Khao Yai National Park is the third largest national park in Thailand, with a wide and diverse range of plants and wildlife. This includes agarwood, a tree prized in the cosmetics industry for the precious oudh oil it produces. Due to the wood’s high value, rangers must patrol the park to protect the forest - a sometimes dangerous role that has seen two men lose their lives as a result of forest conflict. As well as protecting the forest from poachers, a team also work on numerous wildlife and conservation projects in the area.
Oudh oil is produced when the wood of the agar tree is damaged or infected. The infection causes the tree to release a fragrant resin, from which oudh oil is then extracted. The process can take up to 20-30 years to occur naturally, so our suppliers artificially infect their agarwood, often climbing 20 ft bamboo ladders to do so. Even though artificially infecting the trees speeds up the process, the suppliers must still wait around two years before they can harvest the agarwood. Once ready to harvest, the wood is cut, piled up and numbered to ensure 100% traceability.
The agarwood artisans then get to work cutting the trees into smaller blocks and removing the non-scented white wood using a large blade. When only fragrant chips that contain oudh oil are left, the resinous wood is soaked ready for distillation, this can then be ground down into a sawdust. It will take 80-90 trees to produce 1kg of oudh oil.
Distillation is an intricate process, and it can take up to 30 days to separate the oudh oil from water. Once complete this so called “liquid gold” can be extracted. The result is a highly sought-after and opulent essential oil used to give a dark, smoky note in perfumery. Oudh is one of the most expensive oils in the world costing more than gold by weight. The dark and woody base note tones it provides are worth all the trouble and expense.
At LUSH we pride ourselves on our creativity, and this doesn’t stop with our fresh, handmade products. Since the beginning our aim has been to use the best, safest and most beautiful ingredients. LUSH has a very strong commitment to the communities and areas from which we buy our ingredients. We feel that our ingredients should be bought in a respectful way safeguarding the environment and the social impact. LUSH supports Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives. We find out what impact our buying has on the people and environment and make responsible decisions regarding from where, from whom and how we purchase ingredients and packaging for LUSH.
We use the Oudh oil from Thailand in the evocative and enigmatic perfume, Goddess. Smoky Caledonian sandalwood adds dark warmth to rich, resinous notes, while sensual jasmine beguiles. Damascus rose, harvested in Turkish fields at dawn, brings just a hint of floral delicacy. The result is an opulent and beguiling scent.