WOODY

Type
Natural raw material
Parts used
Resin present in infected wood
Extraction method
Steam distillation

Woody, animal, smoky, powerful.

Oud is a very popular essence among the Persian Gulf countries. Across Arabia, men and women are known to dote over the raw material—admiring the lavish fragrance for all its warmth and complexity. In fact, oud is so popular in Arabian fragrances that there exists several subfamilies of oud (such as fruit oud, leather oud, rose oud—and the list goes on!).

Production

Oud, also known as agarwood, is sourced from a rare tree that grows in India and across southern Asia (particularly in Thailand). To acquire the much-coveted essence, a process of distillation takes place. However, it isn’t quite as simple as it sounds—only trees that have been infected by fungus will produce the subtly fragrant, aromatic resin. And to complicate matters further, only 10% of agarwood trees are suitable. Luckily, human intervention has prevailed with the creation of oud plantations designed to artificially produce fungus-ridden agarwood through a time-consuming, yet rewarding process. Trees that are more than 4 or 5 years old are drilled and infected with the particular fungi, and the trees can also be re-infected for (roughly) a 25% higher yield. Once the resin is extracted, the tree trunks are recycled into woodchips and other parts of the trees can be made into lavishly fragranced incense. Through this meticulous process, a single agarwood tree produces about 32ml of essence. With this in mind, we can forgive oud’s costly price tag of around 15,000 euros per liter (or closer to 60,000 euros per liter for “vintage” varieties). In addition to age, other factors are responsible for price variations, such as the color of the essence, its texture and the tree’s origin. Oud wood that is 5 years old has a more intense, leathery, animal fragrance—qualities that are highly sought after by the Middle Eastern fragrance connoisseur. Western-inspired fragrances with a sophisticated or luxurious image are also popular, with a notable number of European labels emphasizing notes of oud wood.
Origin
Indonesia, india, cambodia, thailand, vietnam
Iconic perfume
Yves Saint Laurent
M7 OUD ABSOLU (M7) : LA COLLECTION

Its first version, created in 2002, was the first YSL fragrance developed by Tom Ford. For this return to an archetype of masculinity, he chooses the noblest and most sensual raw materials, introducing the oud wood into Western perfumery. Here it merges with vetiver, to give a characteristic warm and intense trail.

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
The process of extracting oud essence from wood is so meticulous that the coveted substance is more than worth its weight in gold. To produce the subtly aromatic essence, a timely process takes place. First, the agarwood tree needs to grow for about 4 or 5 years before it can be infected with a particular fungus that produces the highly-coveted essence. In the end, the average agarwood tree will only produce about 32 ml of essence. Not dissimilar to an unrequited love affair, producing oud requires a lot of attention with little in return. However, it certainly isn’t without reward—given the arduous nature of its production and subsequent scantiness, oud sells on the market for anywhere between 15,000 and 60,000 euros per liter. “Vintage” varieties are often more expensive, meaning the older the essence, the deeper you’ll need to dig into your pockets. Other factors, including color, texture, and the origin of the tree, will also play a hand in determining its value.

Some fragrances related to the ingredient

Hugo Boss | Boss

BOSS BOTTLED OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Van Cleef & Arpels | Extraordinaire

PRECIOUS OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Robert Piguet

OUD

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Kilian

MUSK OUD

WOODY
Armani Privé | Mille et une Nuits

OUD ROYAL

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Oud

OUD SATIN MOOD EXTRAIT DE PARFUM

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Guerlain | Les Absolus d'Orient

OUD ESSENTIEL

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Carolina Herrera | Herrera Confidential

OUD COUTURE

WOODY
Kilian

GOLD OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Elie Saab | Essences

ESSENCE Nº 4 OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Hermetica

DARKOUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
AROMATIC FOUGERE / WOODY
LEATHER / WOODY
Jo Malone London

GARDENIA & OUD ABSOLU

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Al Haramain

OUD CAMBODI

LEATHER / WOODY
Al Haramain | Portfolio

IMPERIAL OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Amouroud

OUD DU JOUR

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Berdoues | Grands Cru

OUD WA WARD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)

Musk

Bergamot

Sandalwood

Patchouli

Amber

Vanilla

Jasmine

Cedarwood

Rose

Mandarin

Vetiver

Lemon

Tonka Bean

Iris / Orris

Orange Blossom

Cardamom

Pink Pepper

Lavender

Grapefruit

Woody Notes

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