In an Aquilaria log, only around 30% are agarwood which gives 70% white wood.
Only the infected parts are commercially valuable, so after carving the wood log for decor, beads, chips, there will be a large amount of white wood left. Have you wondered what they are used for?
Fuel for pot distillation
As in agarwood plantation requires a lot of lands, we have to be very efficient with what we have and utilise it. Since these white woods do not have commercial value, we burn them as fuel for agarwood oil distillation. Or we can use them for making Pizza, who would want one :)
In some cultures, worshipping is a part of someone's life. These incenses serve one purpose, usually the offer from the prayers to God. There are hundreds to tens of thousands of worshippers to temples daily from every walk of life. These incenses are made available at a little cost.
What makes it interesting was the name: agarwood incenses. For example, the one below.
These incenses are made from white wood mixed with post distilled pulverised agarwood mainly to achieve what the market wants: cheap.
You may wonder if there was any agarwood inside these incenses at all?
Short answer will be yes; there will be some agarwood which was not wholly utilised from the oil production, the leftover one. The agarwood scent is there but rather weak. Sellers called them "agarwood incenses" because they are made from Aquilaria trees which are right in away.
If someone used incense to pray, this incense would be suitable for them. Please note there is nothing wrong with it, as we do sell these type of incenses (in Vietnam, domestic only, not available online).
YES, we do call these incense as agarwood incense, unfortunately. The intention is not to deceive our customers, but please imagine, if these are called "white wood" incenses, buyers will ask us the meaning of this term. Most of this worshipping "agarwood incenses" are made from these white Aquilaria wood or the non-infected parts of the tree.
If you were still confused, I could provide some additional examples.
Raspberry Juice: it sounds like raspberry is the main ingredients of this juice. It creates a perception that this juice contains more than 90% of Raspberry. Unfortunately, if this were the case, you would expect to pay around $100 for a litre, not $6. It is still safe to drink, as apple is the leading juice plus 3% to 5% raspberry. Since apple juice is the leading juice and raspberry acts a flavour in this case, why is it called "raspberry juice"?
Don't believe what you just read? How about next time, when you go to the supermarket, read the juice label and find out yourself.
Monko Incense, the incense which contains a decent amount of agarwood
A very different type of incense is available for enjoyment.
By looking at the above images, and you decided to find out more about these natural agarwood incenses, you can visit here to find out more.
To give you an idea, 1kg of these cultivated agarwood chip is around $1000 to $1500 USD without shipping. If a package of "agarwood" incense was approximately $4.5, would you believe it was made from the genuine agarwood wood chips preferably the non-infected white wood?
If you had burned agarwood chips before, you would have been familiar with its scent. Heating oud chips do cost more than burning incense, but the smell is much stronger. For some consumers, they would like to enjoy the fragrance slowly, and cost-effective comes into place. By making incenses out of these genuine wood chips, the burning time is longer, and the customer can enjoy the scent better.
If you looked closely, you would see some dark spot which is the resin from the pulverised agarwood chips.