Bakhoor, بخور, is the Arabic name for a blend of natural and traditional ingredients, mainly wood shavings - sandalwood, aloe or agar - soaked in fragrant oils such as musk, rose, amber, tonka bean, bergamot, neroli or other scented materials such as spices, balms or ointments. These various ingredients are then compressed into small bricks to be burnt on solemn occasions. This age-old custom originated with the nomadic tribes of the Levantine region of Arabia who, once they had set up camp, burned Bakhoor shavings to perfume the atmosphere, purify the air and rid themselves of evil spirits. Today, bakhoor is used in fine perfumery and incense.
Oud, عود, the quintessential olfactory journey to the Orient, firstly more expensive, as its price far surpasses that of gold, is an oil extracted from the resinous hardwood or agarwood of tropical Aquilaria trees indigenous to the South East Asian region but also found in countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and eastern Papua New Guinea. Secondly, and more original still, the precious resin is the result of the tree's natural defence mechanism when it is infected by fungi, following animal grazing, insect attack or microbial invasion, generally around the injured or buried parts of the trunk. This oil is a very precious substance that has been prized throughout history: used in perfumes, incense, medicines, aromatherapy and during cultural and religious ceremonies. And finally, in a more sophisticated way, because in its trail - woody, smoky, leathery, animalic with almost pharmaceutical overtones appreciated only by the true initiates of the highest modern perfumery - the most ancient facets of the art of perfume are resurrected: eros and the sacred.
The incense resulting from the fusion of these two olfactory palettes has an amber, woody, earthy, smoky, pyrogenic agarwood note that is both powerful and mystical.