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What is Oud fragrance and why is it so expensive?

Have you heard about a fragrance that is more expensive than gold itself? That is Oud!

Also referred to as Agarwood or Wood Resin, this ingredient in the fragrance industry has been in existence for thousands of years across different cultures of the world.

Oud has been successful in making a quick addition to the world of scents.

Oud serves to be a highly luxurious and valued scent. As a matter of fact, it is considered as a delightful experience for many. This is why you will come across multiple variations of the Oud scent in the perfumery industry.

However, what exactly is Oud? Why is it so special? Let us help you understand the meaning and importance of Oud and the reason behind its expensive tag.

What is Oud?

Oud or Oudh is referred to as the ‘5 thousand dollar per pound fragrance.’ It is by far one of the most expensive fragrances or perfume ingredients in the world.

Also going by the name as Agarwood, the essential oil of Oudh is extracted out of the resinous heartwood of the Agar tree that has been infected by a type of fungus.

Agar tree is primarily found in the forests of Bangladesh, India, and Southeast Asia.

The extract or oil out of the Agar tree is extracted through the process of melting the resin or distilling from the wood.

As per a popular belief, it is said that out of every 10 trees in the wild, only of them has a chance of getting infected in the heartwood.

Industry experts or perfume specialists from all around the world seek older trees in the forest as they feature unparalleled richness in terms of the aroma of the resin.

However, a number of older trees of the given species are regarded as threatened species.

As the resin gets triggered by the infection of the fungus or creation of the mold, it is estimated that only around 2 percent of the Agar trees are responsible for producing the unique resin.

This fact has contributed to the overall status of Oudh as one of the most expensive commodities in the market of essential oils or perfumery.

What is the Value of Oud Essential Oils?

According to a study report, it is estimated that the annual market of Oud shines at around $6 billion.

The overall value of Oudh has been estimated to be around 1/3 times that of gold. Due to these reasons, the Oudh extract is also referred to as the ‘liquid gold.’

According to a report by Forbes, it is estimated that the extract or Oud essential oil can cost around $5,000 for every pound.

In most cases, Oudh retailers out there sell a bottle of just 3 grams at around $300 or even more.

According to the retailers, only a little amount of oil or extract is needed for every application.

Therefore, it is expected that a single bottle should last almost an entire year for an average user.

The fragrance of Oudh comprises multiple components and experiences. It could be simultaneously pungent, yet quite pleasing at the same time.

The fragrance is also capable of evoking smoky, warm notes with slight variations of dampened wood.

While you can experience subtlety blended with instances of fruity and floral at the same time, the predominant fragrance of Oudh is sensual and musky throughout.

The exquisite and complex fragrance of Oudh serves to be a rare, precious, and intriguing gift to the nature.

When this essential oil is blended with other fragrances or essential oils, it helps in the creation of an olfactory experience that is capable of permeating any given internal environment with a sense of luxury, opulence, and ultimate comfort.

An Insight into the History of Oudh

Historians have traced back the history of Oudh to the ancient times. There is the presence of inconvertible evidence lying within scriptures and references of multiple ancient cultures of the world.

The Prophet -Mohammad, is known to carry forward the tradition of fumigation with Oudh or agarwood. It is a practice that continues in the Islamic community even until today.

The Holy Prophet had referred to agarwood as the unique item that is found in the Paradise. According to a famous Hebrew tradition, the popular Song of Songs has described Oudh as a type of incense.

There are early records from Central Vietnam that date back to the time of the 3rd century AD.

According to these records, there have been mentions of extracting Oudh and Agarwood while exporting Oudh to Japan and China. In these nations, Oudh was burned for several centuries in the form of incense sticks.

It is also believed that affluent people from ancient China used to construct coffins out of the famous resinous heartwood.

If we look into its glorious history, we will come across a strong and beautiful connection with the utilization of the highly aromatic substance with the historical Fengshui tradition.

It is a discipline that governs the overall flow of energy in a specific space. In traditions of Buddhism, the most precious beads string with 108 numbers is made out of agarwood.

As per historical records, the Islamic community has also always valued the precious resin in forms of both personal perfume and an essential oil.

As the overall use of Oudh started spreading to Europe, France’s royalty -especially Louis the XIV (also known as the Sun King and famous for its odd indulgences), loved the innate fragrance intensely.

As a result, he even ordered that his clothes should be washed in Oud.

How is Oudh Used in Modern Perfumery?

In the modern world of complex formulations of perfumes or fragrances, Oud has been successful in gaining major popularity and interest throughout the globe.

Quite lately, some renowned designers of the world have also unveiled their customized fragrances by using the highly cherished and fragrant Oudh essential oil.

Some of the instances include Gold Parfum by Touche Royale and Oud Wood by Tom Ford. The ever-rising popularity of boutique hotels during the time of the 1980s brought about a new and a highly opulent traveling experience.

With this experience, exotic and rare scents catering to those having an extravagant taste and money was no big deal came into existence.

