What is Oud?
Oud is one of the most expensive and desirable perfume ingredients in the world. It has an intoxicating musky scent that can be quite potent and has been used for centuries in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. 

Oud comes from the wood of the tropical Agar (Aquilaria) tree. When the wood of this tree gets infected with a parasitic mold called Phialophora parasitica, it reacts by producing a precious, dark, and fragrant resin. This is the perfume ingredient oud. 

Because the resin is only triggered by the mold, it's estimated that a total of 2% of these trees produce it. This raises the price of the oil and the wood is also one of the most expensive on the market. Additionally, many of these trees are now threatened species. 

Fueled by rising demand for oud, agarwood-producing trees are becoming incredibly rare and threatened in the wild. High quality agarwood can cost more than $30,000 per kilogram (~2.2 pounds), almost as much as gold. 

Oud is valued strongly by perfumers for its warm sweetness mixed with woody and balsamic notes. It's an aromatic and complex scent. For those concerned with depleting an already rare natural resource, synthetic oud is an option. Synthetic oud tends to be more leathery and woody—sacrificing its warmth, sweetness, and balsamic notes for the price point.

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