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The Oxymoron Of "organic " Oud.

Discussion in 'General' started by Bigboy, May 17, 2020.

  1. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    Preface : Read the whole thing before you spam out. If your still offended then boo boo. You should not have listened to me whem I told you to read the whole thing

    I have had a bug up my ass about this since the beginning of the oud majilis on basenotes and when I myself was involved in the industry. The term "organic " was coined and continues being improperly used to differentiate between wood and oil derived from (typically) less expensive plantation grown wood and its (typically)more expensive wild grown counterpart. No doubt, from a sales perspective "organic " sounds a lot better than plantation or farmed wood....but to me the use of this term leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It looks like useing misleading terminology, actually a phrase that indicates something is the exact opposite of what it really is, is the norm....and i just dont think thats either who our vendors are (I chose to belive in the good in every man and women until they prove otherwise no matter how many times another demonstrated otherwise). I dont belive thats not who we as a community want to represent ourselves to the outside world and new comers.

    I just want to make sure those new to oud oil understand that it is not meant as a positive adjective that increases the value of the oil somehow in the same way it does produce .....but rather just a means if saying the wood is plantation wood.
    Organic is a VERY INACURATE AND MISLEADING A DESCRIPTION and i will tell you why. MOST wild agarwood is by its very definition wild oft located in remote untouched prestine jungles left untouched by man and thus has not be subjected to being sprayed with nor injected with chemicals to induce resin production and growth. On the contrary "organic " aka plantation oud is by its very nature interfered with by man who will use every means possible up to and including injecting all kinds of chemicals and compounds to induce growth which is TOTALLY CONTRARY to the message delivered to the novice by referring to the oil or wood as organic. It very much is not and is quite the opposite. There are some exceptions and gray areas like wood that has holes drilled in them in the wild or trees that are planted but left to nature to decide if nature will encourage a group of hungry ants to give it the infection it needs to become what we all hope it will. But as a rule of thumb wild ir organic (assuming no one did anything stupid like paint it or glue it together) and plantation is very often not organic at all.

    This term has just been used interchangeably with plantation in oud jargon for so long that its doubtful that it will change with out some real effort and cooperation between the vendors and the community. Many vendors to their credit , have begun useing terms like "biodynamic " and "bio oils" to describe their products which i think is Fantastic and and I lead them for the tremendous step in the right direction they have taken.

    Please note that I say that not as a dig at vendors , or even the plantation owners themselves, or even the first man to coin the term. I just STRONGLY believe if we want to continue to progress and grow as a family of collectors and purveyors (make no mistake thats what we are because who else understands our insanity to spend more on oil them on our mortgage payment ?) ....then we need to continue to move in the right direction and I personally feel this is tremendously important. Who know. Maybe I'm just a oud nerd with ocd ....but maybe , just maybe this oud nerd wirh ocd is right.
    What do you think my brothers and sisters ? Am I overreacting ? Should we just keep describing things with words that oft mean the exact opposite of what they truelly are ? Am I calling it like it is? Agree or disagree?
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  2. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    Salam brother.

    I'm very involved into farming.

    I'm too lazy exposing all ways to stress a tree and some of you already seen how I've been able to talk with @Tony Li about the Chinese traditional way to stress a tree making him ask me where I am from to know about this with the Chinese name of this technic (and I'm able to do this for almost each Oud countries If not all).

    So I'm going to focus about injection innoculation : brother @Bigboy how many type of innoculant do you know and if these innoculant are not bacterial and only made from organic products found in the nature.

    If the farm uses 0 pesticides nor any chemical products to make the trees grow, would you consider the resulting oils as organic ?
    Castingshadows and Oudamberlove like this.
  3. Castingshadows

    Castingshadows Whats this Oud About?

    Thanks for the post! I always took organic to mean the wood itself wasn’t chemically inoculated while also being grown on a plantation. For someone like myself who’s a year into my Oud journey it can be quite confusing at times to know what terminology should be used especially when talking to people that take it very seriously. The last thing I’d want is to offend someone.

    With that being said, I always assumed wild Oud was wild. Wild grown, aged, collected etc and that organic simply meant it’s organically cultivated not that it was somehow more organic than the wild wood itself and that this was based off of reading descriptions from various vendors.
  4. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    Wa alaikium salam dear respected Brother

    It was not in any way an attack on you or any other vendor but my dislike of the misuse of the the word "organic" to describe plantation and farmed woods that are not organic. Organic is a term used to describe products that are inspected by and demonstrated to have meet certification requirements set forth by the Federal government and therefore are awarded such certification by said government bodies ....to describe plantation woods and oils that have no such certification.

    Now of course if you have a plantation materials that has demonstrated to meet said guidelines then I wholehearted endorse the use of the term when used properly. Unlike other jargon used for categorized items like yellow kyara or green oil, orgamic is a scientific term denoteing certification being used inaccurately as oud jargon and is very misleading to new comers who run around telling everyone how wonderful their oud is because its "organic " when no such evidence supports the use of this label.

