A rare, precious and endangered material, oud is produced from the Aquilaria tree, but the natural wood will not suffice. Instead, only trees that are affected by a particular fungus will produce a defensive resin inside their trunks, creating agarwood, also known as oud. This is a process that takes many years, and due to overharvesting, the Aquilaria trees are now scarce.
The scent of oud can vary depending on factors including the region, species, age, and even whether the wood is farmed or wild. Generally speaking, its distinctive fragrance is leathery, woody, earthy and can have slightly ‘funky’ barnyard aromas, making it a divisive note!
Rose and oud are an inseparable pair; the two materials being used together in Middle Eastern perfumery throughout the ages. Saffron and leather are also commonly used in oud fragrances, though many purists and oud connoisseurs believe that a high quality oud should never be tainted, as it’s complex enough on its own!