Agarwood oil is fit into the definition of essential oil as below:
(Source: google )
However, have you ever seen a MLM (multi-level marketing) essential oil company offering Oud (agarwood) oil? Probably not ? Why? perhaps, it is too costly to do so under this model.
First of all let's look at the yielding here, Sandawood and Cedarwood is around 4.5% yielding. For cultivated agarwood oil, it is approximately 0.001 as 1 tonnes of wood produce circa 1 litre of oil. Here is critical, not the normal wood but infected wood.
It takes around 2 years of infection to create some resin as below
Have you noticed that agarwood formed around the wound which in this case the drilled holes?
(Images credit to Mr Sha Sultan, Junny and Dee)
Good grade Oud oil requires:
1) Good material, in this case, the more resin the better. Wild Oud offers better scent profile than cultivated Oud generally as the age of infection. Unlike other essential oils which usually offer a single scent (Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT imply other essential oils are inferior than Oud Oil, in fact every oil has its own characteristic) , Oud oil has multiple layers of fragrance. It differentiates itself at the beginning, on your skin, and timing, quite mysterious and enjoyable at the same time.
2) Good Distillation Equipment
3) Good technique. This is a secret and differen between distillers.
Unlike other plants, Aquilaria trees need to be strong enough before being inoculated as otherwise trees would die immaturely. The ideal time is 5 to 7 years.
Moving to the next stage: Inoculation which would take additional of 2 years before harvesting.
As in nature/ wild environment, Aquilaria (a specie of thymelaeaceae ) is listed as endangered plant. To trade, it requires CITES certificate (cites.org) which attract another fee PER IMPORT AND EXPORT.
People usually confuse bakhoor as genuine oud. Whilst it was true in a certain point, bakhoor was soaked in a perfume oil and if burn on charcoal, some might find it irritated which is a complete experience when burning pure agarwood chip.