Known as the “five thousand dollar per pound scent,” Arabian Oud or Oudh is by far one of the most expensive raw fragrance ingredients in the world. Also known as agarwood, this essential oil is extracted from the fungus-infected resinous heartwood of the agar tree, which is primarily found in the dense forests of Southeast Asia, India and Bangladesh. It is either extracted by distillation from the wood or by melting the resin.
It is believed that for every ten trees in the wild, only one will have an infected heartwood. Expert perfumers seek out these older trees because of the superior richness of the resin’s aroma. Unfortunately, many of these older trees are now considered threatened species.
Due to the fact that the resin is only triggered by the formation of the mold, it’s estimated that a total of 2 percent of these trees produce it. This contributes to its status as the most expensive commodity on the essential oil market.
The Use Of Arabian Oudh In Modern Perfumery
In today’s world of complex fragrance formulations, Arabian Oud has gained considerable interest and popularity. In recent times, some famous designers have launched their own fragrances utilizing this cherished essential oil. Some examples include: Giorgio Armani’s Oud Royale and Tom Ford’s Oud Wood. The rise of boutique hotels back in the 1980s brought about a new and very opulent traveler experience and with it, rare and exotic scents catering to those with luxurious tastes for whom money is no object.
When used in a perfume composition, Arabian Oud is most often a base note, which tends to remain on the skin long after the others dissipate. Since they form the perfume’s foundation, base notes are very rich, heavy and long-lasting (up to six hours and more). They serve to enhance the scent of other ingredients; and, in some cases, they impart a fragrance all their own. While most wood notes are known for their earthy qualities, Arabian Oud provides a pleasant sweet scent.
Numerous Benefits and Uses of Oud
This exquisite essential oil has many applications that range from spiritual to therapeutic and medicinal. It is often associated with harmony, serenity of spirit and when applied regularly, the removal of destructive and negative energies in the home. A highly effective aid for meditation, it is also known to enhance mental clarity and ease neurotic and obsessive behavior.
In the Middle East, both men and women burn Arabian Oud wood chips to scent their houses and their clothes.