Formation and Usages of Agar-wood

The Aquilaria genus is renown for its fragrant non-wood product, the agarwood. With its distinctive fragrance and usage in traditional medicine, local rituals, agar-wood is a much-sought-after ingredient in many countries. The demand of agar-wood has been surging for several decades. One of the challenges we are facing is the slow formation of agar-wood because it takes years to form. In contrast, the trading volume is high and in nature, the supply of agar-wood has been decreasing. To cope with this issue, mankind starts to cultivate Aquilaria genus and make agar-wood out of it. Formation of agar-wood occurs in the trunk and roots of trees that have been infected by a parasitc mold, Phaeoacremonium parasitica, and a dematiaceous fungus. As a response, the tree produces a resin high in volatile organic compounds that aids in suppressing or retarding the fungal growth. While the unaffected wood of the tree is relatively light in color, the resin dramatically increases the mass and density of the affected wood, changing its color from pale beige to dark brown or black. High quality resin comes from a tree’s natural immune response to a fungal attack. It sometimes referred to as “The Wood of The Gods” Agarwood has been used for thousands of years as incense for religious ceremonies, in perfumes, cosmetics, aromatherapy, jewelry, medicines, sculptures and also used for meditation. Agar-wood is mainly found in South East Asian countries. Endowed by the climate and other advantageous conditions, Vietnamese Agar-wood’s quality is highly valued among the best for its renowned unique sweet taste, many benefits and versatile usages.

Aguru is also known by different names in different countries
  • Sanskrit name of agarwood is Aguru
  • Agarwood in English
  • Aloes-wood in Hong Kong
  • Eagle-wood in Europe
  • Oud or Oudh
  • 沉香, 沈香 (Chénxiāng in Chinese)
  • 침향 in Korea
  • le bois d’agar in France