Arabian Agarwood (Oud) Origins & Scents

By Tuesday, May 28, 2013 0 No tags 0

Agarwood, (more commonly known as Oud) is a type of wood found in South East Asian trees that provide us with the beautiful, deep scent we know as ‘Oud’. Throughout history, Agarwood and its essential oil was traditionally used for medicinal purposes. Today, Agarwood is still a rare oil naturally but is better known for its perfumes and incense.

For the Arabic market in particular, Oud is highly renowned for it’s luxurious scent, often being used and passed as gifts and family functions. It’s quite common to expect Oud scented incense, wooden chips, burners, perfumes, and beauty oils. I absolutely adore this distinctive, deep, lingering scent and find it beautiful worn as a perfume or burnt in the home for home fragrance. I’m guessing it is one of those love it or hate it scents as it is very unique and an acquired taste for some.

The process is deriving Oud from the Agarwood tree is quite interesting. Although naturally the oil is quite rare to obtain, in recent years man has found a new process to provoke production. The Oud scent we know today is derived by a process of fungi being grown on the trees. (Don’t be freaked out, it still smells fabulous) This then causes the tree to produce ‘Oleoresin’ which saturates through the wood and develops the Oud aroma. The oil is then extracted and looks like a deep dark brown residue before being used commercially in various products and forms.

I arrived back from Abu Dhabi yesterday and could regularly catch the scent being worn on women around me. I’m aware that there are a couple of retailers in London that stock Oud perfumes but wanted to buy something directly from the UAE. Unfortunately my trip wasn’t long enough to buy locally but I did pick up a couple of UAE exclusive commercial perfumes that caught my attention in Duty Free which I’ll be posting about soon. If you own any Oud fragrances where have you purchased them from and what are your favourite types?


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