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What Is Oud And Why Is It So Expensive

Have you ever wondered why some perfumes and fragrances cost a lot of money? One answer lies in a mysterious substance called “oud.” Oud is a special ingredient that adds a rich and complex scent to many luxurious perfumes. But it’s not just its fragrance that makes it special; it’s also incredibly expensive. 

In this article, we’ll explore what oud is and uncover the reasons behind its high price. Get ready to uncover the secrets of this rare and precious ingredient that has fascinated people for centuries.

What is Oudh?

Oud is one of the best scents used since ancient times, produced when a tree essentially rots in the perfect way. Precisely, Phialophora Parasitica is the fungus that infects Aquilaria trees, which are often found in Southeast Asia. The component of the tree that can be turned into oud, agarwood, is created when this fungus rots the core of the tree trunk.

The ability of agarwood to create this highly valued resin as a defense mechanism in reaction to injury or infection is what makes it distinctive. Agarwood can take several years to produce, which makes the resin unusual among plants.

History of Oudh

What is Oudh - History of Oudh

The scriptures of numerous historical societies include unquestionable evidence that the oud has been used since ancient times, according to historians. Agarwood fumigation is a custom that the Prophet Muhammad upheld and is still carried out throughout the Muslim world today.

Its usage dates back to many ancient societies, such as the Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Egyptian ones. The word “oud” on the Arabian Peninsula comes from the Arabic word “al-oud,” which translates to “the wood.” Along the ancient trade routes, it was a highly valued item, frequently costing more than gold.

Agarwood is used to make the most valuable string of beads in the Buddhist tradition, which has 108 total beads. The rare resin was prized historically in the Islamic world as both an essential oil and daily perfume.

What does Oudh perfume smell like?

Since oud is derived from trees, the scent will differ depending on the kind of tree. Most people describe it as having a little smokey, woodsy, and sweet aroma. It is more than just a scent; it is a representation of elegance, spirituality, and heritage. Oud has great cultural value because it has been used for millennia as a perfume, in religious events, and as an offering.

Oud has a unique scent that is both powerful and alluring. Its scent profile is sure to draw attention to itself, with a woodsy scent that is nuanced and carries notes of leather, earth, sweetness, and spice. The type of tree it comes from and the extraction process affect the oud’s scent. 

The richness of the aroma imparts a mystery attraction, according to many who have experienced the scent of oud perfume. It certainly has a lot of personality, but it also has some subtle floral overtones. We refer to this as sheer exclusivity and luxury.

How to use Oud Perfume

Here are some steps that you need to keep in mind while using Oud perfume:

Apply Sparingly: 

Oud perfume is potent and long-lasting, so use it sparingly. A little goes a long way, and a few drops on pulse points are often sufficient.

Choose the Right Time: 

Oud perfumes are often associated with special occasions or evening wear due to their rich, complex scent. Select the right time to wear oud to make a lasting impression.

Pulse Points: 

Apply oud on pulse points like the wrists, neck, and behind the ears. These areas emit heat, enhancing the diffusion of the fragrance.


To make the scent last longer, consider layering your oud fragrance with unscented moisturizer or with matching scented body products if available.

Avoid Rubbing: 

When applying oud, avoid rubbing your wrists together. This can break down the fragrance molecules and reduce its longevity.

Test Before Committing: 

Before buying a full-sized bottle, test the fragrance on your skin to ensure it compliments your body chemistry and personal style.


Keep your oud perfume in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, as exposure to light and heat can alter its scent and longevity. Proper storage ensures that your oud fragrance remains at its best

How much does Oud Perfume cost

Agarwood is without a doubt the most valuable essential oil, according to study. With costs per litre frequently ranging from $50,000 to $80,000 (£36,000 to £58,000). The majority of worldwide agarwood trading is with companies that make perfumes. 

The annual value of the oud market is projected to be an astounding $6 billion (more than £4 billion). It is approximately 1.5 times the value of gold. For just this reason, some refer to it as “liquid gold.” Oud can cost $5,000 (£3,600) per pound. However, some oud merchants typically charge $300 (£200) or more for a 3g bottle.

Why is it so expensive

Here are some reasons that make Oud an expensive product:


The main reason oud is so expensive is because its source, agarwood, is so hard to get. There are not many agarwood trees in the world, and very few of them provide enough resin to be used to extract oud.

Time-Intensive Production: 

The agarwood tree’s heartwood takes several years for the resin to mature, which makes the oud-forming process a laborious one. Its cost is increased by this prolonged maturing period.

Complex Extraction: 

The delicate and complex procedure of extracting oud calls for the knowledge of experienced craftspeople. Since there is a shortage of skilled distillers, this intricacy raises the price.

Ageing Mechanism: 

Like good wines and spirits, oud gains value with age. Due to their more complex and potent scent, older oud resins are more expensive and highly sought for.

Geographical Constraints: 

The main locations for agarwood trees are in portions of China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. These trees have a restricted geographic range, which can make it difficult and expensive to cultivate agarwood outside of these areas.

Strong Demand for Fragrances: 

Because of its distinctive and elegant aroma, oud is a highly sought-after component in the luxury perfume market. The price is also rising due to the increasing demand from perfumers and scent enthusiasts.

Some of the famous Oud fragrances

Dehnul Oud

Dehnul Attar has a pleasant woody scent. It is produced in Assam, India, using organic agarwood trees. It’s the priciest oil on the planet. It smells strong, earthy, musky, woodsy, and powerful. This attar is thought to be the perfect fit for treating a variety of nervous system-related issues. As a result, it is frequently used in aromatherapy procedures such as massages and inhalations. It has incredible qualities that have calming and cooling benefits on both your body and mind.

Rose Oud

A unique type of perfume oil called rose oud attar is created from the two wonderful scents of oud and roses. Imagine the rich, woodsy aroma of oud, a resin from a particular kind of tree, mixed with the sweet, romantic scent of fresh roses. When these smells combine, they provide an opulent, enduring fragrance that people adore wearing as an exotic, natural perfume.

White Oud

The deep, woodsy, and sweet aroma of attar makes it a perfect element for perfumes. You can also use the white oudh attar straight as a perfume. There is a greater likelihood that a perfume with oud or white oud as the basis will continue to smell for hours after application. White oudh attar is renowned for having a well-balanced scent that is somewhat spicy, woodsy, and tea-like.


To sum it all up, It’s all about the depth, richness, and spice of oud. It can evoke warmth and smoky notes, even though it might appear a little overwhelming. It is both unpleasant and confusing to people. It can be quite sensual and seductive when combined with floral or fruity elements. Oud is one of the most costly oils in the world because of the rising demand, scarcity, and labor-intensive harvesting process. 


How is oud used in perfumes and fragrances?

Oud is used as a key ingredient in luxury perfumes to add depth and sophistication to scents. Its complex aroma profile makes it highly prized in the world of fragrances.

Are there different grades of oud, and does it affect the price?

Yes, there are various grades of oud, and the quality significantly impacts the price. Older, rarer, and more aged oud resins are considered higher quality and command higher prices.

Can I wear oud daily, or is it best for special occasions?

Oud is potent and long-lasting, so it’s often best for special occasions or evening wear. However, some people do choose to wear it daily, but it’s advisable to use it sparingly to avoid an overwhelming scent.

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