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  • Agar wood Frequently Asked Questions

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    Agarwood FAQ

    What is agarwood? How do you create it apart from wild-harvesting?

     

    Agarwood is a fragrant wood used in incense, perfume, and herbal medicine. It is produced by Aquilaria trees when they are infected with a type of mould. The tree produces a dark resin in response to the infection, which saturates the wood and gives it a distinctive, unique scent.

    Click here for a FREE ebook guide

     

    Many Aquilaria tree species provide agarwood, but some are more commonly used than others. The most popular species for agarwood production include Aquilaria malaccensis (Malaysia) , Aquilaria crassna (Thailand and Vietnam), and Aquilaria agallocha (India). Malaysia Aquilaria filaria is a popular one found in Maysia and New Guinea, Aquiliaria sinesis (China).

     

    In nature, Agar wood or Oud is rare, found in the resinous heartwood of the Aquilaria or Gyrinops tree (closely related to Aquilaria species) from Southeast Asia. Currently, many Aquilaria species are critically endangered in the wild.

    To save these species from overharvesting, agar wood plantations have been planted for decades.

    We have a decent agarwood plantation site (circa 400 hectares in Vietnam of our own and 600 hectares in Thailand and Laos of our partners). Besides, for every tree harvested, we will plant two replacement trees for future sustainable consumption. Also, we also have a decent amount of wild Aquilaria trees within our land.

    Aquilaria trees are the trees that produce Agarwood.

    Please watch this 50 seconds video. 

     

     

    What does Agarwood look like?

    The below resinous Agarwood was from  infected heartwood and branches from the infected tree known as Aquilaria.

    The texture is dark brown. People believe the darker Agarwood, the better it is.

      

    I can't smell agarwood beads.

    Please note: DO NOT expect A STRONG FRAGRANCE FROM THE BEADS ALL THE TIME as agarwood only emits a strong scent when being heated but NOT at room temperature. If you want the holy fragrance presented at all times, either purchase oud oil or woodchip

    The smell of agarwood oil (oud oil) is easily noticeable as it takes around 1 ton of agarwood to produce 1 litre (this number varies from distillers, some more or less). Hence, it is a very concentrated form. You would never miss that.

     1 x Agarwood bracelet is around 20g; the resin amount is unknown but relatively small. This item is more about spiritual practice and fashion. The fragrance is there but weak unless kept in a glass container or zip bag for some time. A genuine one will only have a subtle sweet woodsy scent, while an oil-submerged one will emit a stronger, more intensive fragrance.

    1 x piece of Agarwood chip is around 1g, but the resin content is more than 60%. All the white wood (scentless components) was scrapped. When you heat this wood chip with an electric incense burner or place it on top of the charcoal, the high temperature will release the resin from the wood, creating a sensational fragrance.

    1 x bottle of Agarwood oil (1.5 ml), 100% pure oil, apply one drop to be noticeable.

    To illustrate, please see below.

    The above container is 200 ml of pure agarwood oil. It takes hundreds of kilos of infected wood to distil. The scent is pleasant and enjoyable once the cap opens. You could smell it literally from metres away

     

     

    This image above is a 1 kg bag of wood chips. To smell it, you must stay close (a few centimetres between the bag and your nose). The fragrance is present but not as strong as the oil. However, if one piece of wood chip is heated (1g is enough), the whole room would be filled with agarwood fragrance.

    Now, consider beads or a bracelet or a necklace:

     

    It is only 15g of wood containing some infected part only, could be seen in its pattern. To detect its smell in room temperature without heating or stored in a closed container, it is a challenging task. So, the next time you buy a genuine agarwood bracelet, choose your trust supplier as agarwood beads are one of the most challenging tasks to verify. Oil-submerged beads are easily detectable, often seen as their solid black or brown colour without and stripes (oil veins). These beads are dyed and injected with agarwood oil or other essential oil to create the scent.

    Why can't I smell my agarwood bracelet / raw wood chip?

     Please click here for instruction on how to revive the scent

    First of all, all our beads are made from genuine agarwood either cultivated or natural (would be stated in the product info), please be confident about that. 