    Attached Files:

    Oudamberlove likes this.
  5. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    Thanks so much for your response. This is my point exactly. Organic is used as a catch all phrase to describe plantation oils. There are so many exceptions like "backyard wild," as F pointed out drilled amd useing bacteria etc, but there are plenty of farmers, MOST if not all , useing materials that are NOT organic and thus can't be organically cultivated because like everything else there is little to no regulation in our industry other than customer feedback.

    It would be like calling microcaroa beccariana, its just SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT in nearly every single case i know of no farmer who has meet and demonstrated the required to have their products called organic. That is a term based on certification. For those who have i wholly support the use of this word.
    Oudamberlove likes this.
  6. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    No way brother I haven't thought of this a single second feel confident about this, it's more about knowledge than something else be sure of it.

    As I personally witnessed and I talk only for myself, a plantation with 0 use of pesticides nor chemicals to make the trees grow and also 0 chemicals or microbian material to inject the trees, I'd consider it as organic. I won't use it for LMK but I'll accept it.

    I know 1 famous perfumes raw materials supplier and also 1 very famous perfume house who get their oils from 1 house I know and another one I know very well.

    For the one I know very well, he shown me few of his secrets and then shown me a cgms of his planted oil and also wild oil he distilled.

    The lab is agarwood specialist and is able to grade the oil according to the compounds found into the cgms test.

    His plantation oil was very very close to a good infected wild ...

    I would have loved to get some to share with you because I'm able to shortcut a very low percentage destinated to the perfume house but the price would be high and the audience may not be ready to pay the price for a plantation oil.

    But really some farmers are doing really great job with plantations and are able to supply big houses and won't care of us and the Middle East market.

    Mostly, (especially in Indonesia) will use microbial agents sold as CA kits these are to avoid ...
    Bilal, Oudamberlove and Bigboy like this.
  7. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    ....its fantastic that such advances have been made in plantation wood and oils. I totally support the ecological efforts to replenish our earth with a sustainable source of excellent oud oil and as wild wood becomes more scarce and more expensive we will see an eventual wholesale shift from wild to organic as we have seen from tola to quarter tola and now even 1g v vials as becoming the norm as the choice medium of storing oils for both its superior inhibition of oxidation and and more importantly a smaller more inexpensive means of collecting.
  8. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    Aquilaria Microcarpa, Beccariana and Hirta are 3 very very close sisters, Aquliaria Malaccencis and Aggalocha are just synonyms for almost all botanists.
    Bigboy, Tarik and Oudamberlove like this.
  9. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    It's more complicated than this, I was talking yesterday night with an Indonesian warehouse supplier (thanks instagram) from Surabaya who hunted me to buy his stuff (LOL).
    He complained Indochina and India plantations sell too cheap.

    I answered him back that they planted before he was born and now they are able to supply instead of him going into wild to inject wild trees ...
    There is a real and hard competition between oud producing countries and the aim is to make plantation more expensive ...

    Technic starts to be there, not known to wide audience but there ...

    It's basically diserved for smart farmers who don't want to hassle themselves dealing with strange people lol.
    They have a contract with big house and that's good for them (and if I was in their shoes, I'd do exactly the same lol).

    For the rest of them, it's mixed and from where I am, I'm unable to predict how is it going to be in the next 5 years ...
    Bigboy, IntheRedwoods, Tarik and 2 others like this.
  10. Castingshadows

    Castingshadows Whats this Oud About?

    I’m a tattooer and we absolutely despise the word “gun” when used to describe our equipment. I understand where you’re coming from! Terminology is huge when maintaining the integrity of any craft and art form. I appreciate your passion for Oud brother!
    Bigboy, Oudamberlove and F4R1d0uX like this.
  11. Spaz

    Spaz Whats this Oud About?

    I read the term "organic" in oud circles to mean "plantation". I feel using the term "organic" without testing and certification is misleading too - but again, I'm not aware of how regulated the term is elsewhere.

    In many countries the term "organic" is strictly regulated. To use the term in Australia, soil must be tested, as well as many other criteria demonstrated to obtain certification to use the term. Perhaps regulations around the term are different in other countries, allowing the term to be more broadly used. Here, without proper testing and certification, other terms are used, such as "natural", or even "using organic principles", and these appear fine, as people know what they are getting. I'm sure there are real organic plantations, but general use of the term may take away from the real "organic" producers from effectively marketing themselves.
    Stan, Oudamberlove and Bigboy like this.
  12. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    I just wish people would stop with the vocabulary that requires you to have special knowledge to interpret. Organic stuff that’s not organic. Wild stuff that’s not wild in the usual sense (maybe they could call it “ecologically cultivated” or something). It just adds to a kind of seedy atmosphere. Kind of like a “slick car salesman” vibe (my uncle was a car salesman so I mean no disrespect to anyone earning an honest living that way). Not directed at anyone here or anyone in particular but it’s just a kind of sense of the culture of marketing this stuff.

