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, aromatherapy and 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 Global Demand
The agarwood market, whether for oil, woodchips or medicinal end user applications, is growing rapidly.
The latest records from CITES indicate that recorded global trade in oud oil in 2012 was 4,870 litres, a 1,512% increase in volume from 2004. Key importers of oud oil include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia and Bahrain.
The latest records from TradeMap indicate that recorded global trade in agarwood chips and powder in 2013 was 4.7 million kg, an 878% increase in volume from 1995. Key importers of agarwood chips and powder include:-
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Agarwood chips - another by-product of agarwood, is 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 grounded into powder and form the basis ingredient of the multi-billion dollar incense industry, as well as many other varied and growing commercial uses.
From Soil... To Oil...
Oud oil, a 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 alone. The global market is expected to be worth USD 36 billion in 2017 as fragrance brands strive to find new and innovative ways to compete for greater market share.
Oud-based fragrances, with their intense smoky woodiness, are becoming a mainstay in modern perfumery; as a matter of fact many high-end fragrances use oud as a base note ingredient globally.
The Asia Plantation Capital Group's business model is based on creating a vertically integrated business 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.
We possess the necessary skills and expertise, which puts us in the forefront of research and development in inoculation methods where we have been able to successfully infect an entire Aquilaria tree with agarwood resin. Together with our impressive distillery plants and technology, we produce top quality oud oil and have successfully broken into to the high-end perfume markets by establishing our very own luxury fragrance brand, Fragrance Du Bois. Our story is unique; we produce fragrances from the mystical oud oil produced by ourselves literally from soil, to oil, to you.