Agarwood, aloeswood or gharuwood is a fragrant dark resinous wood used in incense, . In addition, agarwood plantations have been established in a number of countries, and reintroduced into countries such as Malaysia and Sri Lanka as. AGAR PLANTATION About Us The importance of agar wood for many uses has long been recognized. Agar wood is also considered the world’s most valuable. Agarwood Plantation. View Farm in Forest Merchang Karas,Terengganu. Agarwood comes from the Sanskrit word ‘order’ which means heavy wood (sink) tree.
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If you want to grow agarwood trees, make sure to feed them plenty of carrot shavings. They prefer to drink rainwater, and will not tolerate the calcium found in pipes. Agarwood trees like it reasonably hot, up to human body temperature, but need the relief of natural shade, like palm trees. The ridiculous trunk tapers the wrong way, like a baobab, and the surface pulsates with thousands of tiny bumps. There are many truths, sacred and commercial, about this elusive tree and his products.
Agar Plantation – Bharat Nursery
Perhaps the one undeniable truth, true beyond all questions, is his value: And even this truth is shifting and unclear, if you want an exact number, because agarwood will not give you an absolute; every tree is an individual, every piece of wood has his own personality, and every entity that is gleaned from each piece is alike only to the others taken from immediately around it, and utilized in the same way. I have travelled to the great agarwood markets of Bangkok, Singapore and Bombay and learnt the Chinese grading system in Manchuria.
I have talked about the meaning of agarwood with devout Muslims over endless tiny cups of tea all over the Middle East, and I can tell you this: There are as many truths as there are people to tell them. Here is a fairly undeniable truth: Agarwood, both the oil and the wood come from 2 or 3 species of Aquilaria tree which grows, or grew, from the states of Eastern India through Burma, down through Bangladesh, Thailand, Indochina and along the Malay peninsula to Papua New Guinea and even Borneo.
This habitat is now smaller. Consequently, this species is not rated. There is some confusion also about growth in certain regions. For aagarwood, these agencies are not able to prove that agarwood comes zgarwood Lao PDR.
When I asked for the botanical name at the Laotian still, my question was greeted with laughter. There are no botanists at the agarwood still. It is a fact that agarwood is over-harvested in the wild.
It is also a fact that the agarwood business involves vast amounts of money and involves abarwood rare, beautiful and highly labour-intensive commodity that costs more than gold, and is infinitely more precious. It is also a secretive world, with tales spun to accommodate the expectations of the buyer.
It is no longer found in India, Bangladesh, Thailand or China. There are rumours of farms both successful and unsuccessful in Vietnam and Indonesia. The only large trees left are in Western Kampuchea, because of the impossibility of collection for many years due to continual fighting and mine laying.
There may also be a few large trees left in the very remote forests of Laos. The mere presence of the tree is not a guarantee of fragrant agarwood; there must also be a presence of a certain group of fungi imperfecti, and the synergy that takes place between these fungi and the tree will cause the fragrant compounds to blossom. A completely uninfected tree will not be worth the trouble of harvest, as the wood is soft, white and odourless, suitable for kindling.
A living tree, partially infected, will be cut and later used for oil, atarwood a dead tree, or a heavily infected one, will be harvested for its wood. This rarity can be illustrated quite easily: These people are fluent in the local plxntation and culture and are employed for years on end to simply pay attention to what comes out of the forest. If a beautiful piece of wood is found, suitable for the private collection of a well-connected Japanese agarwood connoisseur, it is bought immediately, long before it reaches the Laotian capital, let alone the big markets in Bangkok, Singapore or Bombay.
Agarwood is an acquired taste, at least agwrwood Western sensibilities. Deep, rich, earthy and personal, its sweet yet sharp balsamic woodiness will enter you through all of your senses.
Beyond a pleasant smell, a drop of agarwood will softly invade your lungs, your mind, your body and spirit, taking total possession of you. The body heats, the heart expands, other scents retreat in the presence of oud. Oud is sexuality, passion, plantatio and love. Oud is wild, he is primitive he is the ancientness, holiness and sensuality of the world and all of its history.
He is compelling, in a way that satisfies the Japanese obsession with subtlety and refinement, and has gripped the hearts and souls of the people of the Arabian Gulf. The appreciation of agarwood in the rest of the world runs sporadically like veins of resin through a piece of wood.
