Everything You Want To Know About Agarwood (The Beginner's Guide)

Meta description-Looking to learn more about the highly valuable agarwood? Read on for information about the resinous and fragrant wood.
Everything You Want to Know about Agarwood
Agarwood is the most expensive wood in the world because of its high resin concentration. It’s also very scarce, making it even more expensive than gold. Many refer to agarwood as the wood of gods, as it was used by many civilizations for religious rituals.
The wood takes between 15 and 20 years to develop its signature fragrance. In other languages, some may also call it Oud.
From jewelers to the medical field, various industries use agarwood. Here’s what you should know about agarwood.

What is Agarwood?

In many Asian countries, agarwood is known as Gadara, which belongs to the genus Aquileia. It is a sub-tropical tree with fast growth. You can find agarwood in South Asia's Himalayan foothills, throughout Southeast Asia, and in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Nha Trang, Dalakan, Kalimantan, Vietnam, Hoi An, Cambodia, Brunei, and Hainan are world-famous agarwood producing areas.
The unique tree grows 1000 meters above sea level, but some can even grow on altitudes of 500 meters as well. The best thing is that Aquileia can grow on different types of soil, even on poor sandy soil. In general, seeds require proper care, such as watering and proper shade, but result in the growth of flowers and seeds.
Agarwood also has importance in different religions.
  • Islam- This religion indicates agarwood as an element to eliminate your sins.
  • Christianity- This religion considers agarwood as three holy treasures of Christ's coming to the world.
  • Buddhism- They believe that it is the only fragrance that can reach three realms, earth, heaven, and humans. Agarwood has been a sacred wood in Buddhism for centuries. They consider it as a sacred prayer and meditation. Agarwood has a calming effect on the body and mind, and is thought to help Buddhist practitioners achieve a deeper level of focus and concentration.
Here are some characters of agarwood that you need to know.

Precious and Rarity

Agarwood is the resinous wood from the Aquilaria tree, an archaic tropical evergreen tree native to northern India, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Southern China, and Vietnam.
It is formed in the heartwood of aquilaria trees when they become infected with a type of mold (Phialophora parasitica). Prior to infection, the heartwood is odorless, relatively light, and pale colored; however, as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin, in response to this attack. The resin of a tree from a natural fungal attack and the immune response is commonly known as agar.
The fungus and decomposition process continue to generate a very rich and dark resin forming within the heartwood. Thus, Agarwood develops very, very slowly over time-typically several HUNDRED YEARS or more to form. Hence, this is why it is so rare and valued.


Appearance refers to oiliness, weight, and color. This amazing element has a dark oil color and high oil content. Therefore, the oil lines are quite prominent and unique. It provides distinct and impressive patterns, making it the perfect option to create agarwood bracelets and beads.


The fragrance of Agarwood has a rich layering, making it quite distinct from other fragrant woods. There will be obvious differences in the top, main and tail fragrances it exudes. When you come near agarwood, you can smell its edgy but cool sweetness. Sometimes, the fragrance resembles a very fresh and soothing flora, helping you calm your mind.
While we have discussed all the important physical properties of Agarwood, it’s vital to highlight some of its spiritual properties. Note that Agarwood is considered sacred in different religions because of its ability to connect people to their deepest souls. It also has the power to help you connect with divine creatures.
Here are some important spiritual properties that you need to learn.

Offers a Great Meditation Experience

We all know that people use aromas and scents to stay in the moment and maintain focus. But some scents like Agarwood helps to connect to the peace of meditation. Agarwood also help people to find their inner peace. But most importantly, it helps you clarify your soul and connect with the divine power during meditation.

Strengthen Your Aura

Burning Agarwood in a room can help you ward off all the negative energies around you. It can help strengthen your aura so that you can attract all the positive energies around you. With the help of Agarwood, you can improve your life and achieve your personal and professional goals.

Purifies the Badness of People

This is the lesser known fact, but Agarwood can purify your soul. It can help you eliminate badness in you so that you can live a better and more positive life.

