Thursday, December 09, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 4, 1443 H
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Woody fragrance

Can chipped wood pieces and chiselled waste wood be used to make the best perfumes?

Surprisingly, many perfumes we wear regularly are made of these wooden bits and pieces, which otherwise are considered useless by many.

It has been found that a dark resin secreted from the trees called Aquilaria carries immense fragrance when a fungus called phialophora infects them. This is used in many perfumes today.

Today, many perfumes are composed of oud wood, also called ‘agarwood’, ‘oudh’, ‘aloe’ wood, ‘jinko’ or ‘gaharu’ and others, and the price sometimes hits millions.

“There are 23 types of Aquilaria situated in South East Asia. The trees produce oil for protection when attacked by a certain fungus, and that is this oil. It is not the disease but the medicine. One drop of oud in a big mug of coffee is good for health, but it must be pure oud without any chemical or additions’’, says Talal al Amri, an Omani perfumer.

As for the Sultanate, the chips of the fragrant dark resinous wood are important as the country has many ladies specialised in making bukhoor as a village industry and SME. They are sold in ‘Thola’ just like the oud oil.

“Wood notes have always held an important place in the perfumer’s palette, who will often count on this broad olfactory family to create the heart or base of his or her fragrance’’, says Olaf Larsen, senior perfumer and the brain behind the Eurofragance concept which created their first captive named Lame du Bois with an innovative raw material that is a breakthrough addition to the family of ingredients.

A wood found in the forests of South East Asia became a luxurious necessity for perfumes and became part of an ancient culture that continues its status till today. But what is fascinating is that this fragrance is formed as a result of the Agarwood fighting a mould infection. If the tree is not infected, it will be pale in colour and will lack odour.

At a conference held over the olfactive ingredients of woods, he told the Observer that this new perfumery ingredient is significant for the perfume lovers of the world in three respects.

“Firstly, it fills an interesting gap in the woody notes, olfactive family, by providing a high impact composition that harmonises with other ingredients in the fragrance formula and highlights their individual characteristics.”

Secondly, it is made from wood waste that has been naturally upcycled into a precious raw material. And finally, this new ingredient has a genderless olfactive profile that makes it of particular interest for today’s consumers of high-end fragrance experiences.

According to Joseph Thomas, a perfume quality specialist, woods are not only an ingredient of the best perfumes in the world but are used as medicine for its healthcare properties.

“We honoured nature by creating a new olfactive expression for wood that provides the building blocks for future fragrance creations. The name associated with woods for perfumes is prestigious, and it should be preserved for all premium product categories, be it fine fragrance, home or personal care’’, says Felipe San Juan Tejada, Research and Development Scientist, who led the joint team of Perfumers and R&D experts for three years on this project.

These premium perfumes that are made out of simple saw dust and chips and pieces of woods by employing the art of recycling, are today decorating the closets of many perfume lovers across the world and help the people who are in love with life

to unleash a statement

of their own with

their presence.

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