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Agar wood is an important non-timber forest product widely used in religious and cultural activities as perfume and fragrance and as traditional medicine in Asia.
Agar wood or aloes wood is a fragrant resinous wood. It also called oud which generally used in incense, perfume.
Oud is one of the most expensive perfume ingredients in the world. When the wood of this tree gets infected, it reacts by producing a precious dark and fragrant resin, which is the perfume ingredient, which is often called “Liquid Gold".
Most Agar wood oil is purchased and consumed primarily by Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The consumer market for Agar wood is well developed in the Middle East and Northeast Asia where Agar wood has been used for over one thousand years. The species is commonly cultivated in the home gardens of Upper Assam in association with other useful plants for its high commercial Value.
There are many grades of Agar wood oil. The quality of grade is dependent on the grade of wood used and the length of distillation. Typically, the longer the distillation time the higher the grade.
The oil was extracted from three different infected and non infected wood samples. The oil generally graded according to the intensity of the infection in the wood samples. The Grade G1 is the oil extracted from the highest infected wood. G2 moderately infected, G3 less infected.
Agar wood oil
The consumer market for Agar wood is well developed in the Middle East and Northeast Asia where Agar wood has been used for over one thousand years. Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok are major traders of Agar wood while Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia are major producers. The increasing scarcity of illegal forest Agar wood makes plantation grown Agar wood much sought after to meet global demand.
The value of first-grade Agar wood is extremely high. Known also as Oud oil, agar wood is one of the most precious, rare and certainly most expensive essential oils in existence today.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT AGARWOOD
- Religious texts were written on bark from agar trees and Srimanta Sankardev referred to agarwood as one of the divine trees with the ability to fulfil human desire.
- Burning Agarwood was called the ‘scent of Nirvana’ by The Lord Buddha.
- It is extensively mentioned in the Sanskrit Vedas as a favourite of Lord Krishna.
- Agarwood has played an important role in many religious traditions all over the world. It has been revered for millennia for its fragrance in religious ceremony and its incense burned at the burial of Jesus Christ.
- King Louis XIV had his clothing washed in water scented with agarwood.
- Agarwood smoke was used to scent the armor of Samurai warriors before heading into battle.
- In Genesis, agarwood is mentioned as the only tree from which Adam and Eve could take cuttings.
- Although it is not that well known in the West, agarwood has a rich history of medicinal use in many cultures. It has been used for centuries by physicians in Tibet, India, China and the Arab world to treat a range of physical and mental conditions.
- The Prophet Mohammed used Agarwood to perform fumigation rituals, a practice which is continued today by Orthodox.