    • The fragrance of our beads are always present but not always noticeable, just like perfume, when you get used to the smell for a couple of days, you may not smell it but it actually is there.
    • If you are not able to scent the fragrance from the beads, you could re-pack it back in a seal plastic bag for a couple of days and open it, the smell would be noticeable again.
    • When the weather is cold and the humidity is low, it is hard to detect the smell. You could place the bracelet on the keyboard for several minutes, the heat from it will “wake the scent up.”
    • Even with the unprocessed raw material, in cold weather and some specific day (low in humid), the fragrance is not detectable at room temperature.
    • The wood logs below clearly are decades old with adequate resin to make beads and chips, at room temperature, unless you pressed your nose against the logs, the scent is hardly delectable although it is there.
    • Everyone has experienced this before: if we smelled the same fragrance frequently, we would get used to this. You tried a new shampoo, in several days; you might feel it was not as strong as the first time applies. When you walk into a spa, a hair salon, a shop with a strong scent, have you noticed how long it takes for you to “forget” about the scent? Try this, walk out of the shop for 10 second,s take a deep breath outside, and walk back in. The smell came back? Yes, as the scent triggers the brain again.

     

    Why is agarwood expensive?

    It is a default, just like a diamond; when people hear the name, they know it is expensive. Wild agarwood is almost extinct in nature and extremely rare to find; hunters risk their lives to get it in the forest. Therefore, for sustainable future exploitation, cultivated agarwood is introduced, but please consider:

    • It takes 5-7 years on average to grow Aquilaria trees before being inoculated to produce resin
    • After being inoculated, on average, More 85% of trees survived. In addition, it takes another minimum of 2 years to create resin (agarwood). However, for high-quality resinous wood chips, it is at least 3.5 years to harvest.
    • Once trees are cut down, new Aquilaria trees will be re-planted, the same process required, and another 10 years needed before harvesting.
    • A large plantation site is a plus, but it involves more cost.

    In short, the high cost of Agarwood production makes it one of the most expensive wood in the world.

    If you are buying agarwood incense in a shop in a sealed package, it is hard to detect any scent from it. If you do, and the scent is sharp, soap or chemical like the weight is more than 100g with a price less than $100, it is very likely the product is counterfeit. 

    More info here

    Could I wear my agarwood beads when showering or handwashing?

    • Please keep your agarwood beads away from water, some spatter is fine but not for emerging into the water for a long time as fibre from the wood would absorb the water and eventually might damage the beads
    •  Just like a Rolex watch (for those do not know what a Rolex is, it is an expensive watch), although it is water resistant (not the waterproof version), would you bring it into your shower? so please treasure your agarwood beads to maintain them.

    Is your agarwood tea classified under the medicinal category?

    • No, it is not. Our agarwood tea is purely from dried agarwood leaves with no other substances. We claimed it offered sleep aid and constipation relief based on experiences as well as research articles. Just like pawpaw, banana, or even prune, if you consume it, you will have an easy bowel movement as a natural laxative effect from those fruits that are NOT medicine.
    • Please see our Lab Test result below contains substances that are beneficial for diabetes, sleeping aid and constipation ease, and lean muscle mass building.

    Why does my agarwood bracelet not smell as good as woodchip? Is it fake? 

     

     

    • Please look at the pictures above comparison between woodchips and beads. Both are circa 0.3 g of wood. However, the infection area of woodchip is more than 80% compared to wood beads of circa 10%. At room temperature, both would emit a light smell (need high concentration to detect). However, if the temperature increased, in this case, under an electric incense burner, the woodchip started releasing a strong fragrance from its resin while the wood beads emitted a noticeable one. Woodchip comes in any shape as its value lies on the scent. In comparison, wood beads are different, you cannot make one high resin beads and the other beads have none. The resin needs to spread out as even as possible. If you heat the whole 108 beads under the electric burner, the scent will be similar to woodchip. 

     Just like all the necessity which has high volume in stock turn: woodchips and oud oil (agarwood oil), the price of these items are often negotiable as they are consumed in an almost daily basis. With agarwood oil, Islam prays with it, Japanese, Chinese use it for medicinal purposes (for example to treat abdominal pain), Arabian uses it for manufacturing perfume. In contrast, agarwood beads are more in keep-sake, lucky charm or spiritual practice which last really long. Stock turning is slower and hence, high overhead cost occurs. In addition, each bead is made individually with care, high labour cost.

    • We guarantee our agarwood beads are genuine as they are from our plantation site. For wild agarwood beads, with experience, we verified carefully before putting them in the market for sale.

