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Ouducation

Learn more about the most precious fragrance on earth: Oud Oil.
 

What is oud oil

What is Oud / Agarwood?


Also known as agarwood, aloeswood, and aquilaria, oud is without a doubt nature’s most exquisite fragrant offering...

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Oud oil by region

Oud Oil by Region


When you smell oud oils from different countries/species, you may be surprised by how different they smell from one another...

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Oud: Where do I start?

Oud: Where do I start?


So many products to choose from, and they all sound awesome.
Overwhelmed?
Don't panic, just follow our advice...

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How to apply oud oils

How to Use Oud Oil


Swipe some oud oil on, rub it in.
Easy peasy, right? Wrong.
Learn the proper way to apply oud to get the most out of it...

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Adulteration of oud oils

Oud: the Dark Side


Considering the rarity of (real) oud, it should come as no surprise that there is a lot of cheating involved in this trade, at every level...

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Creating the Agar Aura

Creating the Agar Aura


There are few things in life as exquisite as the ambiance that envelopes you, when you create the Agar Aura...

read more >





What is Oud / Agarwood?

 

What is Oud / Agarwood?


Also known as agarwood, aloeswood and aquilaria, oud is nature’s most exquisite fragrant offering.

Deep in a Far Eastern jungle, an evergreen tree is attacked by fungus-carrying insects that bore into the tree. Much like our bodies’ immune system produces white blood cells, the tree starts producing a substance to combat the infection.

Over the years, the infection grows – as does the substance the tree produces. This is oud, or agarwood. When it is distilled, oud oil is derived.

There are few natural aromatics that have as complex a scent spectrum as oud. Natural ambergris, musk and sandalwood also rank as some of the most valuable natural fragrances, but none come close to oud in the sheer transcendence and sublimity its fragrance boasts.

More than just a scent, oud can be mentally and spiritually engaging. In fact, ouds from different regions also seem to have different effects on a person’s emotions. Indonesian oils induce joy and frivolity, while Indian oils have a deeply pacifying quality which makes them popular for using when meditating.

Check out our products, and begin your own oud journey!

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Oud Oils by Region

Oud Oils by Region


Far East

Including Brunei, parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Guinea, this is the oud lover's paradise.

Far Eastern ouds of the Aquilaria Malaccensis species are predominantly resinous-woody in nature, with hints of fruity or floral notes.
However, other species have very different characters including deep woody, incense-y and herbal.

Far Eastern oud oils are generally uplifting and elating, pleasing and easy to wear.

 
 
India

India is the home of the classic oud, Aquilaria Agallocha. Famed from Biblical times, Indian oud has not only been used for its scenting quality, but also in traditional medicine.

Indian oud oils are typically characterized by a pronounced sweet leather and often animalic or "barnyard" opening note, which evolves into a rich, spicy, and sweet woody smell. The infamous barnyard however is not a natural part of the aroma of Indian agarwood, but rather oils acquire it due to how oils are typically distilled in India. As with all our other oud oils, we prefer to capture the true aroma of Indian agarwood and believe animalic and fecal smells should be left where they belong: farms.

Oud oils of Indian origin have a grounding effect, and are soothing and calming.



Indochina

Indochinese ouds are primarily of the Aquilaria Crassna species. The Indochinese oud scent spectrum includes fruit and tobacco notes.

However, there is no 'classical' Indochinese oud smell, as the Indochinese species include aromas that are spicy much like the Indian variety, but also those that are fruity, and others that are have hefty doses of tobacco and smoke.

High quality specimens are very rare.

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Where do I Start?

Oud: Where do I Start?


While many people have the incorrect notion that oud is supposed to have a funky, leathery, woody smell, you will soon discover that this is gross misinformation - especially in the case of oud oils that were distilled in a way to capture the true aroma of oud wood, like our oud oils.

We suggest you look at the different oils' descriptions in our product catalog. You will realize from the product descriptions just how much the smells can vary from region to region. We try to keep our descriptions are accurate as possible.

The best place to start if you are new to oud is to purchase 0.15g samples of our oud oils. You will realize that each oil is unique in scent and character, and will learn which region/species you enjoy the most.

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How to Apply Oud Oil

How to Use Oud Oil


Agarwood oilThere are two main reasons for wearing oud: for one’s personal enjoyment, and for others.

