What is Agarwood? Four Agarwood Species That You must know

Agarwood miniatures

For most people, Agarwood or Trầm Hương can be called “Agarwood Tree”. In fact, the definition of “Agarwood Tree” does not exist due to their origin. So where exactly is this special wood come from? This article will figure out all informations about what Agarwood is and the reason why bracelets from this wood are so popular.

I. What is Agarwood?

1.1 The origin of this special wood

“Agarwood Tree” does not exist. Actually, this is a dark aromatic resin that is formed in the heartwood of the aquilaria tree. Many people think that it’s just a simple type of wood which is come from tree. Accordingly, they casually call it “Agarwood tree”.

It is formed when Gourd tree (Aquilaria tree) is wounded and this causes a resinous zone to form around the wound. The resin is only formed when the tree is infected with a type of fungus. The aquilaria tree responds to the infection by producing a dark aromatic resin known as Agarwood. It is this process of the infection that produces Agarwood. Without the infection, aquilaria trees will not produce Agarwood. 

The Gourd trees, which have Agarwood, are often threadbare with tumors, bumps, borer, termite mounds, shrapnel, shells, or get lightning strikes. It is said that the fragrance of the heavens followed the wind and landed on the wound and blended in to the resin and grew up in nature, is  especially, called the Spirit of Heaven and Earth.

1.2 The value of Agarwood

The classification of Agarwood is based on the amount of essential oil. The first ranking is belonged to Ky Nam which is priced about 6000 USD/1 kg and the essential oil is priced about 9000 USD/1 liter. The others are are manipulated into many feng shui and spiritual items. They can bring luckiness, happiness and peaceful life for their owners.

The origin and the quantity of essential oil are 2 factors that cause difference in the price.

To ancient Japanese, they knew how to deeply enjoy Agarwood in the holidays, especially for the King or Head of State. At the time, before the ceremony, people must wash their hands carefully in order to be allowed to get closer to a big censer. The wood is burned inside it.

the value of this special wood
The value of this special wood

II. Agarwood Effections

This special wood has been well known for its innumerable benefits. The abundant and precious essential oil in the wood is significantly beneficial to people’s health. Owing to its spiciness, “warm” and “hot” in nature, it has been effectively used as an Oriental medical product to support the treatment of pain, vomiting, shortness of breath. Additionally, it is believed to make positive spiritual impacts, banish the evil spirits, bring good luck to users. Scientists have proved another benefit of Agarwood: improve the immune system thanks to its Yang (hot in nature).

2.1 The usages in Health

The abundant natural essential oil contained in agarwood is beneficial for health. The special fragrance is pure and delicate, which helps calm, relax the mind and reduce stress. Frankincense is especially good for people who suffer from frequent dizziness and headache. , asthma,…

2.2 The usages in Spiritual

It is no coincidence that burning incense has become a cultural feature in life. That is because burning incense brings a great deal of the spiritual aspect. Agarwood is considered as the mascot to absorb the essence of the Sky and Earth. With the strong Yangqi, Agarwood also has an effect of chasing bad luck and disaster. Burning incense increases the effect in order to bring good luck to the home-owners. Many people believe that incense can purify the badness of people, help us get rid of negative energy, and calm the mind to the prosperity.

Agarwood Smoking Toothpick

2.3 The usages in Feng Shui

Since the ancient Egypt, Jewelry are popular. The main purpose was used as the amulets. Over time, feng shui jewelry were more than just a spiritual meaning. Today, they are used for each person’s the beauty of appearance. Feng shui jewelry includes bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, … in many types and models.

Feng shui jewelry give owners the beauty and high aesthetics. Besides, it also helps attract fortune, luckiness. Therefore, it is very popular to use in today’s life.

2.4 The impact on Science

In scholarship on the ancient world, there is no doubt that having some type of herbs burned is familiar to Vietnamese people. Burning Agarwood can help purify the atmosphere and improve people’s health. Not only being used  in  Viet Nam, but also Agarwood is popular in other Asia countries such as China, Japan, India. It’s known as a panacea – gift from God. 

The scientists these days have discovered that Agarwood contains benzyl acetone 26%, methoxy benzyl acetone 53%, terpenicol 11%, acid cinnamic … These chemical compounds are playing a part in boosting the immune system. Burning agarwood can bring you a deeply and mentally sleep. This is important to help you eat well, activate your mind and our body..

2.5 The usages in Fashion

Undeniably, the Agarwood Bracelet is increasingly sophisticatedly designed. It is both a feng shui bracelet and a beautiful fashion accessory to show the owner’s level. Agarwood bracelets are mixed with accessories coated with gold and stones meaning other feng shui, such as spleen, gourd, … All meet in the bracelet to add strength and enhance the beauty of the ring.


III. Agarwood Productions

1. Agarwood Bracelet

Agarwood bracelet is considered a very popular jewelry item nowadays. It exalts confidence, luxurious beauty, nobility. In addition, a small bracelet also helps the body stay healthy, refresh the spirit and especially bring fortune, good luck and peace. Each of the Agarwood bracelets represents a talisman for its owner. 108-beads Agarwood bracelets is directly processed from the Agarwood block. These Wood beads are commonly made in spherical shape. However, nowadays people design them in the form of cylindrical shape. This creates more newness and originality. Besides, in many places, they also carved wooden particles so that they have a typical shape.

