The Mystique of Oud
So what is Oud? A quick Google search will reveal immediately the top brands trying to sell you Oud Fragrances and Perfumes.
Fragrances and perfumes are synthetic chemicals, and not natural real Oud.
Agarwood is a resinous wood occurring in the Aquilaria tree found in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Oud is believed to be a powerful natural aphrodisiac, but is more commonly known and loved for its rich aroma.
Agarwood Essential Oil
When Agarwood is infected by fungus, it creates Oleoresin from which Oud is made.
In the wild, the production of this resin can take many years, and like a good wine, the older the resin, the more prized it becomes.
The reason why it is so expensive is its scarcity. The Aquilaria tree is now an endangered species, its population has decreased over 80% within the last 150 years.
Estimates suggest that the resin occurs naturally to 7% of the trees.
Because of its rarity and mythical status in almost all of the world’s religions, it is extremely expensive and particularly sought after.
Typically, sold by weight, Oud costs upwards of $100s for just 5ml.
The oil is one of the most expensive raw materials, top grade Oud can cost over $50,000 per kilo, and the industry was worth over $12 billion in 2020.
The processing of Oud is complex, it depends on water, soaking time, the drum in which it is soaked, the ducts, boilers and the condenser.
There are many grades of Oud. The type of wood used, and the length of distillation, determines the quality of its grade. Typically, the longer the distillation time the higher the grade.
The high cost and rarity means now that Aquilaria trees are farm cultivated, artificial infection and extraction are carried out by water distillation.
Vietnam now protects the wild Aquilaria tree and in Southeast Asia they remain an endangered species.
Chemical substitutes are available for perfume, they are cheap and constitute the least profitable end of the market, the products pose no threat due to the inferiority to the real thing.
There are no truly similar species or known synthetic chemicals that come close to the real aroma. The fungal infection that helps create the resin makes its extract very unique.
The use of lower grade trees or different but similar species of trees or the particular method of infecting.
A distiller can add Hydrosol and fabricate about the length of distillation.
A manufacturer may mix a small amount of Oud with other oils or synthetic chemicals in an attempt to replicate the original scent and increase its quantity.
Does it matter if you buy real or Synthetic?
If you want real, rather than synthetic and potentially harmful fragrance, we at The PÜRE Collection use only 100% cultivated natural Oud.
Our Oud is sustainable and sourced directly from Thailand, and found in our Private Blend Beard Oil.