What Are the Origins and Varieties of Agarwood Chips?

Ashok February 14, 2024
Estimated Reading Time 8 Minutes & 40 Seconds


Agarwood, often referred to as “liquid gold,” has been cherished for centuries for its distinctive fragrance. Among the various forms in which Agarwood is utilized, Agarwood chips and Agarwood oil hold a prominent place. In this exploration, we delve into the origins and varieties of Agarwood chips, unraveling their connection to the precious Agarwood oil.

1. The Birth of Agarwood Chips: A Glimpse into History

The journey of Agarwood chips traces back to ancient times, rooted in the heartwood of the Aquilaria tree. The formation of Agarwood is a natural response to external stimuli, such as fungal infection or physical injury to the tree. As the tree defends itself, a resinous substance is produced, resulting in the sought-after Agarwood. Historically, Agarwood chips were discovered serendipitously in the wild, a rare treasure hidden within the heartwood of the Aquilaria tree.

2. Varieties of Agarwood Chips: A Symphony of Aromas

Agarwood chips come in a plethora of varieties, each distinguished by its unique aroma, appearance, and geographic origin. The diversity in fragrance is a result of different species of Aquilaria trees, environmental factors, and the methods of resin induction. Some notable varieties include Oudh from Southeast Asia, Kyara from Japan, and Hindi from India. Each variety carries its own olfactory signature, ranging from sweet and woody to earthy and spicy notes.


3. Agarwood Oil: The Liquid Essence of Fragrance

Agarwood oil, extracted from Agarwood chips, is the liquid essence that encapsulates the captivating fragrance of Agarwood. The oil is the result of a meticulous distillation process, often employing steam or water distillation. This process separates the aromatic compounds from the Agarwood chips, yielding a concentrated and potent Agarwood oil. The varieties of Agarwood chips used in the distillation process significantly influence the fragrance profile of the resulting oil.

4. Harvesting and Processing Agarwood Chips for Oil Extraction

The journey from Agarwood chips to Agarwood oil involves precise harvesting and processing methods. Harvesters identify mature Aquilaria trees, carefully extracting the resinous heartwood. The harvested chips are then subjected to a distillation process, during which the aromatic compounds are released and collected as Agarwood oil. The skill and expertise of distillers play a crucial role in determining the quality and fragrance complexity of the resulting oil.

5. The Market Presence of Agarwood Chips and Oil: Quality and Rarity

In the global market, Agarwood chips and oil are highly sought after, with quality and rarity influencing their value. The rarity of certain varieties, such as the legendary Kyara, contributes to their elevated status and price. The quality of Agarwood oil is also assessed based on factors such as aroma intensity, longevity, and the presence of unique notes. The market for Agarwood chips and oil reflects a delicate balance between preserving traditional craftsmanship and meeting the demand for these precious commodities.


Agarwood chips, with their rich history and diverse varieties, serve as the foundation for the creation of Agarwood oil. The extraction and distillation process transforms these chips into a liquid essence that captures the captivating fragrance of Agarwood. The market presence of Agarwood chips and oil highlights the intersection of tradition and commerce, where the rarity and quality of specific varieties contribute to their esteemed status. As Agarwood continues to be a symbol of luxury and olfactory allure, the exploration of its origins and varieties offers a glimpse into a world where fragrance meets craftsmanship in the heartwood of the Aquilaria tree.