|INCI: ||Aquilaria crassna|
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AGARWOODAquilaria crassna (Thymelaeaceae)
Agarwood (also known as oodh, jinko, aloeswood, calambac etc.) comes from a large tree that's native to southeast Asia but now grows in Iran, India and the Philippines. It can grow to a height of forty metres, with a trunk over two metres wide. The leaves are thick and fleshy, the flowers fragrant, greenish-white and campanulate, the heartwood light yellow and extremely heavy: in fact it sinks in water.
When the plant has reached a certain age, and only once it has been infected with certain types of fungi, the trunk and roots begin to secrete an aromatic resin.Unlike other resins, which drip from the tree trunk, this resin soaks into the wood, turning it dark. The only way to determine whether the resin is present, and in what quantities, is by chopping down the tree.
The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the exudate provoked by fungal contamination. It is a brown, viscous liquid with a marvellous fragrance that's little known in the Western world. The predominant note is deep and intriguing, somewhere between amber and woody.
It combines well with the essential oils of Copaiba, Elemi, Juniper, Sandalwood and Vetiver.
popular herbalist tradition)
The essential oil of Agarwood (also know as "Eagle's wood") is non-toxic and non-irritating. It is an excellent sedative and a natural tonic, with exceptionally persistent deodorant properties. It's almost impossible to recreate the fragrance of agarwood, for synthesizing its many constituent components is not only a highly complex task but also a prohibitively expensive one.
Agarwood oil is extremely relaxing, and for thousands of years Buddhist monks have used it for purposes of meditation. In the East, its exquisite fragrance is believed to "…drive out negative energies, opening the upper chakras and promoting harmony in all its forms".
Essential oil of agarwood is extremely expensive to produce. An excellent fixative, it is used in the perfume industry, in aromatherapy and in incense sticks.