Aloeswood Agarwood of Legend - Indicana Oud

Legendary Aloeswood from India | A Short-Story From 9th Century CE

by Yawar Saeed

Legendary Aloeswood (Agarwood) from India | A Short-Story From 9th Century CE

It is said that aloeswood (agarwood) was in such short supply in the time of the caliph Al Mutawakkil that he sent an envoy to India with presents to request a supply. The envoy who was apparently the famous courtier Ibn Hamdūn al-Nadīm, found the king of India in Lahuwār (Lahore?) to be most hospitable, for he had been raised in exile in Oman and was thus conversant with Arabic as well as Indian culture. His court was rich with imported goods from the Middle East and Iran, including perfumes.

“Before him were vessels of gold and silver; and many Iraqi metalworks, all beautiful and filled with camphor, rosewater, ambergris, the compound perfume called nadd and figurines. The nadd was likely an import from the Middle East rather than an Indian incense, given the context and the figurines would have been made from aromatics such as ambergris"

Aloeswood of Legend - Al Mutawakkil


"At the end of lbn Hamdūn's extended stay the king, whose friend he had become, burned for him a rare aloeswood that was a sliver smaller than half a dāniq (around the size of a coin). It had an indescribably pleasant scent, and it lingered in cloth after repeated washing with soap. Apparently this rare scent was the stuff of legends, for the wood grew in an inaccessible place and only could be had by shooting deer that happened to have been there and sometimes were found chewing on bits of it, hence its extreme rarity. Al Mutawakkil received half of a ratl ( little more than half kg) of it and deemed it worth the expedition after he had censed with it."

Deer guarding a rare agarwood


Yawar Saeed
Yawar Saeed


The visionary founder behind Indicana Oud, your premier destination for authentic oud products. With a deep-rooted love for oud and a commitment to authenticity, Yawar's mission goes beyond business; he seeks to enlighten and educate others about the multifaceted aspects of agarwood

Leave a comment

Also in Historical Accounts of Oud

Ubayd Allah Ship Oud India
The Story of Aloeswood of Ubayd-Allah | A Short Anecdote from History

by Yawar Saeed 2 Comments

One very famous incident involving agarwood, also called as aloeswood, of Hind (India) occurred during the reign of al-Mutawakkil ‘ala-Allah who was an Abbasid caliph and ruled between 847 to 861 AD. The incident is recorded in Kitab al-Hadaya wa al-Tuhaf (Book of Gifts and Rarities). Given here is its translation in English. Read it and enjoy it!

Read More

Agarwood Oud in Various Religions
Agarwood in Various Religions

by Yawar Saeed

Agarwood in Various Religions -  Agarwood is highly revered in the seminal texts of Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. 

Read More

(The seven seas described by Al-Mas’udi in his Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems ca. 947) image source:
The Aloes of Es-Sinf (الصنف) | Agarwood History

by Yawar Saeed

A historical account of agarwood from Champa Empire - Vietnam

Read More

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Indicana Oud Newsletter Subscription

Offers * New Product Launch * Promotions