Raw Materials OUD SERIES: Fragrance Du Bois – Distillery Photo Story

OUD SERIES: Fragrance Du Bois – Distillery Photo Story

07/11/14 14:43:54 (5 comments)

by: Jordan River

Oud Oil from the Asia Plantation Capital distillery in Thailand which is the source of the Oud in the Fragrance Du Bois perfumes. Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Dr Pakamas Chetpattananondh.  Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Dr Pakamas Chetpattananondh works at Prince of Songkla University and is also the distillation expert and head of R&D for Asia Plantation Capital, which is the source of the Oud oil in the Fragrance Du Bois operation. This means that she is responsible for the consistency of the smell of the Oud oil output. She also works closely with the innoculation scientists who are repsonsible for testing and refining various methods of innoculation, the kick-start process by which agarwood turns into Oud resin.

Inspecting the resin prior to chopping and grinding. Photo: Fragrance Du Bois.

I happened to have several Oud oils on me, including synthetic ones, which I wafted under her esteemed nose over the course of a day. She had complete accuracy on the origins of these oils. Dr Pakamas also used the tongue test to further test the oils she knew to be real. A simple test that you can perform is to wait 24 hours after application to see if the scent is still on your skin, even after a shower, such is the power of the purity of a pure Oud oil.

The easiest way to comprehend this process is with a photo story. Please note that there are many trade secrets within this process, such as the length of soaking time of the agarwood, the size of the grind, the temperature of the gas and even the type of water used for soaking the ground agarwood.

Splitting and reducing area.  Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

The first step after harvesting is to cut the resinous logs into manageable portions. These are then given to a team of local workers to chip out the resin which is then ground before soaking in water.

Jordan River and Dr Pakamas Chetpattananondh. Soaking barrels. These barrels are plastic while the ones in R&D are stainless steel to ascertain the difference in the Oud scent profile. Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

For water, some distillers always use the local water from where the trees were grown, others import “special water" from an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia. All of these variables have an effect on the final smell of the Oud oil. For example, to increase a barnyard or Hindi scent profile, the ground agarwood would be soaked in water for at least a week.

Distillation Units.  Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Agarwood chips after soaking and grinding are placed in the distillation units.
Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Steam distillation at an undisclosed temperature and time period produces Oud Oil / Denh Al Oud. Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Experimental distillation unit for R&D.  Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Spent (distilled) agarwood is used for incense as some scent does remain after distillation.
Photo: Fragrance Du Bois

Sustainable, traceable, ethical Oud oil from Asia Plantation Capital, the source of Oud oil for Fragrance Du Bois.

Next week we look at the Fragrance Du Bois perfumes that contain the oil from the distillation as well as developments in Monaco and Bahrain.

Jordan River is the host of The Fragrant Man and also writes for Olfactoria's Travels and Australian Perfume Junkies.

He recently covered the first harvest of Santalum album sandalwood grown in Australia. Jordan has been been reading Fragrantica and other fragrance websites for many years and enjoys the confluence of subjectivity, knowledge and opinion. He is not a Perfume Pontiff and is always happy to be enlightened by your own knowledge and challenged by differing opinions.

His high rotation 'fumes are Jubilation XXV, Cuir 28, Fate Man and Puredistance BLACK. Special occasions scents include Cuir de Gardenia, Spiced Citrus Vetiver, Ensar Oud Oils and RealOud Feral.


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so cut, chip, grind, soak, distill, collect into Erlenmeyer flask, drain water, fragrant juice. This work can't be so hard, and sounds like fun!


another excellent chapter in Mr. Rivers' oud series.


Jeca, Great question! This is a great story.


I like this Oud series since the note has taken the industry by storm, very informative


Dear Jordan, you had such an interesting tour. Did you get samples of their oud oil for your collection?


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