Agarwood, a unique and rare natural substance, is becoming increasingly popular due to its numerous applications. However, due to its high value, the market business is becoming increasingly competitive. Therefore, there are numerous counterfeit items on the market to deceive consumers. As a result, consumers interested in agarwood-related products should learn how to spot fake agarwood in order to avoid purchasing a low-quality product. Here are four techniques to tell the difference between real and fake agarwood, which we welcome you to try.

1. What is agarwood?

The fragrant decaying wood that grows on the trunk of the Aquilaria crassna tree is known as agarwood. The tree gets wounded by chipping insects, weather, and other factors as it grows. To protect and shield the wound, the wood will secrete a coating of sap. With the help of fungi and bacteria, the damaged wood transformed into agarwood that contains a unique essential oil.

Agarwood is expensive and rare. It is used to make feng shui goods that are beneficial to people’s health. Incense sticks made of agarwood and incense bracelets are examples. The plant is also claimed to bring good fortune, attract riches, and ward off evil spirits, among other things.

It’s because of the “miracle” features and the “miracle” uses. The price of agarwood is steadily rising. Many people take advantage of this market’s opportunity by making and selling fake goods for a profit. Many people have lost money unjustly because they don’t know how to detect what is real and what is a fake product.


2. What are the different types of agarwood that need to be identified on the market?

People can readily get agarwood items online at varied prices in the 4.0 era. It only takes a few seconds to use Google to find all of the information you require. For example, you may look up “buy agarwood chips online,” “agarwood powder price,” or “agarwood chips wholesale” if you’re buying in bulk. However, some shops charge exorbitant amounts for agarwood, while others sell it so cheap. As a result, one puzzle question posed to us “Does it cheap or expensive? How to distinguish standard product?

2.1 Natural Agarwood 

Natural agarwood is made from tree sap and is used to repair wounds on tree trunks. This resin causes the geometry of wood molecules to alter. The natural type has a high oil content, is heavy, and can be submerged fully in water. Agarwood in its natural state will have distinct wood grain and a relatively dark color. 

Because natural item is so soft, it’s difficult to mass-produce it. As a result, it is highly rare and extremely valuable.


2.2 Artificial Agarwood

Artificial agarwood is currently the most popular product on the market. A new tree must be drilled every 10-20 years to plant. It takes around 5 years to make artificial type after transplanting.

However, not all trees are capable of producing agarwood, and the success rate is quite low. As a result, artificial type is likewise extremely rare and valuable.

2.3 Fake agarwood at a cheap price

This cheap product is impregnated with the same color as the real agarwood, so the color is usually quite dark, shiny, and very attractive. The perfume of this type is a powerful artificial fragrance, not as gentle as real agarwood, and it will gradually lose its fragrance if left in the air for a long period. Because it contains a significant number of artificial colors, it will change color dramatically when boiled in pure water.

3. How to identify agarwood?
3.1 Observation

One of the ways to test is to observe the surface of the wood. Real agarwood bracelets always have true natural colors, not shiny

Oil veins can be seen running along the wood fibers if you look attentively; the more veins, the more essential oil it contains. When you hold it, it seems weighty.

Fake agarwood is frequently impregnated with other woods, has a very dark brown or black color. Because the fake is colored to imitate real one, appears lovely and lustrous, so the oil on the wood cannot be seen.

3.2 Smell

You can also distinguish real product from fake by smell. The aroma of real goods is usually mild, not overpowering, but long-lasting and pleasant. Because it is infused with agarwood essential oil or chemical aromatherapy, fake agarwood has a very powerful fragrance when there is no temperature impact.

3.3 Burn

Agarwood samples can be burned to smell the wood’s scent in addition to sniffing directly. When burned directly, real goods emits a lovely aroma and little smoke. Meanwhile, fake item is injected with chemicals, giving it a strong and disagreeable odor when exposed to high heat.

Scraping item into powder is another way to identify . When you put it in the electric furnace, the incense will come out and will not smoke.

3.4 Taste

Tasting is also a way  to know if it is real or fake. Each type of natural agarwood has its own distinct flavor profile. It can be bitter, spicy, or sweet, and it leaves a numbing sensation at the tip of the tongue. Agarwood’s flavor is mostly determined by the number of crystals present. 

© 2021 Chien Dan Agarwood
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