Agarwood – A. malaccensis

Agarwood Investment Profile:

Harvested Marketable Products: Oud Oil (Agarwood Oil) 
Uses: Perfumery as Absolute Oil
Common Name: Agarwood (Bari)
Binomial Name: Aquilaria malaccensis
Investment Entry: Php 5,500.00/Tree with Minimum of 100 Trees
Annualized Returns: 19.00%+

Known as oud (or oudh), Agarwood Essential Oil extract comes from the wood of aquilaria tree. When the wood becomes infected with a particular type of mold, the tree reacts by producing a dark, scented resin, which is often called “liquid gold.” The cheapest distilled oud oil costs as little as $20 a kilogram, while the finest oud was distilled from wood that today has a starting price of $50,000 per kilogram.

The fragrance of Agarwood “can transport us through time and space to an imagined antiquity, or even into a trance state.” Agarwood essential oil envelops with a highly persistent sweet warmth, deep, precious and magnificent woody aroma, shades of smoky, amber-y incense, honeyed tobacco, and sensuously underscored with animalic notes resembling musk/castoreum. The aroma becomes sweeter and musky/woody in the very long drydown. This is it – rich, balanced, complex, unforgettable, and absolutely amazing!

Agarwood formed the basis of the legendary Arabian perfume called Oud. It is also known as Aloeswood, Eaglewood, Kyara, Ood, or Ud, and many other names, depending on the wood’s grade and country of origin. Revered and esteemed by many cultures, it is a highly valued addition to the natural perfumer’s palette and is often used in sacred oil blends and for ceremonial anointing. Kurt Schnaubelt writes that “…[Agarwood oils] evoke mental or spiritual reflection and a rekindled sense of awe for the phenomena of nature.”5

Agarwood essential oil is procured by distilling the heartwood of the genus Aquilaria, a flowering tree with various species that grow in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam; the Philippines; and northeastern India, Burma, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, but only those trees that have been infected by a parasitic fungus (Phialophora parasitica and others) are the source of this rare and highly prized material. In response to the infection, the trees attack the affected wood by producing an oleoresin that, after some years, becomes dark and highly aromatic. The oleoresin accumulates to such an extent that the bulk and density of the infected wood causes it to sink in water, thus the Japanese call it jinkoh – ‘wood that sinks’ and in China it is called ch’en hsiang – the ‘sinking incense wood.’7 It is the incense industry that accounts for the main commercial use of Agarwood – it is one of the oldest and most famous incense materials of the Far East.