s Himalayan foothills, throughout Southeast Asia, and into the rainforests of Papua New Guinea.
At least fifteen species of Aquilaria are known to produce the much sought-after agarwood, as follow:
Deep in a Far Eastern jungle, an evergreen tree is attacked by fungus-carrying insects that bore into the tree. Much like our bodies’ immune system produces white blood cells, the tree starts producing a substance to combat the infection.
Over the years, the infection grows – as does the substance the tree produces. This is oud, or agarwood. When it is distilled, oud oil is derived.
There are few natural aromatics that have as complex a scent spectrum as oud. Natural ambergris, musk and sandalwood also rank as some of the most valuable natural fragrances, but none come close to oud in the sheer transcendence and sublimity its fragrance boasts.
More than just a scent, oud can be mentally and spiritually engaging. In fact, ouds from different regions also seem to have different effects on a person’s emotions. Indonesian oils induce joy and frivolity, while Vietnam oils have a deeply pacifying quality which makes them popular for using when meditating.