white oud - The white agarwood oil is it real agarwood oil?

The white agarwood?

Lately, it’s becoming a trend that both sellers and companies around the world use to come up with totally new concepts. It is mainly good, but not with agarwood as it has been almost made the same way for over three thousand years, and that is all that needs to be said, done or told about agarwood is already said done and told so what the white agarwood is? 

So, the short answer is no it is not real agarwood. However, let’s elaborate.

The white agarwood originates from “Aetoxylon Sympetalum,” and here’s a little bit of information about it taken from Wikipedia, which by the way is correct and accurate. “Aetoxylon is a single species genus of trees only found in Borneo, of the flowering plant family Thymelaeaceae. The single species is Aetoxylon sympetalous, more commonly known as the gaharu buaya or crocodile eaglewood. Aetoxylon sympetalous grows as a tree up to 40 meters tall, and has a trunk diameter of up to 60 centimeters.”

This differs entirely from agarwood, and it’s not even the same spices. In fact, the wood of the “aetoxylon Sympetalum” is far more solid in density and thicker than the agarwood. Also, it is not made by the same kind of infection, and it doesn’t take the same time, environment or enzymes as the agarwood.

The wood of the “aetoxylon Sympetalum” is white and the oil extracted from this kind of wood is also white. Additionally, because of the similar notes of woody and spicy, earthy aromatic notes, that share slight similarities to the agarwood, or as it is generally called the “white agarwood.” It is sold as white agarwood in many markets and places and is considered as a lower kind of agarwood. However, in reality, it is not actually agarwood.


Even though the smell of the “aetoxylon Sympetalum” is very pleasant, and many people especially those who are not agarwood connoisseurs or experts the smell of the white agarwood is more acceptable and easier on the nose. This due to many reasons mainly the consistent of specific woody and spicy smelling elements in the oil that makes it more acceptable sometimes.

Still, there is a big difference when it comes to both price and quality. For the agarwood to form it takes many years, even during the harvesting process takes a minimum of two to four years to get any real agarwood. As for the white agarwood, it takes much less time, so it is more available, and the price of the white agarwood is a fraction of the price of real agarwood.

Sometimes this white agarwood is mixed with stronger higher quality real agarwood oil the result smells almost like real agarwood, but it’s still off in a way. Here I do need to say that if any company seller or person openly disclose that they are using or mixing “aetoxylon Sympetalum” in their oils or perfumes, then this is acceptable. However, if they simply tell you this is just pure and real natural agarwood, and it mainly consists of white agarwood oil, then they are probably trying to promote and sell something that is not agarwood, and they are not fully honest.

The white agarwood oil or the “aetoxylon Sympetalum” is usually used as a base for making woody or muddy perfumes it is good oil and has many uses and benefits, and there is nothing wrong about using it in perfumery usually use as a base or thickening mixture with other lower density oils. It is found in Borneo Indonesia, and it is produced in generally in large amounts and on a consistent scale.

The properties of the white agarwood or “aetoxylon Sympetalum” is a medium-size tree with dense and heavy wood. It usually grows up to 40 meters, the trunk of the tree is often about 60 centimeter in diameter with reddish brown fruits up to 5 centimeters in diameter, it is believed by the native Borneo people this wood has any benefits, and it is something that has been used in the ancient times.