Agarwood is famous for its familiar name “precious child of mother nature”. This plant is an indispensable spiritual beauty of many cultures in the world in general and in Vietnam especially. With a valued scent, agarwood has long been popular and widely used in many religions from Buddhism, Islam to Hinduism. However, not everyone can understand the mysterious and unique beauty behind agarwood.
- Origin of agarwood
Agarwood tree does not actually exist. Agarwood is a resinous part of the non-timber Aquilaria tree. Some other plants can also produce agarwood, but Aquilaria crassna is the best choice.
When the plant is injured, the heart of the tree produces this dark aromatic resin as part of its natural defense mechanism. Then, this oil gathers to resist external infestation, and slowly deposited around the wood. Depending on the time of formation and the level of infection, the accumulation of the volatile compounds eventually forms agarwood. Itcontains many compounds of Sesquiterpene, which have a separate structure and cannot be artificially synthesized.
Agarwood can be formed anywhere in a tree but is mostly concentrated in the trunk near the roots. The quantity and quality of sediments exploited in nature depend on factors such as species and age of trees, soil, topography, climate, weather, and duration of agarwood infection. Therefore, in each place, agarwood is unique and different in size, color, weight, and taste.
The rate of agarwood in nature is 1/10000000, so it is considered super rare. Although its price is extremely expensive, it still does not meet the demand of consumers. Since the 1990s, the need for agarwood has been continuously increasing and that cannot be met because of exhausted extraction. The current commercial value of agarwood is over $ 32 billion. By the end of 2029, the market is expected to reach up to $ 64 billion.
- The land of agarwood world
Agarwood is distributed mainly in Asian countries, usually grows in rainforest areas such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Borneo, and New Guinea. Since ancient times, agarwood has started to be traded between countries. Among the agarwood exporters, Malaysia ranks first position, followed by Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
In Vietnam, agarwood is widely distributed from Tay Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, to Kien Giang and Phu Quoc Island.
- The countries consuming the most agarwood
The main consumption markets for agarwood are Middle East countries, Muslim, Buddhist, and Taoist regions such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the UAE, Japan expanding to European countries such as France and Italy. In particular, the consumption of agarwood is surprisingly growing in Dubai, a city that is said to devote millions of dollars a month to burning agarwood oil.