Agarwood Bracelet
Agarwood Bracelet for man

2. Agarwood Incense

This wood is mainly used in burning incense. In addition, Agarwood Incense can also be used in meditation, disinfection, purifying the air. It is made from 100% natural non-toxic Agarwood materials, the product has the natural brown color of Agarwood wood. Pureed Agarwood is combined with acacia made from a natural tree. 

This incense has the typical aroma of Agarwood, converging the elite of heaven and earth over decades, bringing fresh energy to the user. Especially in ancestor worship, the use of Agarwood incense will show the respect. The incense smoke flies high into the air, bringing the pure aroma of incense that faintly smells through the olfactory to the brain and helps you relax the mind.

Agarwood Incense
Agarwood Incense

3. Agarwood Incense Cone

Agarwood incense cones is one of the incense lines incense is made from 100% pure natural agarwood powder.  When burning incense buds such as space of life vitality, aroma and elegance created from incense buds to help each other feel the strange feeling. For those who want quiet space to practice yoga or meditation, incense bud is the ideal solution that you can apply. Using incense sticks with the instruments will create a fragrance for your whole family.

Agarwood incense cone is similar to lotus bud or flower bud. Putting them on the top of the waterfall backflow will help to bring out the gentle aroma, to create a feeling of great pleasure. With this use both create a dignified ancient space and protect the environment clean as the burning incense is not scattered out.

Agarwood Incense Cone
Agarwood Incense Cone

4. Agarwood Essential Oil

Agarwood Essential Oil is one of the most valuable natural oils in the world. The essential oil is extracted from Agarwood. It is viscous, flexible, and it has yellow or amber liquid. Essential oils are extracted from 100% natural Agarwood with highly persistent sweet warmth, deep, precious and magnificent woody aroma and can last for 8 – 36 hours.

agarwood essential oil
agarwood essential oil

Its use as an incense in spiritual practices and religious ceremonies accounts for most of the commercial production of this wood. The essential oil is also used for anointing and in sacred oil blends. Nevertheless, tradesman often use it as a form of luck and protection for their health and their business.

IV. Four Agarwood Species That You must know

People classified Agarwood into four species based on the amount of essential oil: Ky Nam, Agarwood, Tram Toc, and “Inauthentic” Agarwood. Ky Nam is ranked at first which has highly commercial consequences. 

1. Ky Nam

Ky Nam is the most expensive wood due to its scarcity and difficulty in harvesting. Therefore, Ky Nam is rarely used because its value about billion. Ky Nam and Agarwood are both shaped from the wounds of Gourd tree. Agarwood is born into 2 parts: Ky Nam and agarwood. Not every Gourd tree can create Ky Nam.

2. Agarwood

Agarwood is easily found in the mountains of Vietnam and its scarcity is not the same as Ky. If Ky is extremely expensive and hard to find, Agarwood is more popular in the market. Their prices can range from a few dozen to a few hundred million. Including the following types:

. Ant-eyed Agarwood: there is a hole where ants make their nest before the tree becomes agarwood.

. Root- Agarwood: it is born from roots.

. Dead-eyed agarwood is formed on tree branches.

3. Tram Toc

A type of Agarwood has less amount of essential oil so the value and quality are lower than the two types above. This type is formed in Gourd tree but without holes. Although the quality is lower, but compared to the artificial agarwood, it’s more valuable.

Tram Toc has many types but can basically be divided into 4 groups such as: Toc dia, Toc day, Toc huong, Toc pi

4. Inauthentic Agarwood

One of the lowest value and can be considered as Fake Agarwood is Tram Huong with oil pressing. The essential oil will be artificially pressed into the wood, making the wood smell like the authentic Agarwood. People often use this to create jewelry, then boil them by pressure vessels with authentic essential oil so that the the fragrance can be absorbed into the jewelry.

thien Moc Huong
Types of agarwood in Thien Moc Huong

V. How to differentiate Authentic and Inauthentic Agarwood?

There are many ways to distinguish Authentic and Inauthentic wood as well as their origin.

  1. Observation: Inauthentic it is often impregnated with the smell of real Agarwood and they have dark brown or black color.
  2. Smelling: Real agar always has a faintly subtle fragrance. This smell is very pleasant. Especially, before wearing the jewelry, the smell will be very light. But due to body temperature and friction, it will create a stronger and better aroma. Inauthentic Agarwood is often impregnated with chemical oil, has a rough surface and the smell is strong.
  3. Burning: besides smelling it directly, you shall burn a tiny piece of woods for smelling. Because the authentic would release the enjoyable scent with less smoke when burnt. 

This rare unique natural product is now getting more and more popular due to its magnificent uses. However, since its value is high, the market is now becoming tough as a consequence of the fact that so many Agarwood bracelets are now fake to cheat the consumers.  We now see that there are so many kinds of Agarwood in the market. We may consider of its quality and source instead of its definition. That’s why you shall need to pay attention to How to differentiate Authentic and Fake to avoid buying the inauthentic products


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