Oudh (Arabic) oil is derived from Agarwood aka Gaharu (Arabic) and is extracted from the dark resinous fragrant hardwood, of a large tropical evergreen tree known as Aquilaria (genus) that grows naturally in South East Asia
It occurs naturally in South and Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas (Bhutan) and northern India, through Myanmar, IndoChina, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to Papua New Guinea.
How the agarwood resin is produced by the tree:
When the inside of this Aquilaria tree becomes infected either by insects or fungus, a parasitic mould develops and bores into the tree, which the tree in turn attempts to defend itself by creating a very valuable resin in the hardwood.
This resinous hardwood slows down the infection and makes the surviving wood harder, darker and more durable.
While the unaffected wood of the tree is light in colour the resin dramatically increases the mass and density of the affected wood, changing its colour to dark brown or black.
Agarwood is exported in various forms like wood chips, powder, oil and as finished products such as perfumes, incense and medicines.
Exploitation and trade in agarwood
Experts prize this tree above all, claiming that this resin that secretes a fragrant protective oil into the wounded or damaged tree, has an unparalleled complexity and richness of aroma.
Thus the original OUD is the extract from the scarred secretion of the Aquilaria tree that has a rich musty, woody and nutty fragrance, highly sought after and highly prized, if available.
This explains why in all perfumery the Aquilaria trees are critically endangered, and Agarwood is reputed to be the most expensive wood in the world.
OUDH is fondly described as having heavenly, woody and balsamic notes and has a warm aura of bitter-sweet, and woody nuances and leaves a distinctive “sillage” trail.
Fortunately, in the present day and in commercial perfumery it is safe to say that all OUD used notes in perfumery are recreated synthetic notes.
Some of Fragrancefind’s most popular OUD fragrances are:
Gucci Oud Intense EDP
Versace Oud Noir EDP
YSL M7 EDT
Dunhill Icon Absolute EDP
Boss Bottled Oud EDP
Guerlain Oud Essential EDP 125ml
Versace Oud Oriental EDP
Valentino Donna Noir Absolu
Gucci Oud EDP