Oud

Photo Credit Candice Fee and Stephen Fee.

Oud is one of the most expensive, beautiful perfume ingredients in the world. It has been used in religious rituals for anointing since recorded history.  

Oud comes from a resin extracted from the heartwood of an Aquilaria tree. These trees grow mainly  in India, China, Malaysia, Cambodia. The transcendent, long-lasting scent is prized and well-known as perfume in east.

Aquilaria wood and sap are normally light in color, and oud is only formed in trunk and roots of trees that have been penetrated, often by an insect called the  Ambrosia beetle. This often results in an infection by a certain type of mold.

A life-long infection may occur, and in response, the tree produces a salutary self defense material to conceal damages or  infection.  The production of this oleo-resin, which acts as a chemical barrier to attacks by fungi, insects, and so forth, is apparently a tree’s  response to injury if its primary defence mechanism  is inhibited.  The resin dramatically increases the mass and density of the affected wood, changing its color gradually from pale beige to yellow, orange, red, dark brown, or black.

High-quality Oud oil can be distilled from agarwood only after the tree has been defending itself from infection for two, three, or even four decades.

Il faut souffrir pour être belle.  One must suffer to be beautiful.20133710_10155607410377754_1000217959_o

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