Sandalwood and Agarwood
Sandalwood and Agarwood (also known as aloeswood/oud) are two foundational fragrances found in almost all incense sticks and have been used all over the world for thousands of years. In Japanese incense especially, these woody ingredients are used as a base for both traditional and more contemporary incense sticks.
Sandalwood is one of the best known incense ingredients. A heavy aromatic wood. Sandalwood oil is created using a steam and distillation processes where different techniques produce varying qualities. The scent of sandalwood is distinctive - smooth, creamy, nutty and slightly sweet with variations based on the quantity and quality of sandalwood present. Floral ingredients blend very well with sandalwood and often, floral incense will have a strong sandalwood base for support. Click here to find a list of Sandalwood based incense.
Also known as Aloeswood or Oud, Agarwood comes from the wood of the Aquilaria tree that has been infected by a fungus. The infected tree releases a fragrant resin that is then harvested to be used in incense. Agarwood has a distinctive woody, sweet, fruity, floral, musky scent with even hints of vanilla. The famous Kyara type has been highly valued for thousands of years for it’s unique fragrance and today remains the most expensive incense ingredient in the world (worth more in weight than gold!). The quality and scent of Agarwood depends on it’s location, age and species. Click here to find a list of Agarwood based incense.