The Aquilaria tree, the most important source of agarwood, is an indigenous species to the Southeast Asia region; found in countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and eastwards to Papua New Guinea. The healthy wood of Aquilaria trees is white, soft and without scented resins. In the wild, agarwood forms only when affected by certain external factors, such as animal grazing, insect attack or microbial invasion, typically around wounded or rotting parts of the trunk. The defensive reaction causes a moist, fragrant discolouration within the heart of the tree, often called heartwood.
Agarwood is a highly prized product, which is used in fragrances, incense, medicines, and aromatherapy, as well as in cultural religious ceremonies. The precious, highly valued, fragrant agarwood has a history dating back thousands of years, and is used in cancer research, in traditional Chinese medicine, in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and given as gifts and used in ceremonial practices (both religious and secular) all over the world. It is also carved into sculptures, beads and boxes. The agarwood market, whether for oil, agarwood chips or medicinal end user applications, is growing rapidly.
Chips and Powder
Agarwood chips – a by-product of agarwood, are burned to produce a pleasant aroma. Its use ranges from a general perfume to an element of important religious occasions. Irregular chunks of agarwood, usually a few centimetres long and weighing 10-200g, may be cut or broken into smaller pieces and then burned, usually in a specially made incense burner. These chips can also be ground into powder and form the base ingredient of the multi-billion dollar incense industry, as well as many other varied and growing commercial uses.
From Soil… To Oil…
Oud oil, another key by-product of agarwood, is an extremely valuable commodity that has been prized throughout history. It is extracted from the resinous heartwood or agarwood of tropical Aquilaria trees. The precious resin is the result of the tree’s natural defence mechanism when it is infected by fungus. This resin, known as Oud or agarwood, is now one of the most important ingredients in the fragrance industry, with one out of eight major fragrances containing Oud.
The market for fragrances continues to grow at an accelerating pace, with more than 1,200 luxury fragrances launched each year. Oud-based fragrances, with their intense smoky woodiness, are becoming a mainstay in modern perfumery, with many global high-end fragrances using Oud as a base note ingredient.
The Asia Plantation Capital Group’s business model is ranges from the management of plantations, to the inoculation, harvesting, distilling and processing of agarwood inputs into a multitude of agarwood end products, including the highly prized Oud oil.
APC possess the necessary skills and expertise, which puts it at the forefront of research and development in inoculation methods, where it has been able to successfully infect an entire Aquilaria trees with agarwood resin. Together its impressive distillery plants and technology, it is capable of producing top quality Oud oil and has successfully broken into to the high-end perfume markets by supplying the luxury fragrance brand, Fragrance Du Bois.
Please visit our APC Research website to learn more about Agarwood.