The Oud really deserves its Thai name of « perfume wood ». This tropical tree from South-east Asia, can reach 20 m high, and has the ability to secrete a special, very odorous, resin as a reaction to certain physical aggressions (wounds, fire) or biological (attacks from insects, bacteria and fungus). This enables the wood to harden and the tree to protect itself. And this defense mechanism also has an interest for perfumery because the scent emanating from the resin-filled wood is woody and animal.
To help with the good management of the Oud, Yves Rocher works with a Laotian supplier whose objective is the sustainable development of different non-timber forest products through plantations, cultures or fenced off areas. This vigilance is essential since, in Asia, the business in derivative products of the Aquilaria crassna, has grown so much that the species has disappeared from its normal habitat. The Oud is today considered CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and its exploitation occurs exclusively in plantations. The Aquilera wood used by our partners is also bought from family run plantations, then given to three distillers in the East and North parts of the center of Laos.
The transformation of Oud into essential oil takes time! The Oud wood is split, shredded and left to macerate in water for two months. It is then distilled for 6 to 7 days. The quality of the perfume of the oil obtained depends on the wood collected: the purest and most expensive Oud extract is obtained by the distillation of « black wood », high in resin; the distillation of « brown » or « grey » wood, less dense in resin, will give an essential oil with a note that is between woody and animal. The distillation of the resin-free « white » wood, gives an essential oil that is more animal. Yves Rocher laboratories have chosen the essential oil from the “grey” wood to develop the Rose Oud perfume in the Secrets d’Essence collection. Alternately woody and animal, the Oud reveals an unequalled strength. Its intensely addictive, facetted accents, give the fragrance a rich and mysterious dimension.