December 20, 2021 3 min read

While it’s fun to keep up to date the latest and greatest that wood scents have to offer our customers, it’s also always worth it to have a close look at the intricacies of what our wood scents are and what they can offer when we take a moment to understand their sources.

Oud is one of those seductive aromas that make it easy to see others on the appeal of wood scents. It’s a powerful and intoxicating scent that enhances the broader bouquet and elevates a fragrance similar to ambergris. Oud evokes a strong and intense sensation in the olfactory system and gives a fragrance a heady fullness that makes the body want more. For a maximalist approach to smell, there are few other ingredients better than Oud.

However, what is Oud? Where does it come from? How is it sourced? These are essential questions, and knowing the answers can be vital to successfully choosing the perfect fragrance for your home. As a result, in today’s blog, we’ll be deep-diving into the background of Oud and the nature of this incredible scent.

Read on!

Location, Location, Location

To really get to grips with Oud, it’s essential to know just where this fragrance comes from. Oud, or Agarwood, is an incredibly precious resin that originates from the Middle East and is subsequently used in a wide variety of perfumes in the region.

The Oud resin is produced by Aquilaria trees, though how they produce this is especially important. The trees are first exposed to a particular strain of mold. This mold is known as Phialophora parasitica and is vital as the Aquilaria tree is actually odorless prior to infection.

What starts as relatively pale and colorless wood, similar in appearance to Pine, soon grows to become dark from the resin that the mold produces. By the time the heartwood of the Aquaria tree is harvested, its appearance changes almost completely, becoming a dark, deeply textured wood with powerful aromatic qualities.

These qualities are highly valued in the local regions of the Middle East and Northern India, making Agarwood one of the most valuable natural materials in the world, with prices for the raw materials often priced as high, or higher, than $100,000/kg of Agarwood.

The price itself is unsurprising given how difficult it is to create a reliable batch. The strain of mold, the age of the wood, and the weather conditions experienced during the contamination period are all massively capable of changing the aromatic qualities of the Agarwood as it is harvested. As a result, achieving the “right” smell for Oud is a bit like trying to hit a moving target.

The Final Product

Oud, or Agarwood, is a profoundly fascinating and challenging odor ideal for wood scents and is easily one of the most fragrant and perfume-like. It can vary in aroma from being extremely “woody” too soft to fruity and candy-like. Its depth is considerable as well, with notes of vanilla and balsamic being commonly attributed.

When combined with other wood scents, such as Oak and Cedar, Oud becomes a perfect foil for more established and “earthy” materials and adds a timeless sense of opulence and exoticism to any bouquet.

That’s it for today’s blog, be sure to check back in the week as we delve deeper into the exciting world of luxury barrel-aged scents for the home and personal use.