It has always been a part of the French Perfume floracopia. One of the legends of the east has an agarwood cutting being the only plant Adam was allowed to take from the Garden of Eden. Agarwood trees grow randomly and rarely in the forest, usually in difficult to reach places.
The first step is to find one and make sure it is infected or even dead. A healthy tree will give nothing. Local people will agaarwood the location of agarwood trees. What looks like impenetrable forest is actually inhabited by humans, with footpaths connecting villages. Once the location of a tree is established, the gatherers walk in. In springwith most trees gone, the average walk in to an agarwood tree is one week.
This walk is through heavy jungle, thick with foliage and bugs and always mountainous.
The gatherers sleep on the ground and must hunt their food daily. And agarwood trees like to grow on outcrops; the actual harvesting usually takes place on the edge of a cliff. The harvesting itself will take several days, and then there is the walk out, fully laden. Each man will carry up to 75 kilos on his back.
Dead infected wood fetches the highest price, with infected living wood also being saleable for distillation. As much as possible is carried out. Living wood left on the forest floor will not improve in quality. The agarwood distiller pays taxes to harvest from a certain area of forest—the gatherers bring the wood to him where it is examined, and, if of suitable quality, bought. Then it is graded minutely. The wood bound for distillation must be chopped in a particular way, finely, and then left to soak in water for 10 days.
After soaking, about 70 kilo is placed in the still and the fire is built. Agarwood distils for about a week. The total yield for 70 kilos of wood will not exceed 20 ml. Like rose, the hydrosol contains many particles that are more desirable to have in the oil. So the hydrosol is cohobated, used over and over, to try and extract the maximum amount of fragrant compounds.
Other methods have been experimented with: However, if the distillation does not go perfectly, the economic repercussions are fierce. Neither solvent nor CO2 extraction is an option at the moment. There are 2 condensers per still. The reason is that the agarwood needs to be cooled very quickly after coming over in the steam, or it will burn.
The Truth About Agarwood and Oud Oil
And the temperature must be exact. The Cost There are many stories that illustrate the lengths connoisseurs will go to. Usually, the Middle Eastern or French perfumers who buy oud at source must establish enormous bank accounts in the pertinent countries, as the governments are aware of this trade and capitalize on it.
Then deposits must be made and contracts signed. Removing agarwood independently from this system can be hazardous. At least three people have been shot attempting to smuggle agarwood agarwood of Laos in the recent past, two at the Vietnamese border and one at the Thai. There is no upper limit to the price of agarwood, and this will continue to climb as the scramble becomes wilder.
The most costly agarwood product is a large piece of heavily infected wood, preferably of the Kannam Kyara is a similar concept but not the same, quality, which pkantation that it contains so much resin that if you scrape it with a knife, the shavings will ball up in your hand like tar. This is so rare and valuable that it is not really even considered agarwood anymore, but just Kannam.
This will be worth even more the larger it is, and the value goes up more if the natural shape is interesting and beautiful. I have seen a piece of this; to my knowledge it is the only one in the world. The gentleman who owned it had been offered over a million dollars for it from a Japanese collector and turned it down. Dead infected wood cannot be plantatiom. Heavily infected live wood is not worth distilling, as the wood itself brings such a high price.
The only wood that is distilled is live and light coloured with a very small amount of resin and maybe some oil running through. Distillable wood is only good for a few months, as the essential oil cells dry out; so oud is distilled from freshly felled trees. By far the greater amount of wood is used in its original form. There is a large market in Chinese medicine plantaiton the powdered wood, but that seems to come mostly from Vietnam and it is becoming more common to farm it.
The wood is graded and sold through various channels, as incense for Japan, especially the nicer pieces, and the Gulf.
Then are the lower but still acceptable qualities, which go all over Asia for incense making. Even at the lower level of quality, on the cusp of oil producing quality, the scent is heavenly when smouldering. All of the oil bound for the distillery is graded and sorted so that the still is filled with as homogeneous a load as possible. Higher grades of wood can be distilled by special order.
You can be assured of this. Never mind the United States supply, pure agarwood oil and sometimes even the wood cannot even be found in the great markets of Bangkok and Bombay.
The Truth About Agarwood and Oud Oil
Most oud is diluted before it leaves the producing region. Once it gets into the hands of a trader, adulteration is certain. The average oud available in the US will have changed hands at agarwood 10 times. By the time it reaches Bangkok, it will be a commercial product bound for the Middle East.
The prices in Bombay are similar to Bangkok and I think this indicates further adulteration.