Diphu November 11 2023: How do our home bred Agarwood merchants make all the money in the world? They have a nose for business. No joke or pun intended for sure.
Agarwood – Aquilaria agallocha
Surely, this is a very serious biz; otherwise, they would not have the shine of owning an empire based on rare fragrances extracted out of our special offering from the moist evergreen forests. The Agarwood, the scientific name is Aquilaria agallocha.
The principles of perfumery are all the same, but, the source is singular. The ‘chord note’ fragrances come from the different stages of a kind of quite primitive-looking distillation process.
This is called the Deg. This is how, the nose of yours, mine and thousands of the deep pocket people and persons in the world make the owners lose quite a bit of their hard earned money.
Surely, this is a nose business. The varieties of perfume known as Eau de cologne, Eau de toilette, Eau de parfum and perfume extract are separated by their inherent concentration of the aromatic compounds: Eau de Cologne is 2-5% aromatique compound, Eau de parfum : 10-30% aromatique compound, Eau de toilette 5-20% aromatique compound ….
In the earlier days, the Musk deer became endangered for its musk pods. The government of India had to set up a Musk Deer Research Centre at Chopta high up in the Uttarakhand Mountains where the Monal also abound.
Now the musk deer‘s basic musk has been synthesized, and known as the White Musk. Similarly, the Ambergris of the sperm whale has been synthesized along with the Civet – one of the Civets’ scent glands.
Too bad, the Agarwood scent and perfume cannot be duplicated or as such synthesized. The Karbi Hills are being scoured for this tree all the time by middle-men. The trade cultivators of the Agarwood trees are the Siams of Silonijan of Karbi Anglong.
The oil per milliliter measure of the Agarwood is about USD 50/- bringing the price to USD 50,000 or about INR 4.00 crores. This can be the biggest revenue grosser from our friends from Hojai or Nil-Bagaan area of Assam.