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What is Agarwood?

Vertical section of Agarwood tree.

Agarwood is an aromatic resinous wood that rarely occurs in trees belonging to the Aquilaria genus, Thymelaeceae family. Aquilaria is a fast-growing, archaic tropical forest tree, which occurs in South and Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the

rainforests of Papua New Guinea.At least fifteen species of Aquilaria trees are known to produce the much sought-after Agarwood. In South Asia Aquilariaachalloga is found, particularly in India, Aquilariamalaccensis is mostly known from Malaysia and Indonesia, and Aquilariacrassna principally grows in Indochina. A number of other species are known such as Aquilariagrandfolia, Aquilariachinesis etc. When burned, this wood produces a brilliant aroma that has been socially and culturally significant all throughout Asia.

Although most people in the United States and Europe are not familiar with this aromatic resinous wood, its use as incense (called aloeswood) is mentioned several times in the bible.

Cross section of Agarwood tree.



One of the first questions pursued when contemplating the previous pilot project was: “is it possible to synthesize Agarwood and Agarwood oil?” The answer is a qualified NO. Agarwood cannot be synthesized. Chemical substitutes are already available for perfume; these are cheap and constitute the least profitable end of the market. In addition, these products do not come even close in mimicking the natural product and thus do not pose a threat to producing naturally based Agarwood products.

Al-Hayat Oudh


The major chemical components responsible for the characteristic scent of Agarwood products, sesquiterterpenes, can in principle be synthesized. However, these are very complicated structures that will be extremely expensive to synthesize, which makes it commercially completely unattractive.

The Agar tree.


Social responsibility:

At Al-Hayat, we are licensed dealers of Agarwood are registered with the Department of Forestry. We sell it with responsibility and make sure that we source Agarwood, without endangering it in any way . We encourage growth of these trees in many social projects initialized by us in Assam.

Flowers of Agarwood tree.