Let's talk about one of the precious resources of the scent community.
By some, it's called 'liquid gold.' It is an oil, ranging from warm honey to a dark brackish color; sold by the ounce, this liquid in a pure form is currently more expensive than gold. The material is OUD, and it is a perfume material that has been popular for thousands of years. It's been mentioned in ancient Chinese documents, and was brought throughout the world by Venetian traders.
The scent profile of oud, also known as Agarwood oil, is difficult to describe, generally encompassing some combination of animalistic, musky, and sensual. Some have even described it as a bit similar to 'camel urine.'
It helps to understand the scent if you consider how it's sourced. The aquilaria tree is indigenous to Southeast Asia. When this tree becomes infected with a certain type of mold, the tree reacts by producing a resin. That resin is oud. So, considering that the aquilaria tree is relatively uncommon, and only a small percentage of the trees experience this mold infestation, the amount of oud available globally is super limited.
After thousands of years of oud, why is it particularly relevant now? Traditionally popular in the Middle East and parts of Asia, the scent has skyrocketed in global popularity in recent years. As highlighted in a new documentary, Scent from Heaven, the recent increase in popularity of the Oud fragrance is placing an increasing strain on the supply chain.
Here at oNotes, we take the sourcing of of fragrances very seriously. We have also worked extensively to maximize the scent impact from our device, while minimizing the amount of material needed. It is our hope that with careful conservation in the scent community, we can preserve these natural sources for generations to come!
Sources: Babatunde, O. J. "Oud: Arabia‟ s traditional scent." (2015).