One ingredient comes to mind when we say potent, rich and heavy- OUD. Oud is probably the most expensive ingredient in the world of perfumery, mostly because it's not easy to extract. Oud, also known as agarwood is extracted from the fungus extracted resinous area of the agar tree(one of the most expensive trees) in the form of essential oil. It's mostly found in the base notes of a fragrance, and its nature is supremely intoxicating and musky. Oud is a warm sweetness mixed with woody and balsamic notes.
Where does Oud come from and when did it become so popular?
Oud and its trading can be traced back to ancient times. Also known as the “wood of the gods,” the Agar tree was often transported down the famous Silk Road between the Middle East and Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.
The tree traditionally was found mostly in the dense forests of Southeast Asia, India, and Bangladesh but its current popularity means it’s now grown in places like Australia and Sri Lanka.
Oud is most popular in the Middle East but is growing in popularity across the rest of the world. It’s easy to find Oud fragrances in Europe, where this potent fragrance is working its magic more than ever.
Nowadays, dozens of perfumers across the world are dipping their toe into the world of Oud. Western Oud fragrances tend to be a little lighter and sweeter, while Eastern Oud is often darker and more brooding. It’s a rich, opaque scent that gives a hint of the culture and emotion of its origins.
In simple terms what does Oud smells like?
Oud(also known as Agarwood) is the key ingredient of all major Arabic perfumes. To simplify the smell of this complex and precious perfume ingredient, imagine walking into a shopping mall or any public property of an Arab country. Well that beautiful aroma is what broadly Oud smells like.
All variety of ouds have somethings in common, they are always woody with a touch of spiciness and a subtle sweet note. Base notes are always intricate and earthy, leathery, and ultimately seductive and intriguing. Oud is attention-grabbing and confident.
Why is Oud so expensive and precious?
Oud, or Oudh when spelt traditionally, originates from the wood of the Tropical Agar (Aquilaria) tree (or Oud wood tree) when it becomes infected with a certain type of mold. Not that you need to fret about that when you’re letting its warm, hazy notes waft through the air.
When the heartwood becomes infected with a fungus called Phialophora parasitica, the outer layers of the tree produce a dark, oily, heavily scented resin as a form of protection. As you might expect, this isn’t a quick process, and the fungus can take up to 300 years to develop.
The catch? Not all of these trees produce the resin. Only an estimated 2% of them naturally develop it. And not all of them become infected with the fungus in the first place.
When you throw into the equation the fact that the older the tree, the richer and more potent the resin, you can start to understand exactly where Oud’s high prices come from.
But that’s also what makes Oud so special. Good things come to those who wait, and discovering the best bottle of Oud for you is something certainly worth waiting for.
Each Oud-based fragrance comes with its own unique appeal — one that you’ll recognize and instantly associate with a certain memory or person. Oud has a special magic in that sense. It’s a fragrance filled with stories.