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Gaharu (Agarwood)

Gaharu wood, also known as Agarwood, is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees (large evergreens native to SouthEast Asia) when they become infected with a type of mould. The heartwood, post infection, would be relatively light and pale in color. As the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. The resin embedded wood has different names, mainly in different places, to be known as Gaharu, Jinko, Aloeswood, Agarwood or Oud (not to be confused with 'Bakhoor') and is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incense and perfumes.

One of the main reasons for the relative rarity and high cost of agarwood is the depletion of the wild resource. Since 1995 Aquilaria malaccensis, the primary source, has been listed in Appendix II (potentially threatened species) by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In 2004 all Aquilaria species were listed in Appendix II; however, a number of countries have outstanding reservations regarding that listing.