The wood of the Gods — Agarwood
The dark and calming fragrance of the monasteries, the wood used for the cremation of gods in mortal form. The wood at the heart of the tree with infected mold. The wood that maddens the gardens of the Gods. The mighty story of one of the most beautiful scents in the world after Kasturi scent, the Agarwood.
First of all sorry for being so late at publishing any blog and something that most of you like,the beautiful and blissful blogs, not the techie once I saw from insights and stats. I was busy with the works of publishing my report on unemployment and my creativity was on strike that day. I was suffering from the fancy devil, formally known as the “creators block”. If you don’t get any ideas, something is eating you, you feel lonely, blank pages and untitled articles fill up your drafts, torn bits of poetry whither about from the notepad like blossom from trees, welcome to “creator’s block”. Read Noorain Hassan, BMS 's blog to survive this challenge.
Agarwood is predominantly cultivated in Indonesia. Agarwood is know with as many names as keylimba, aloeswood, eaglewood or gharuwood are some of its names. The wood is formed in the heartwood of the Aqualaria tree, which is know for its medical purposes and excellent fuel it serves. After several months reaction of pain and mold, agarwood is formed. It is not by the powder of fairies or the touch of God that agar wood is created but by painstaking processes by mold. Agarwood if you are curious is called Oud in India.
Agarwood is one of the most expensive woods and raw material in the world at this time. Agarwood is famous for its sickening and beautiful fragrance, the smell that was the God’s favourite, Buddha is said to have light them while meditation.
Agarwood in modern days has a high value for its high demand. Agarwood is used in incense sticks, perfumes, sweeteners, some desserts, and candles, scented candles to be specific. Agarwood is really expensive. Many Indonesian incense sticks makers, scent makers and traders depend on it. It is the bread for many people. During covid19 many people have become jobless, but this job never lost its demand rather increased surprisingly. Before 950 AD, agarwood was used at a small scale by natives of Indonesia and Phillipines, then it was slowly traded through sea routes to Asian countries and several islands. They made scented candles and incense sticks. Later when it was traded to faraway lands, people loved the scent so much that they started to demand for it more. We all know as demand increase, business flourish, and stocks go down. After the business was flourishing, number of trees were going, people did not understand that back then.
The Aqualaria tree is taken for timber and Agarwood for its scent. Recently after 2000, the bread of these people was going endangered, natural Agarwood is going endangered every year. Due to global warming the molds that use to turn the wood into Agarwood were slowly dying, and getting less in number. Natural Agarwood hence was very costly and now the artificial method was applied. Before going to the artificial method, let me tell you the natural way, in the trees of the jungle, cracks develop and then the molds enter naturally and then the sap fo the tree that helps treat wounds of the tree, turn it into Agarwood after a long time. If you are curious to know the scientific name of the mold it is called Phialophora Parasitica. Now people inject the mold physically into the tree, to make artificial Agarwood. Artificial Agarwood is not that fresh and has not such a smell of the Natural Agarwood.
Cutting many premature trees caused to deforestation. Agarwood price has risen to ₹5,00,000/kg or $6737/kg. Another big reason for the price is the labour intensive process of searching for trees, cutting them, shaping them and making it ready for production. The work is really dangerous for the mountain terrain, gets heavy rainfall, landslides ae common and wild animals are way too wild.
Even in the Hindu mythological books and purans, Agarwood is mentioned. Several biblical stories and Buddhists stories have its occurence. People were lovers of its scent in the ancient times, present and will always be. So if we want it in future we need to be sustainable and save it for later. Let’s do it for saving scents, jobs, fragrances, and trees.
Thank you so much for reading. Take care, especially in this ∆ phase. We have been fully vaccinated with the Sputnik vaccine. So act fast, everything shall wait but not vaccination. Anti-vaxxers please understand there is enough data to support that vaccine is necessary and it is safe. Wear mask, use sanitisers and follow safety rules. Spread love and not hatred. Stop spreading and start defying xenophobia and #StopAsianHate.