Calms Mind

Agarwood scent can calm your mind. You will start to feel more relaxed and focused after smelling the aroma of the Agarwood.

What is Agarwood Used for?

Many often refer to agarwood as "Wood of the Gods." Merchants have sold wood for centuries, with some even distilling the resin that they used as perfume and essential oil too. Not only this, the resinous wood has also been useful in the medical field, as professionals used them in incense.
According to various studies, agarwood has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which makes agarwood really useful in the medical field.
The use of agarwood in religion and medicine, all are linked. Around the globe, agarwood is an essential component of religious and cultural rituals. In the Middle East, faith healers use its curative properties while pilgrims from Japan donate flowers and agarwood oil as a ritual in Shinto-Buddhist temples.

Different Types of Agarwood

Nha Trang Agarwood

Produced in the Nha Trang production area, it has high oil content and dark oil color, so the oil lines formed are particularly prominent and changeable, full of freedom and artistry. This kind of pattern is very beautiful to make agarwood bracelets and beads, and each bead is unique and independent. The most prominent taste of Nha Trang Agarwood is its sweetness, which is cool and refreshing like a sweet fruit while occasionally having a floral fragrance, and the smell is very comfortable and natural as if eating a sweet melon fruit. It is very fresh.

Hoi An Agarwood

Produced in Vietnam, Hoi An production area, Hoian agarwood not only has excellent fragrance, but also has outstanding oiliness. This kind of agarwood has a sweet fruit fragrance, and this is the reason why people are fascinated by Hoi An agarwood.

Black Qinan Agarwood

This agarwood has very slender dark-brown incense knots, and there will be slight bending. This agarwood is extremely rich in oil, and there will be crystal clear and translucent oil filament when cutting the Black Qinan agarwood. The rich aroma is one of the main characteristics of Black Qinan agarwood. The fragrance has a strong, bitter, elegant medicinal scent with a frankincense.

Kalimantan Agarwood

Indonesia is home to Kalimantan agarwood, along with Kalimatan Island and Sumatra Island. This kind of agarwood has an incredibly strong fragrance, which is expensive and rare. To be precise, it has a sweet and deep agarwood aroma that's hard to find in its other types. This smell can make you fresh and calm and relax your mind.

Tarakan Agarwood

This agarwood is produced in Tarakan area. You can find two types of texture in this Agarwood: Silky oil circuit and flaky oil circuit. Also, the silky oil circuit is known as Dara dry soft silk and comes with a flower-like pattern. The flaky oil circuit is considered the most appealing Tarakan and comes with a tree-like texture. These types of agarwood have a milky fragrance and sweet smell.

Cambodia Agarwood

This agarwood is produced in Cambodia. But the main production area is the province of Bodhisattva. This province only produces agarwood in two seasons: dry season and rainy season. You can easily notice grease lines, and smell a tart fruit fragrance if you hold it in your hands.

Brunei Agarwood

They are extremely rare, and found in Brunei. Brunei Agarwood produces green oil and black oil and has a unique and shiny texture. The fragrance of this agarwood is full of layers. You can smell a refreshing sweetness with notes of a mellow scent. Flora and fruity smells are most prominent in agarwood.

Bai Qinan Agarwood

Bai Qinan Agarwood has dark and yellowish brown colors with visible textures and spots. Its wood part is white and has an overall lighter feel. This type of agarwood has a good amount of oil that can be seen if you cut the surface of the agarwood. Bai Qinan Agarwood has honey, a cool, floral, fruity, and frankincense smell. In addition, the fragrance is distinct and long-lasting.

Huang Qinan Agarwood

The colors of this agarwood are different from other types of agarwood. It has a white-colored outside, but is black inside. This agarwood is extremely rich in oil, and have oil spots and oil lines. It has refreshing and pointy fragrance. You can identify a rich fragrance that makes it one of the best kinds of agarwood.

Why is Agarwood Expensive?