    Is your Oud oil pure? How do I know it?

    Simple, we manufacture it, and our popular cultivated Evergreen Superior oil has been tested in 2 separate labs (one in Vietnam and in Australia). Consumers are welcome to test in the lab again to see if there is anything else. An experienced user, he/she could detect if the oud oil was adulterated with others. If you want to know more, please email us at info@grandawood.com.au for a full 20-page report.

     

    Is your bracelet genuine?

    Why is there some white patch in the beads?

    Are your beads dyed with colour?

    Do you artificially scent your beads?

    Yes, when we mentioned agarwood beads, they are genuine without adding colour or scent. Please see the pictures below

    The red circle explained the bipolar pattern of the beads. When you see these bracelets, 100% it is made from cultivated agarwood. Wild one does not have this consistent pattern. This is very normal and is NOT dyed with colour. The price of these beads is usually less than $100. Again, the scent will only accumulate when stored in a closed container or zip bag as once you wear it, the scent molecules escape in the air, offering a very light fragrance; this explains why people could not smell anything after wearing the bracelet. The scent is there, you could revive it by containing your bracelet in a closed glass container or simply a zip bag.

    Is Oud (agarwood) allowed in Australia?

    Yes, given the right paperwork, there is no issue. For more info, please visit

    https://www.environment.gov.au

    Is Agarwood oil safe to use directly on the skin (neat application)?

    In general, yes, unlike other essential oils requiring carrier oil to prevent burnt or skin irritation, agarwood (oud) oil could be applied to the human skin directly (neat application). However, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TRY A SMALL DAB (a patch test) TO ENSURE YOUR SKIN HAS NO ADVERSE REACTION. Below are the extract from page 190 of the Essential Oil Safty -Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

    Can I "drink" Agarwood essential oil?

    You should not drink Agarwood oil. Generally, we do not recommend the internal use of Agarwood oil in aromatherapy.

    You can add a few drops of Agarwood oil to your diffuser and enjoy the benefit of aromatherapy. The oil will relax and boost your mood. Do not ingest the oil.

    What are cultivated agarwood beads? Are they genuinely agarwood?

    Cultivated beads mean agarwood beads made from farmed agarwood from our plantation, not from the wild. All beads are made by our craft man from genuine agarwood, either wild or farm grown(cultivated)

    Beads-making material are selected from agarwood log (infected Aquilaria tree) and spun individually. 

     

    It takes 8 years to grow the Aquilaria trees, and two years of wounding to create agarwood inside them.

    Do you supply FREE samples?

    Yes, we do supply samples.

    No, we do NOT do it for FREE

    Why not?

     

    If you are in Australia, you can drive to McDonald's and ask if you could get free ketchup.

    Or ask for a FREE plastic bag in Coles and Woolies?

     

    What do you think about synthetic vs natural oil? Are synthetic oil harmful or unsafe to use?

    Please read here

    Your products are good, but the prices are unjustified. I saw some oud is $20 for 3ml

    You might be right. Some oud is $20 for 3ml, but is it oud oil or oud perfume or something else? By the way, you are welcome to purchase from the other sellers.

    If the oil contains 1% or less of genuine oud oil, and for marketing purposes, it can be called oud perfume or even oud oil. Here is an analogy, if you went to a supermarket and picked up an almond milk bottle, would you please check the percentage of the actual almond in the "milk"(around 1% to 5% only). The same principle is applied here.

    You need to compare an apple to an apple. In other words, you need to compare two oud oils, NOT pure essential oil AND blended perfume oil.

     

    How do you extract your oud oil?

    There are several ways. to produce Agarwood oil.

    We usually distil our oil (also known as oudh oil) by hydro (water) or steam distillation because these methods allow chemical bonds to be broken and reformed. This process makes our oil smell special.

    The Term ‘essential oil’ is strictly limited to steam distillates or hydro-distillates (Water distillation). Oudh Oils obtained from the Super Fluid Extract or Solvent Extract method are not called essential oil.

     

     steam distillation

     

    Steam Distillation

     

    Water Distillation

    Source: Tongnuanchan, P. and Benjakul, S. (2014), Essential Oils: Extraction, Bioactivities, and Their Uses for Food Preservation. Journal of Food Science,

     

    Oud oil (Oudh Oil) distilled from Water and Steam Distillation is called Agarwood essential oil.

