The legend of Agarwood.
Considered to be one of the most expensive woods globally, Agarwood is a resinous, fragrant wood from the trees in the genus of Aquilaria – a species of fast-growing evergreen trees. There are many names for such resin other than Agarwood – it is also called Aloeswood, Gaharu, Eaglewood or Agalocha. In Arabic, the common nomenclature used is 'Oudh'.
Agarwood has a legend cultivated from time immemorial. Many countries and civilisations have used Agarwood to make high quality incense. This incense was part of many festive and religious celebrations across India, Arabia, China and Japan. Besides being an alleviative and preventive prescription for common colds, fever and digestion issues. In some cultures, it is also considered to be an aphrodisiac.
So, how does Oudh form?
Nature plays a big role in the formation of Oudh. Agarwood trees are attacked by certain fungus or bacteria via parasites. These secrete an oil for protection into the damaged areas of the tree. The oil, which is very fragrant, becomes harder and darker over time. Thus, the fragrant infected part soon becomes what is called the 'heartwood' from which the Oudh is cut by harvesters.
Limited countries. Unlimited fragrance.
Agarwood is a rare wood. It naturally occurs in South and Southeast Asia. The best Agarwood is said to come from Assam in India and Cambodia. But a number of plantations also occur across Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam. Though limited in number, the reason why Agarwood is so celebrated the world over is for its unlimited cornucopia of fragrance.
The rarity of Dahn Al Oudh.
The pure and concentrated oil distilled and extracted from Agarwood or Oudh is called 'Dahn Al Oudh'. Usually, three methods are used: steam distillation, water distillation and carbon dioxide extraction. The older the age of the Agarwood, the better the purity and grade of Dahn Al Oudh. Also the more the oil is aged, the more fragrance it will be redolent with.
The reasons why Dahn Al Oudh is so expensive.
Dahn Al Oudh is one of the most expensive items in the world, by weight. Though synthetic Dahn Al Oudhs are produced, they don't have the warm aura and woody nuance of natural Dahn Al Oudhs. Not to mention, the highest quality Dahn Al Oudh comes from Agarwood trees which are more than 100 years old – which are not easily found worldwide.
The second reason for it being expensive is time. It takes around 20-25 years for an Agarwood tree to be able to produce Oudh which can be used to craft Dahn Al Oudh. Again, Aquilaria trees are slowly getting endangered worldwide and are also classified as a protected species.
Thus, the rarity of good Oudh, difficulties in its availability and the time taken for it to mature combine to create high prices. So high are some prices, that is is estimated that some Oudhs cost upwards of AED 200,000 for each kilogram.
The tradition of Ajmal Agarwood and Dahn Al Oudh.
Since 1951, Ajmal has been a doyen in Agarwood and Dahn Al Oudh. The fragrance of both has lingered for many decades across the Group. Ajmal offers some of the best-quality Agarwoods/Oudhs from the world over - especially some of the finest Indian, Cambodi, Adam (Sri Lankan Black Agarwood) and Gaharu (Indonesian) varieties.
When it comes to Dahn Al Oudhs, there is no compare to the stable of pure, rare and concentrated oils offered by Ajmal. Sophisticated essences are not just sold by us in concentrated pure oil form, we also offer Eau De Parfum varieties.Long lasting and enchanting, some of Ajmal's Dahn Al Oudh masterpieces include Bakhoor Khas, DAO Moattaq, DAO Saif Al Hind, DAO Arzan and DAO Shams.