Oud: A symbol of spirituality

Charcoal oud burner


Oud is one of the most expensive ingredients in the world. It’s a highly precious resin that has been used in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for centuries.

In this blog, you will learn about the origin of Oud, its different uses throughout history, its unique scent, the Oud culture in Morocco, and how to burn Oud incense.

What Is Oud?

Oud, also known as Agarwood or Bakhoor, is a luxurious fragrance ingredient extracted from the Agar tree, a native to Southeast Asia. When the wood gets infected with a specific parasitic mold, the agarwood tree produces a dark, precious, and scented resin that becomes the Oud perfume ingredient.

The wood releases the resin and oil when it comes in contact with heat and produces a unique musky scent. Oud comes in many forms and there are many ways to use it. Either as an incense to be burned, or in the form of Oud oil which can be applied to the skin.

Oud wood chips and Oud oil

What does Oud smell like?

Oud is an aromatic and complex scent that is a combination of sweetness, balsamic and woody notes. The scent is dark and strong, and can stay on your clothes or fill the air for a long while.

The origin of Oud and its uses throughout history:

Oud and its uses can be dated back for thousands of years while making the way from its origin in Asia to the Middle East through the Silk Route. Historically, Oud is used for different purposes, from perfumery and spirituality to medicinal and aromatherapy.

Oud burning

In the 14th Century C.E., Oud was mainly used in Cyprus to treat medical conditions related to the skin, eye, ear, and bones, to name a few. According to the narratives of the explorer Ibn Battuta, perfumes were extensively used by Arabs in the 13th century.

Also known as the “Wood of the Gods”, the Oud fragrance is linked to the sacred, and it’s mainly used in religious rituals to facilitate a connection with the divine.

Moreover, due to its calming effects, the heady and mysterious fragrance can also be used to scent one's home or during meditation to make it more spiritual and can be found in all forms from Oud-scented candles and diffusers to Oud home perfumes.

Oud culture in Morocco:

According to hadiths, the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) loved fragrances and started the tradition of fumigating oneself with oud, which is now a practice followed by Muslims.

Today, in Morocco, Bakhoor Oud is considered a precious treasure reserved for specific Islamic religious services, such as the Qadr night and the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H).

Hassan II mosque in Casablanca

How to burn Oud?

The burning of Oud wood is considered an essential and enjoyable customary tradition in the Arab world, as it releases an exotic fragrance in your home. You can either burn Bakhoor with a charcoal Oud burner or an electric one.

To burn Oud with a charcoal incense burner, you need to follow these steps:

  • Place charcoal in the Oud burner and apply flame until sparks start traversing the coal.
  • Once the charcoal starts forming gray soot over the top, you can add a piece of Oud on top of it.
  • Enjoy the woody fragrance while the Oud incense is burning.
  • When you are done with burning the Bakhoor, cover the Oud burner with a ceramic dish to extinguish the coal disc, and make sure it’s completely cold before disposing of it.

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