Introduction Of Agarwood

Introduction to Agarwood

The origin agarwood trees can be traced to the trees of Aquilaria genus found in the evergreen forests of South East Asia. Other than the North Eastern states, they are found in countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Philippines, Laos, Japan, and so on.

When agarwood trees are damaged either naturally or artificially, fungus enters the tree. As the fungal infection progresses the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in respond to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. The resin embedded wood is commonly called Resinous wood or Infected wood The infected part of the tree, after it separation from the tree, and the oil processed from it, is the main source of sweet smelling perfumes and medicines all over the world.

Why does Agarwood cost more than perfume?

Have you ever put on perfume in the morning only to find that the fragrance disappeared or changed by the afternoon? This is because commercial perfumes are mass produced from cheaply manufactured synthetic aroma chemicals, and rarely contain any genuine aromatics. The average $80 bottle of perfume can cost as little as $5 to produce. Are you actually getting what you've paid for?

Oriscent Aloes wood oil is 100% pure, natural, and authentic fragrance essence. Too thick to spray, Aloes wood is a luscious oil that feels like fine velvet when rubbed onto the skin. Oriscent Agarwood does not contain one molecule of synthetic aroma chemicals, and is certifiably the core essential fragrance you are seeking in any perfume. Due to the pure nature of our Oudh, the production rate is more costly.

Oriscent offers a select range of Oudh oils in their purest form. One swipe of our Oudh will keep you emanating a rich, intoxicating aroma all day. Experience our fine line of Oudh, and you will never go back to using commercial perfume again!

How Agarwood Oil is made

Our Agarwood made its journey from distant lands and took many years to

ripen and mature before it funneled into the bottle. Originating from an evergreen tree, agarwood is produced in its trunk to fight off natural occurring bacteria found in the jungles and wild forests of the Far East. As long as the tree grows, the potency of the Oudh also increases. Its intoxicating aroma is a rare and precious substance also known as aloes wood.

The indigenous explorers who discover the Aloes wood trees in the jungle sell the wood to expert distillers, who begin the process of extracting the resin from the agarwood. Oudh oil extraction can be performed through water or steam distillation.

In the case of water extraction, the Oudh wood is immersed in water for three months. Thereafter, the expert distillers place the soaked wood into huge burners called 'stills' where the water evaporates. They cook the wood for many hours until the Agarwood resin dissolves and oil floats to the top. This is known as the Indian distillation method.

Steam extraction entails that they take the aloes wood chips and place them in a steam distillation unit. The great pressure of the steam forces the resin out of the agarwood and the Oudh oil drips into a funnel. This method is more commonly used in the East Asian countries.

Once the oil has been distilled, collected, and bottled it is then sold to specialized distributors in the region. This is generic Oudh oil, which is commonly found in the world market.

Oriscent Oudh is specially produced by the most highly qualified distilleries in the Far East. Our unique distillation techniques and rigid standards of purity ensure that the Agarwood oil you get from us surpasses by far the generic qualities you can find in the common market. For one, we ensure that incense quality raw agarwood is used in the production of our agar wood oils. Too expensive for common distributors to implement, this is common practice at Oriscent, where the quality of our agarwood oils rivals the qualities of Oudh produced even for the royal families of the Gulf and the Far East.

Harvest Of Agarwood / Production Of Agarwood

Factors such as the age of the tree or the size of the tree trunk cannot decide the harvest time of commercially grown agarwood. Agarwood trees can be harvested only when the production of the aromatic trunk is complete and the tree starts drying up. Generally, when agarwood is grown as a commercial crop, harvesting has to be done at a specified time for certain trees, making it a constant operation.

On an average, if the commercially grown agarwood trees catch fungal infection when they are 5-6 years old, then there are ready for harvest around their 10th years. Going by this timeframe, returns from agarwood trees can be expected 8-10 years after they are planted.

In rainforest areas, many varieties of fungi and bacteria float about. When agarwood trees are damaged either naturally or artificially, fungus enters the tree. As the fungal infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. Here, fungi only spreads primary infection and does not multiply or attack the entire tree. Let's see how agar develops.

When the agarwood tree is about seven years old, the trunk of the tree is attacked by fungi through naturally formed holes. The fungi that enter the tree trunk thus are of different varieties – Ascomycetes, Deuteromycetes, Aspergillus, Botryodiplodia, Diplodia – and they sometimes move in a zig zag fashion. As these fungi go about injuring the inside of the tree trunk, the tree offers resistance to it and brings the development of fungi to a standstill. Because of these chemical reactions inside the tree trunk, a white, milky substance called oleoresin is produced. Finally, a large quantity of dark brown agarwood is produced on the tree trunk.