First-grade agarwood can cost as much as $100,000 per kilogram, making it one of the most expensive raw materials in the world.
To produce agarwood, this tree needs to be infected with mold first. The main reason for agarwood being so expensive is its rarity, especially considering how the wild forests. Specialists will often extract high-quality agarwood oil from old trees, which is the rarest.
As per the global market, the production of agarwood has reached $32 billion. As this rare wood grew in popularity, different manufacturers increased harvesting and production efforts, along with its price. Till 2029 there is an expectation to notice an increase in production up to $64 billion.

What are the Grades of Agarwood? What are the Differences Between Them?

Whether it is submerged in water or not is one of the factors for measuring the value of agarwood. A common method for grading agarwood is to first put Agarwood pieces in water before seeing what grade it falls into.
- Fully Points of Sinking: In this case, 100% of Agarwood will sink into the water. You must know that the agarwood of the fully submerged level is very rare.
- Nine Points of Sinking: In this case, 90% of Agarwood will sink into the water, and 10% of it will float. This type of Agarwood is rare, which makes them pretty hard to find. They are also more valuable than other Agarwood.
- Eight Points of Sinking: This means 80% of your Agarwood will sink, while the remaining will float on the water. These types of Agarwood are also purchased widely, and considered valuable.
- Seven Points of Sinking: 70% of Agarwood will sink, but the remaining 30% will float on the water. They are easy to find, and available at more affordable prices.

How to Care for Agarwood Products?

Here are a few tips that you should implement to take care of agarwood products:
  • Make sure to keep the oath product away from water or else it can lose its oil.
  • If your agarwood bracelet comes in contact with water, it could lose its shine.
  • If the water spills on your agarwood mala or any other product, make sure to use the dry towel in order to avoid scratching.
  • Keep your agarwood product away from chemicals, or perfume, or else its natural aroma can lose.
  • Make sure that any sharp object doesn't harm your agarwood bracelet.

How to Store Agarwood Products?

Please put it in a sealed bag when not wearing it, and keep it in a cool place to avoid high temperature. Sun exposure can make agarwood go bad.
The fragrance of agarwood is not as strong as the perfume. The fragrance is not obvious at room temperature or in a cooler environment, but it will have a stronger fragrance at higher temperatures. Therefore, when you usually wear agarwood products, you can't smell the obvious fragrance, so please don't worry that this is fake agarwood.

How Do You Identify the Agarwood?

To identify whether the agarwood is fake or real, all you to do have is submerge the two pieces of wood in warm water and let it boil for two hours. After that see if the color changes, which is a sign that the wood is fake. If there is no change and a soft lingering smell, then the wood is real.

Final thoughts

Agarwood is the most expensive wood on the planet due to its rarity. Moreover, when buying an agarwood product, check if it's real or not!
Keep your agarwood products safe from water or sharp objects, or you could lose its essence. Agarwood is popular in various fields such as medicine and jewelry, making it incredibly versatile.


Why is Agarwood So Valuable?

Agarwood is no doubt valuable due to its rarity, especially as wild forests start thinning down.

What is the Smell of Agarwood?

Agarwood sometimes resembles the smell of rose, lotus, pine, musk, and vanilla, and at other times, gives a bitter aroma. It might be surprising for you, but it has around 170 distinct scents.

What is the Use of Agarwood?

People use Agarwood is different ways. This element is versatile, and helps you made different daily usage items from it. Agarwood can be used in jewelry such as agarwood mala or agarwood bracelets. It can also be useful as perfume and essential oil as well.

Where Can Agarwood Grow?

Agarwood grows on hilly areas around between 500 and 1000 meters above sea level. It mostly grows on yellow, red podzolic, clay sandy soil.

How Long Does Agarwood Take to Grow?

Well, it’s no doubt that Agarwood doesn’t get its pleasant aroma in just a few years. It takes between 15 and 20 years to mature and develop its signature fragrance.

Is Agarwood the Same as Oud?

Agarwood and Oud, both are the same resins from the genus Aquilaria. However, they are not the same element and have different properties.