Okay, I know the title might be giving you ideas but let me explain, it simply means that the oil indeed has a French connection, as it is part of a French fragrant oil. It has quite a pungent smell and is used for various other purposes too.
The body heats, the heart expands, other scents retreat in the presence of oud. Oud is sexuality, passion, ecstasy and love. Oud is wild, he is primitive, he is the ancientness, holiness and sensuality of the world and all of its history. He is compelling, in a way that satisfies the Japanese obsession with -
And has gripped the hearts and souls of the people of the Arabian Gulf. The appreciation of agarwood in the rest of the world runs sporadically like veins of resin through a piece of wood. It has always been a part of the French Perfume floracopia. One of the legends of the east has an agarwood cutting being the only plant Adam was allowed to take from the Garden of Eden.
Agarwood trees grow randomly and rarely in the forest, usually in difficult to reach places. The first step is to find one and make sure it is infected or even dead. A healthy tree will give nothing. Local people will know the location of agarwood trees. What looks like impenetrable forest is actually inhabited by humans, with footpaths connecting villages.
Once the location of a tree is established, the gatherers walk in. In spring 2001, with most trees gone, the average walk in to an agarwood tree is one week. This walk is through heavy jungle, thick with foliage and bugs and always mountainous. The gatherers sleep on the ground and must hunt their food daily. Malaria is rampant. And Agarwood trees like to grow on outcrops; the actual harvesting usually takes place on the edge of a cliff.
The harvesting itself will take several days, and then there is the walk out, fully laden. Each man will carry up to 75 kilos on his back. Dead infected wood fetches the highest price, with infected living wood also being saleable for distillation. As much as possible is carried out. Living wood left on the forest floor will not improve in quality. The agarwood distiller pays taxes to harvest from a certain area of forest—the gatherers bring the wood to him where it is examined, and, if of suitable quality, bought. Then it is graded minutely.
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