Friday, May 25, 2007

Natural Oud Perfume: Aromatherapy from the Agarwood Tree

By: Siri Amrit Kaur
Few perfume oils have the mystique of Oud. Oud is made from the fragrant resin found in Aquilaria trees, commonly referred to as Agarwood, Aloeswood and Eaglewood. It has been loved and treasured for thousands of years, by mystics and romantics alike. Oud is proclaimed as a aid to spiritual meditation. Lovers use it as an aphrodisiac. Indeed, the hunger for Oud is so great that in most parts of the world Aloeswood trees are nearing extinction. Most aloeswood today is obtained by poachers. Aloeswood is believed to have originated in the Assam region of India, and from there spread throughout southeast Asia. Oud now comes from India, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines... and while trees dwindle, the demand keeps growing. There is good news, though, for Oud lovers.Several decades ago, enterprising farmers in Assam began a major replanting of Agarwood trees throughout the region. Agarwood nurseries have produced tens of thousands of healthy seedlings for Agarwood plantations, and everyone is being encouraged to once again plant Agarwood trees in their yards. Practicing sustainable harvesting methods, these organic Agarwood plantations and extraction facilities are providing good livings for honest families, and insure that these amazing trees will survive for generations to come. The Agarwood Oil they produce is extremely high quality. All the work is done by hand, with sincere respect and dedication. Another recent development to conserve the precious Aloeswood is the use of CO2 extraction instead of distillation. CO2 extraction does not use any solvent chemicals, making it environmentally-friendly. Instead, it uses the same carbon dioxide that is in soda pop. CO2 extraction is so powerful that it requires less wood than steam distillation to obtain the same amount of Oud. And because it doesn't use any heat, Agarwood CO2 extract has a much more vibrant fragrance that is truer to life. It has a woody, earthy, balsamic fragrance that never smells burnt or musty.So as you shop for Oud, remember to find out how it was obtained, and how it was extracted. Support the people who truly love the Agarwood tree, not those who merely exploit it. Buy from a supplier with a good reputation, who makes samples available.
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