About 3-6 years are needed for the production of resin wood from the tree that undergoes primary infection. This production is dependent on a number of factors including the quantity of oleoresin produced, its density, primary fungal infection area, etc.

Once the production of aromatic trunk or agarwood is complete, the tree slowly starts drying up, signaling its readiness to be harvested. In conclusion, it can be said that resin wood or agarwood is the result of the working of oleoresin and tiny living organisms. The resinous or infected part of the tree will be heavier than the other parts of the tree.

Agarwood Oil Processing

Agar oil is processed from the select chips and powders through distillation with the use of both traditional and modern techniques. Oil is sometimes processed from young trees too. This oil is available as Agar Essential Oil, Agar Attar, Agar Oil and etc.

Big companies that import oil do so only after stringent quality checks. Since there is no synthetic alternative available for agar oil, the demand for natural agar oil will always be high.

Apart from the block or blocks resin agarwood, agarwood oil is another main product agarwood wood. Agarwood pieces not only resin (Content its resin 20% and below) are processed to obtain oil. Agarwood dust that occurred after the distillation process is another product agarwood industry.

Artificial Inoculation

Though a particular breed of agarwood is selected on the basis of its colour, fragrance and harvest time, fungal infection can be expected only in about 40% of the trees. However, artificial fungal inoculation facility is now available, making all the trees yield agarwood.

In commercial agarwood cultivation, it has now become possible to yield agarwood even from 5-6 year old (sometimes even younger) trees by drilling artificial holes in their trunks and infecting them with fungi collected from old agarwood trees. Since it has been established now that this is a profitable operation, many organizations have been doing this by acquiring international patents.

The process of fungal inoculation

About 1-10 cm deep holes are drilled up to the xylem of agarwood trees in specified spots and their trunks are injured. Holes are dug in such a manner that there is enough space for air circulation. Though the size of the holes is immaterial, care should be taken to see that the injury spreads and the holes don't get covered. Pipes made out of Plastic or Natural material can be inserted into these holes to ensure that they remain open. On an average, about 40 – 90 holes are drilled on one tree trunk, at a distance of 5 cm from one another. Once the spread of injury is ascertained, fungi should be released into the tree trunk, forcing the tree to start resin production. Either the fungi collected from old agarwood trees are collected and released into experimental plants or processed difco yeast, sodium bisulfite, ferric chloride, etc., are introduced in place of natural fungi.

Depending on their breed, agarwood can be obtained from 3 – 80-year-old-trees by the process of fungal inoculation. Trees start yielding agarwood 18 – 21 months after the infection has begun. However, many other factors only play a major role in determining the yield of the plant.

Estimate international market grade & rate/kg


Wood quality

Rate/kg (in MYR)

Super 'A'

Deep black, heavy, high resin sinking

100,000 & Above

Super 'B'

Black, heavy and medium resin

5,000 & above

Super 'C'

Attractive black, heavy and medium resin

From 1,250 - 3,000

Quality D

Light black, medium weight, less resin

From 600-780

Quality E

Dark brown, less resin

From 155-233

Quality F

Damaged in Super 'A' & 'B'


Quality G

Damaged in Super 'C' & 'Sabak'


Quality H

Brownish yellow, light and less resin



Importing nations
Leading importers of agarwood are Canada, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, USA, Pakistan, Israel, UAE and European nations. Taiwan has imported about 68,430,514 kg agarwood from 1994-2003. In the later years, the export and import of agarwood has considerably reduced, while the demand has increased.

Agarwood's names in various countries

Agarwood is known by different names in different countries, in accordance with the language, cultural and religious practices of a country.

China: Chen-xiang/ hsiang, meaning sinking in water.

Vietnam: Tram huong, meaning sinking in water.

Japan: Jin-koh.

Arab countries: Oodh, since wood is pronounced in Arabia as oudh.

Europe: Eagle Wood and Aloes Wood from the Latin word aguila, meaning eagle.

Tibet: Agaru.

Laos: Mai ketsana.

In the global markets, it is popularly known as agarwood, gaharu and oodh.

Is agarwood on the verge of extinction?
In modern times, as the demand for the traditional variety of agarwood rose, the production of agarwood products also increased. This rise in demand and production saw the unscientific harvesting of these trees, making these trees almost disappear in their native countries. Instead of cutting only the fungus infected part of the tree in stages, thousands of young trees that were free from infection were also cut down, pushing agarwood to the brink of extinction.

Agarwood in the purview of CITES
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora, the international organization that ensures international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival, is helping in the conservation and crop extension of agarwood by collaborating with the governments of agarwood native countries and imposing necessary regulations on its crop, marketing and other related activities.

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