When Oud is used as a major component in the manufacturing of scents or fragrances, it mostly serves as a base note.

This implies that it will remain on the skin for several hours after the other fragrances tend to dissipate.

As Oud essential oils form the foundation of the perfumes, base notes tend to be quite heavy, rich, and long-lasting (lasting for around 6 hours or even more).

Oud oils have the purpose of enhancing the scent of additional ingredients as well. In some cases, they might even impart a fragrance of their own.

While most wooden notes for fragrance are famous for their earthly traits, Oudh is known to impart a pleasant and sweet fragrance.

Therefore, it usually features as the synthetic version as it is quite expensive to harvest.

Understanding the Hidden Benefits of Wearing Oud

Oudh is available as an exquisite essential oil featuring multiple applications -ranging from therapeutic to spiritual to even medicinal.

The applications of Oudh Perfume are usually associated with serenity and harmony of the spirit.

When the same is applied regularly, it implies the removal of negative and destructive energies in your home or surrounding.

Oudh oil also finds its applications in the field of medicine as it serves to be an effective aid for ensuring meditation.

It helps in enhancing mental clarity while easing obsessive and neurotic behavior.

In the Middle East, men & women are known to burn chips of Oudh wood to make their clothes and houses fragrant.

Most Muslims have the belief that their prayers tend to rise with the fragrant smoke of agarwood while being carried directly to the creator.

Agarwood, Aloeswood, or Oudh is a type of resinous wood that serves to be a popular ingredient in air fresheners and perfumes. Oud is also a highly treasured product in the far East.

The incense that is formed out of burning the powerful wood pieces -usually in religious ceremonies and spiritual practices. There are several other benefits of Oud -especially in the perfumery industry.

· Calming Properties: Oud features a strong, mystical smell. Moreover, it is also famous for its psychological and spiritual benefits.

The natural ingredient is particularly famous for the overall calming properties. It helps in removing destructive and negative energies surrounding the human aura.

This is the reason why oud essential oil is utilized in the field of aromatherapy.

It also helps in boosting mental functionality and improving a feeling of content and harmony.

· Psychoactive Properties:

Agarwood or Aloeswood is renowned for its immensely psychoactive properties. This trait makes Oud significantly useful for relieving stress and boosting cognition.

At the same time, essence of Oud also helps in reducing impulsive and obsessive behavior. Ultimately, it results in the development of harmonious relationships.

When you make use of Oud at your home for aroma, it serves to be beneficial for your overall mental health for all residing in the premises of the house.

· Elimination of Negative Energies: Oud-based products -including incense or perfumes, are helpful in eliminating negative energies in any given surrounding.

Moreover, it is also believed that the smoke that is created out of burning oud wood is capable of carrying prayers to the ultimate Creator.

The practice of burning oud is quire prevalent in the Islamic culture.

It is because in Islam, people strongly believe that Agarwood or Aloeswood has innate spiritual properties.

· Medicinal Properties: In addition to spiritual benefits, Oud is also famous for its wide range of medicinal properties and benefits. It serves to be a natural tonic.

Moreover, it is also used by many in the form of a remedy to cure epilepsy.

Oud is popular for its aphrodisiac and antimicrobial properties.

In most cases, oud and its aroma has been associated with curing asthma and other lung-related ailments.

Moreover, Oud is helpful in cases of clearing disorders associated with the nervous system.

The fragrance of agarwood is known to provide calmness and ease in specific conditions like diarrhea, cancer, nausea, and several breathing illnesses.

Oud is also known to be used in the treatment of tumors of the lungs and the stomach.

In its essence, agarwood or oud is considered a highly precious resource.

With habitat loss, over-harvesting, and deforestation, it has become immensely crucial to retain the rarity.

Thankfully, agarwood trees across the world are nowadays being carefully monitored to ensure its survival.

Therefore, you can expect the precious fragrance of Oudh to be available for several years on the row.

What Does Oud Perfume Smell Like?

Oud perfume is prepared out of the resinous heartwood of the agarwood or aloeswood tree.

The tree has its medical name as Aquilaria and is available in as many as 15 unique species.

As Oud is derived out of agarwood trees, the fragrance itself tends to vary depending on the particular tree used for its extraction.

The fragrance is typically specified as a woody, sweet scent that is also slightly smoky.

Oud is an extraordinary fragrance with seductive and intense aromas. The olfactory profile of Oud is assured to get you noticed upon wearing it.

The wood fragrance of Oud is rich with nuances. It typically ranges from sweet to earthy to spicy and even leather-like.

The smell of oud perfumes or fragrances will ultimately depend on the tree used for its extraction.


So, is oud fragrance really good? Oud and its fragrance are all about luxury, depth, and spiciness.

It might appear slightly overpowering. Still, it is capable of evoking a sense of smoky and warm notes.

In some cases, people might even find it pungent. The ultimate truth is that you will come across a plethora of Oud perfume options to try out. Pick your favorite Oud fragrance and wear it elegantly.

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