     

    Which method of extraction provides better Agarwood oil?

    It depends

    If you want an oudy woody smell, the Co2 extraction would be better because the amount of oleoresins in the oud oil is higher than the hydro distillation method.

    However, the aroma is not as complex as an essential oil.

    Co2 oud oils smell woodier but are less complex than Agarwood essential oil.

    On the other hand, Agarwood essential oil has more volatile organic compounds, so you will feel different layers of smell.

     

    You have your own Grandawood incense. What are the main features and benefits? I am confused

    Please click here

    What is cultivated agarwood beads? Are they genuinely agarwood?

    Cultivated beads mean agarwood beads made from farmed agarwood from our plantation, not from the wild. All beads are made by our craft man from genuine agarwood either wild or farm grown(cultivated)

    Beads making material are selected from agarwood log (infected Aquilaria tree) and spun individually 

     

    It takes 8 years to grow the Aquilaria trees, and two years of wounding to create agarwood inside them.

     

    What's the difference between the 'Alcohol' & 'Alcohol-free batch of Glory of The Pain perfume?

    The base is different. One uses alcohol. You get the "hit" in the first spray. Alcohol-free is oil-based. It is less "booming" but it lasts longer. Oil does not vaporise as much as alcohol

    Alcohol-free or oil base will be used for International Order.

    To ship alcohol-based perfume, we need to use a Courier which can carry Dangerous Good. The cost for this option is very high. Currently, we do not offer this option to any order outside of Australia.

    Reason: Alcohol is classified as a "Dangerous Good: Flammable Liquid."

     

    What percentage is the perfume concentration? EDP?

     15%-20%.

    Do you have any perfumes with wild oud oils?

    Wild Oud is a perfume itself. Generally speaking, people who buy wild oud will only want pure wild oud. They do not want anything else in it. Besides, wild oud is not sustainable. It is a one-off batch. 

    If you make perfume with it, you can only do it once or twice.

    Try one and you will know what I mean. 

    What is your recommendation for a really sweet, clean and fruity oud?

    => If you like to enjoy "clean" scent, it would be the "heaven smoke" (super clean, zero decomposed notes), and the "Misty Forest". For wild oud, try the Scasa Saat Cambodian Oud

    You can see the feedback under each product.

      

     

    Are you planning on having a "Lay-by" option on your website? It would be awesome to try many premium products for a regular consumer without breaking the bank.

    Unfortunately no. Having this option means we have to increase our price.

    Lay-by means paying in instalments.

    On average, "Lay-by service providers" charge 30 cents + 6% commission on the merchant. In addition, there would be another charge of 2% + 30 cents by the e-commerce platform.

    Some of our products are over $1000, so it is not feasible to do so.

    A 1.5ml bottle of Oud could last months and months; for cultivated Oud, on average, it is around $70. Let's say you use a small wooden stick (toothpick, for example. You dab in it the vial and dab in your hand. And you do it daily. It will take around 4 months to finish it.

    But let's say you get bored and leave it aside. Normal perfume would go off because it passed the expiry date. Wood essential oil does not. It is getting better if you leave it aged. So, a question for you.

    "For a 1.5ml bottle that literally has no expiration. Better yet, its aroma improves with age. And you could use it for months. Is that worth $70 AUD to you?"

     

    What is the use of agar wood?

    Agarwood is used in many different ways, but the most common use is in incense and perfume. It has a very strong, distinctive smell that is said to be both sweet and woody. Agarwood is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various diseases. I have written a detailed use of Agarwood here.

    Is agarwood illegal?

    It depends.

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora - CITES's purpose is to manage international trade in wild animals and plants specimens. The goal is to ensure the trade does not jeopardize the species' survival.

    If you have an import permit and export permit issued from CITES then it is legal.

     

    What are the benefits of agarwood oil?

    ween agarwood oil and other essential oils?

     

    Agarwood oil has a wide range of benefits, some of which include:

     

    -It can help to improve your mood

     

    -It is believed to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression

    -It makes you smell good

    -It can be used as an insect repellent

    -It can make your perfume last longer

    I have written Agarwood benefit here <- click the link to learn more

     

    What is the difference between oud and agarwood?

    Oud and Agarwood mean the same thing: products from the resin of the Aquilaria tree.

     

     More Agarwood (Oud or Ouhd) questions and answers here