Monthly Archives: October 2013

Spicing Up Romance: Agarwood Aromatherapy

What Is Agarwood?

“Agarwood” refers to a precious, highly fragrant type of heartwood which occurs in a few specific species of tree.  It can take decades for a tree to produce this aromatic wood.  Agarwood’s unique and luxurious fragrance has been treasured since the introduction of the written word.  Agarwood chips and essential oils have been used to create incense, perfumes and essential oils, all of which have been thought to have numerous benefits.  Also known as Oudh oil, agarwood oils have even been valued as an aphrodisiac.

agarwood chips

How to Harness the Aphrodisiacal Powers of Agarwood

Agarwood’s wonderful, unique fragrance can be preserved in both agarwood chips and essential oil produced by steaming the wood itself.  This essential oil can then be added to any number of different products which allow the user to enjoy its benefits.  Massage oils, lotions and bath products can be used alone or shared by a couple to explore agarwood’s potential as an aphrodisiac.  Incense produced from wild or cultivated agarwood chips can also be used to set a romantic mood.  Whether used in a sensual massage between partners or as part of preparing oneself for romance, the incredible fragrance produced by agarwood chips is a wonderful aromatherapy choice.

Purchasing And Using Agarwood

If agarwood chip aromatherapy sounds appealing, there are any number of forms of agarwood which one can purchase to meet his or her needs.  Cultivated agar chips are increasing in popularity, thanks to a rise in agarwood plantations around the world.  Wild agarwood chips can also be obtained, but these may be more expensive (and may contribute to the diminishing numbers of agarwood producing trees in the wild).  Agarwood chips, whether obtained from wild or cultivated agarwood, is usually heated to release the aromatic resin which provides the distinctive scent.  It can also be finely ground into a powder to make incense.  However, many enthusiasts discovering the beneficial properties of agarwood prefer a ready-to-use product.  These are readily available, thanks to the popularity of this unique scent.  Ready-to-use incense, lotions, and even beverages like teas can be found.  These ready-made agarwood products can take the guesswork out of using agarwood.

Choosing The Right Agarwood Product

The best method for choosing the agarwood chip product that suits your aromatherapy needs is to experiment with different products for yourself. The rich, complex, and completely unique scent of agarwood cannot be compared to anything else, just as each relationship is unique. Try agarwood to spice up yours!

Cultivated Agarwood: Protecting a Rich Tradition

agarwood chips

Agarwood’s Long History

Agarwood has been treasured for thousands of years by cultures around the world for its one-of-a-kind, complex fragrance.  Like sandalwood, agarwood is a fragrant wood which retains its pleasing aromatic qualities.  It’s also similar to sandalwood in that it’s been used to create incense, essential oils, and perfumes since ancient times.  China, Vietnam, India, New Guinea, parts of Europe and many other places have long cherished or even revered agarwood for its various qualities. Relative scarcity and the potential for overharvesting have endangered the future of this precious wood, but the introduction of cultivated agarwood chips to the market is helping to protect it.

Agarwood In The Wild

Agarwood and sandalwood share another characteristic: both are found in multiple tree species.  Unlike sandalwood, however, finding a tree that produces agarwood relies upon more than simply knowing which species to choose.  That’s because agarwood is actually formed due to a special reaction between the tree and a mold which grows inside of it.  Harvesting prized agarwood chips from wild sources has always posed a challenge.

In order to procure agarwood chips or the essential oils produced by agarwood, the harvester must first find trees known to be able to produce it.  Then, they must ensure that the trees have already been exposed to the mold which results in the production of the rich, dark resin that makes agarwood unique.  Even once this is identified, the entire tree isn’t composed of agarwood; only the heartwood.  The demand for agarwood has always outstripped the supply, but with modern harvesting technology, it became easier to overharvest wild sources of agarwood.

Cultivated Agarwood

Because of their special significance to many cultures and its unique fragrance profile, agarwood chips are still in great demand today.  However, continuing to harvest agarwood from wild sources is problematic.  First, wild sources could not come close to meeting the demand for this much beloved scent.  Second, overharvesting could endanger the future supply of agarwood.  The common sense solution to this problem is cultivated agarwood.  Cultivated agarwood is produced by the same species of trees as agarwood found in the wild, but it’s carefully propogated and harvesting is responsibly scheduled in order that these agarwood resources may be renewed.

The Future of Agarwood

Wild trees which produce agarwood chips are now under legal protection in many locales in order to prevent their extinction, while cultivated agarwood chips have grown in popularity.