Aetoxylon Sympetalum: Cheaper Gaharu
The Aetoxylon is widespread, unthreatened (according to some resources) and smells great. It is also used in gaharu blends to help meet demands on other existing gaharu which are more expensive.
Its color (in oil form) can range from a nice light honey to a dark blackish/brownish color depending on its quality. It has a light, very sweet and woodsy smell. This scent is found in Aquilaria malaccensis and A. gallocha after all the “animalistic” notes have faded away, yet it is still much, much sweeter. Oil viscosity is thick and rubs on smoothly.
Differences between Gaharu and Gaharu Buaya
Gaharu in Indonesia had 17 kinds of species, but people, especially traders in Indonesia divide these 17 kinds into 2 major class. The Gaharu that is “real” gaharu and Gaharu Buaya or “2nd grade” gaharu.
Gaharu are mostly come from Aquilaria family. These includes the most highly priced now Aquilaria crassna (also known as Cambodi Oudh), Aquilaria malaccensis, Aquilaria beccariana, Aquilaria fillaria (the Papuan gaharu) and so on. These Aquilaria families were highly priced because of their high qualities. Defining what is high and and not in gaharu business is difficult, since many people still strictly depend on their noses and experience. Untrained nose can be easily to be fooled.
The reason Aquilaria class is considered high grade is the high eudesmol content inside the oil. People say the higher the eudesmol content, the higher the quality of the gaharu oil.
Some said the middle eastern people seek for oil that will dooze them up with full relaxation after they inhale the vapor. Simply they become very sleepy and wake up with a very relaxing state. This can only be obtained from gaharu from Aquilaria family.
From chemical aspect, gaharu is a very unique substance, it consist 17 kinds of compound. The compound is different from each other, even in a single species that live in a different area.
Gaharu Buaya, a slightly different story
Most gaharu buyers outside Indonesia are not aware of these type of gaharu. The term “buaya” in Bahasa Indonesia means “crocodile“.
One version said that the naming came from where these so called Gaharu Buaya lives, which is in the bogs or the swamp, the habitat of crocodiles. People called them as Gaharu Buaya to differ their jungle counterpart.
Other version said the naming “Gaharu Buaya” is actually a marking for its quality. Buaya, or crocodile in Indonesian culture refers to a big liar person. Marking it with “buaya” name give it a difference with “real” gaharu. Some Gaharu Buaya is quite disgusting, it contains such very strong aroma in its oil that you might wanted to vomit. But some agree that the odor is close to Aquilaria class, like the one we had here, Aetoxylon sympetalum.
The Gaharu Buaya had a lot more species then the Gaharu from Aquilaria family. That’s another difference. In gaharu perfumery industry, these Gaharu Buaya are largely used for mixture with Aquilaria family to meet the demand of growing market. This is because the Aquilaria class is very expensive that would not be economic to use these Aquilaria in Industry.
Many of these Gaharu Buaya oil goes to India through Singapore, there they will be mixed with other gaharu from Aquillaria family and sell to middle east, and later on to the Europe and USA.