Oud is one of the most costly and the most desirable fragrance ingredients around the world. It has an inebriating musky aroma that can be very strong and has been utilized for quite a long time in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Today, numerous perfumers in the West are utilizing it as a base note to make some amazing perfumes for people.
Oud comes from the wood of the tropical Agar (Aquilaria) tree, a genus that includes 15 different species. The tree is believed to have originated in the Assam region of India, from there spreading to populate Bangladesh and much of Southeast Asia.
Wood chips off the trees are often burned as an incense, and it’s common for them to be used during religious ceremonies and various celebrations throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East, including China, Japan, and India.
It is known as the “five thousand dollar per pound scent,” Oud or Oudh is by far one of the most expensive raw fragrance ingredients in the world. It is also known as agarwood, this essential oil is extracted from the above mentioned fungus-infected resinous heartwood of the agar tree.
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. Quite interesting!
WHAT IS OUD OIL?
The oil of oud can be extracted by distillation from the wood or by melting the resin. It’s non-irritating and can be applied directly to the skin. However, the price is the real big deal; Forbes has reported that it can cost around $5,000 per pound. Oud retailers often sell just a 3-gram bottle for $300 or more. The same retailers also note that you only need a little oil, so that bottle should last the average daily user an entire year.
Due to its rarity, high demand, and the difficulty of harvesting it, oud oil is perhaps the most expensive oil in the world. The annual oud market is around $6 billion, and its value is often estimated as one-and-a-half times the value of gold. For these reasons, it’s occasionally referred to as “liquid gold.” The specific value of any particular oud, however, varies depending on the source. Certain tree species produce more valuable oud, and the region where the trees grow is a factor as well. Not to mention, oud that occurs naturally is more expensive than oud produced by an artificial infestation of the mold.
The Value of Oud Essential Oil:
The annual Oud market gleans around $6 billion, and its value is often estimated as one-and-a-half times the value of gold. For these reasons, it is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold.” Forbes has reported that it can cost $5,000 per pound. Oud retailers often sell just a 3-gram bottle for $300 or more. They claim that only a little oil is needed per application and that one bottle should last the average daily user an entire year.
The fragrance is comprised of many diverse aspects. It is simultaneously pungent, yet very pleasing, invoking warm, smoky notes with tinges of dampened wood. Although subtlety blended with touches of floral and fruit, the predominant scent is musky and sensual. The complex and exquisite fragrance of Oud is a precious, rare and intriguing gift of nature that when blended with other essential oils creates an olfactory experience that permeates any interior environment with a sense of opulence, luxury and supreme comfort.
WHY IS OUD SO EXPENSIVE?
Oud really is a little bit of scented luxury! The agar tree is considered one of the most expensive timbers in the world, with the global market reportedly being worth a staggering £5 billion! Unfortunately, due to its high demand it has been declared a potentially threatened species by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). So, agar trees are being grown now in other areas of the world in an attempt to keep up with demand, but these may have a naturally different scent to them.
WHAT DOES OUD SMELL LIKE?
As you would expect, the smell of oud perfume is very warm and has a woody aroma too it. It’s considered particularly potent, so oud fragrances are not for the faint hearted! Due to being sourced from a timber, you may also detect a hint of dampness in its scent, but also a delightful smokiness to it too. It’s a really unique fragrance that you simply have to try to appreciate!
TYPES OF OUD:
Modern-day ouds fall into three categories and we can say there are 3 types of oud: Arabian, Turkish, and Persian, the latter also being known locally as a barbat. This distinction is not based solely on geography; the Arabic oud is found not only in the Arabian Peninsula but throughout the Arab world.