It is an absolute delight studying the evolution of the complex smell of oud on your skin for hours, for your own enjoyment. Many varieties of oud evoke olfactory memories, and it is a fascinating experience identifying them as the oil develops on your skin..

For one’s personal enjoyment, it is recommended to apply the oil to one’s outer forearm, 2 – 3 inches above the wrist. Even the tiniest amount will be sufficient. This is then gently dabbed below the jaw line.

Needless to say, oud oil is so potent that even this tiny amount you apply can scent the entire room you are in.

It is important that you do not rub. Rather, you should dab gently until a sheen remains on your arm, after applying to your jaw/neck. Your skin is highly absorbent, so rubbing will make the oil (and the scent) disappear much faster. It can also damage the scent molecules and hence the aroma of the oud.

Moisturizing your skin before applying oud oil will also ensure that the aroma lasts longer.

For the ultimate ‘broadcasting’ effect, there are two ways to use oud oil:

1) Applying to your clothes, bracelet, or other item: This will give you the longest lasting smell as the oil will not be absorbed by the skin. For clothes, it is best to apply a bit to the shoulders, and some to the chest and back areas of your shirt.

2) Applying to the skin: while this will not last nearly as long, in most cases the smell will be much more appealing due to the unique chemistry between the skin and oud. Apply the oil just below your outer wrist, then dab (not rub) it onto your jaw/neck. Once again, remember to keep a sheen remaining so don’t rub too hard!

About 1 – 2 light swipes of the dip stick should be used if you want to share the beautiful smell of oud with those around you.

Don’t forget that others might not be accustomed to the smell of oud like you! So do not over apply, even if you yourself can not detect too strong a smell. Remember that one’s own nose gets quickly accustomed to the scent due to olfactory fatigue.

Different ouds have different scent lives, and different chemistries with the skin. You may find, for example, that you like your Indian oud best applied to the skin, while you like to have your Malaysian oud scenting your clothes.

It’s all a matter of taste, and a matter of testing to see which end results you like the most. Go to our product catalog now to start your adventure!

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Cheating in the Oud World

 Oud: the Dark Side


Oud or agarwood is a very rare natural fragrance that is diminishing rapidly from forests that once used to have abudant agarwood trees, and their rarity has driven people to come up with various cheating techniques.

Cheating is found at all levels: the hunter, wood supplier, distiller, wholesaler, and the retailer. We will go over some of the common techniques below.

1. Mixing oud oils from different origins

It is common practice to add oils from 'less popular' regions to oud oils from regions that are highly sought after, like India or Cambodia. The resulting oil is then sold as 'Indian oud' or 'Cambodian oud' to the uninformed buyer.

2. Mixing oud oils of different qualities

A higher quality oud oil will be mixed with a lower quality oil to decrease the total cost, and will then be sold as a 'high quality' oil.

3. Mixing oud oils with adulterants

This is the most common of all cheating techniques, and sadly occurs in 99% of cases. Extremely foul-smelling low grade oud oils are spiked and 'tamed' with essential oils like vetiver or fennel oil. The use of synthetic perfumes is  even more common. DPG, DOP and glycerin are used to stretch oud oils, and some distillers deliberately use a certain types of synthetic compounds which are harder to detect in lab tests. Sometimes adulterants are used in the distillation process itself to make the oil thicker, which a lot of people incorrectly think is an indication of quality - another common misconception.

Take the guesswork out of buying oud. Check out our oud oils, and rest assured that you get what you pay for.

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Creating the Agar Aura

Creating the Agar Aura


There are few things in life as exquisite and uplifting as the intoxicating ambiance that envelopes your very being, when you create the 'Agar Aura'.

For this, you will need oud chips, a fine oud oil, and some patience.

First moisturize those parts of your body which you will scent with the oud smoke. Arab women customarily moisturize their necks, faces, and the nape area, and we advise the same.

Start by burning the oud chips, and let the scent of the oud smoke absorb into your skin and hair, and beard. Hold the mabkhar, or the incense holder, above your clothes to waft it with the fragrance which will scent it for days.

After you have sufficiently scented yourself and your clothes with the oud smoke, proceed to applying the oud oil.

As the smokiness recedes, the rich smell of the oud oleoresin left on you from the smoke will emerge, and will delight your senses for hours (even days!) to come. The combination of the radiating scent from the oud chips with the intoxicating smell of the oud oil will give your senses a treat they seldom receive.

Enjoy the Agar Aura, the olfactory work of art! Your masterpiece.

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