The agarwood is prized for its unique aroma. Native to South and Southeast Asia, the plant has been used for various medicinal and religious purposes for thousands of years. What makes the agarwood even more unique is how it achieves its aromatic properties. When the tree is exposed to environmental stresses it secretes a special resin which begins a molecular change. This process allows the agarwood to form its much sought after scent, which makes the species costlier the more damaged it is.
How this process is achieved depends on various factors such as fungal, insectal or physical stress. Understanding how it works is not only vital to producing high quality agarwood but to also reduce overharvesting in its natural habitat.
Click here to read the literature review gathered by scientists from the Assam Don Bosco University of India.