Agar (wood of)

For many years we have called it aloe wood, it is also called agaloque or calambac, but we have realized that nowadays "agar" is more accepted. The Japanese call it "jinkoh" or "kyara" and in the Islamic world it is known as "oud". It is the rarest and most appreciated aromatic wood. It is produced by several tree species of the genus Aquilaria. It grows in the jungles of Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Borneo. It owes its scientific name to the Portuguese who recovered its trade when they arrived in India in 1502 and called it the wood of the eagle (Aquila), although aloe is already mentioned in the Old Testament as an incense offering.

The origin of this aromatic wood is full of mystery. In its normal state it is a dull tree with white, light, odorless wood. After attacks by insects or birds or branches broken by wind or rain, it sometimes begins to secrete a resin to cauterize the wound. This resin spreads throughout the tree in an alchemical process that lasts for dozens of years until the whole tree is impregnated and gives rise to its unique aroma. The wood becomes dark and so heavy that it does not float on water. That is why in Japan it is called "jinkoh": wood that sinks. The fragrance of aloe is deep, rich and earthy. Somewhat sweet and, at the same time, with a balsamic touch. Its fragrance resonates in the depths of the soul. It costs more than gold and is much more precious.
Back to blog