Cachemire – oud wood, incense, patchouili and white musk
As mentioned in a recent newsletter one of our new scented candles for this season, Cachemire, has the ingrediant oud wood in it. This ingredient is mainly used in the fine perfumery industry and we now have it in a scented candle. Oud or Agarwood as it is sometimes known is an ancient material highly prized for its unique, aphrodisiac and sensual aroma. It is a rare and expensive ingrediant that until recently has only been used in smaller amounts for luxury niche fragrances.
Oud is the resin from the agarwood tree, Aquilaria malaccensis, which is native to southern and southeastern Asia. There are some trees which produce this resin but the agarwood tree is the most popular. The part of the tree which is used is actually diseased, attacked by a fungus which makes the wood much darker than unafected areas. The infected wood is then burnt and the resin extracted by steam distillation for use in the manufacture of fragrances. The agarwood tree, in its native habitat, is becoming more scattered in population. In an effort to prevent it becoming endangered large plantations are being grown and the fungal organism is injected specifically to create the precious resin.
These images show the agarwood tree growing and the darker area is where the tree has become infected by the fungus.