An introduction to Oud

Over the past few years Oud (Oudh in Arabic) has become far more popular with our customers. We get lots of queries about Oud from visitors to our store so thought we would put together this post.

Oud is a resin which comes from the Agar tree which is why you may also see it referred to as Agarwood in fragrances. The tree is thought to have originated in Assam, India and is now found across the tropical climbs of Southeast Asia.

The essential oil is extracted from trees that have been infected by a specific type of fungus. The resin produced by the tree as a defence against the infection is where the oil is extracted from, through distillation or by carefully melting the resin.

In the wild, the Agar tree is registered as a potentially threatened species and only a small percentage of trees become naturally infected. The most prized Oud comes from wild trees that are at least 30 years old, the rarity of older trees is why some Oud can fetch prices over 1.5 times the cost of gold.

Today, Agarwood farms supplement the market which is reported to be worth £5bn. 

Oud has been used across Southeast Asia for centuries as incense or sparingly applied in a body oil. 

In perfumery the oil is appreciated for its sweet, woody, aromatic and complex fragrance. It has been worn as a body perfume throughout the Middle East for generations, often in its purest and strongest form.

The popularity in the UK has being growing for several years as niche luxury perfumers have launched scents using the strong warm woody oud note as a base to their creations. Launches from names like Dior and Tom Ford have accelerated the interest in Oud scents. 

Here at Scent Lounge we have a growing number of perfumes that use Oud, from scents that give a delicate recognisable woody base to those that celebrate the heavier more powerful characteristic of this precious ingredient.

The Other Side of Oud by Atkinsons is a wonderfully complex scent with Oud at its heart where as Bon Parfumeur 903 offers a fresher top note to the Oud.

For the home Cochine Agarwood & Amber is available in both a candle and reed diffuser. Cochine source their Oud from a project investing in small sustainable Agarwood oil production.

Shop our Oud collection.


Ingredient focus