    I agree that there is general understanding that organic isn’t organic and wild isn’t wild. No one here is being duped by anyone selling stuff here as far as I know.

    Who first started using “organic” to market oud anyway? They should have to do penance for this transgression because now everyone has to do it.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  13. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    It was Ensar Oud (who else?) who started with the Organic Oud terminology. Not even sure if it is allowed from a regulatory and legal viewpoint in many countries as to be labelled "organic" you have to be accredited with a relevant certification body.

    At Ouddict we started - and are in the process of reviving - a body to try and define these terms and provide some sort of regulation if possible. The problem is that everyone likes to complain, but no one wants to do the heavy lifting involved in helping solve these problems.
    Imran297, Oudamberlove and Bigboy like this.
  14. Sproaty

    Sproaty Sproudy Staff Member

    @Al Shareef Oudh have a very clear definition on organic with parameters such as water and soil type - I did try and find it recently but couldn't (wasn't sure if it was a post on here or something on their website)
    Al Shareef Oudh and Oudamberlove like this.
  15. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

    The issue of the term organic is two fold, the expectation of the consumer and the definition of the producer. Consumers for the most part are not aware of what is required for different products to be considered Organic. The requirements for eggs to be organic is different than the requirements for coffee. Likewise the standards required for growers to meet organic standards in Indonesia is different to the those of the USA. Therefore it is not as simple as picking up something from a health store in down town LA, or NYC looking at the boxes it ticks and trying to find those same boxes being ticked by your oudh vendor, so different playing fields.

    Having said that I do agree, from reading the takes of vendors who do use the term that they all do not intend the same meaning. Some might be using the term in the manner explained by the Original Post (OP), others might be using it as true organic though there may not be a certificate attached.

    It is important to keep the dynamics of the oudh world in mind.

    The way we approach it is we apply as much of the Australian Organic requirements for plants as possible to our origin of Organic oudh wood, and based on that we know that the wood we are cooking for our oils are organic. The first requirement is, that the trees are to be grown on existing or previous purpose cleared land. i.e the land should not be cleared from natural habitat for the purpose of growing the agarwood. Our growers in most cases have multipurpose use of the land. The land is a farm, and in the midst of the farm they have planted agarwood trees. Or the land was farm land and they have turned it into agarwood micro economies.

    Secondly, the water should be from sustainable sources, rain, flowing streams etc which isn't an issue in oudh growing regions. Where bores are required the strict government quota is adhered to.

    Thirdly, no chemical fertilisation or pesticides are used. Only natural compose from grass, and animal droppings. The requirement for nutrient support to the plant is only required in the pot phase the earth in the tropics are very fertile.

    Fourthly, infection happens naturally or only assisted by human intervention through marking of the trees on the barks to allow the natural fungus to make its way inside. no chemicals, serums, kits etc are used.

    All organic oudh is from a plantation, as those trees are planted in an agricultural regime with the intent to grow, harvest and make a profit. However not all plantations are organic.

    Based on the above, we are confident in our classification when we state that our oudh is organic and the quality of oils speak for themselves. Unfortunately the industry at the moment does not have a body to verify the farms where the agarwood is grown, however we have been in the industry long enough with decades of experience and have taken it upon ourselves to apply these stringent requirements on our growers to ensure that we bring the peace of mind and the highest quality product to our clients. It does come at a cost, it means that the number of growers who are willing to work with you are diminished greatly, and that makes supply of material an issue, however it does pay off in the long wrong simply based on the oil quality that we are able to achieve. Fajr, Mustaqbil etc are all testimony to that.

  16. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    Salam Respected brothers at ASO
    I really enjoyed reading this. That is great that you apply such stringent parameters. My concern is that while one or 2 people can have different ideas about things and opinions certain things like the use of scientific phrases that denotes a product is in fact certified organic when it is not so (and in many cases far from it as not every distiller holds themselves to the aforementioned standards, lucky the guy does not lick his finger or pick his nose while useing his hand to clean the last $50 out of the beaker) the wholesale use of the term in an industry based on trust but rife with many challenges in establishing such is just incorrect, misleading, and unproductive. I understand that not every country has a certifying body....but then why use it? I absolutely laud your attention to detail and the tremendous progress you have made in crafting beautiful organic oils and have in fact smelled and liked many if not most. But they are NOT organic unless they are certified and useing that term is boosting the perception that it is.
    As happy as a newcomer is to find out they just bought "organic oud" (one ouddict was exclaiming "and its even organic " they will be far less thrilled and feel a little had later.. thinking as if that meant something that increased the quality or value as it does elsewhere when it simply does not. It really irked me and was the tipping point where I felt the need to say something. He was absolutely mislead. In my opinion it just sounds better than plantation or farmed and boosts sales rather then selling it as farmed or plantation. That last part is my objective opinion but if any buyers here disagrees and think the term is productive and helps in making your purchase decisions when useing a organic designation for plantation wood and oil that is not in fact certified organic then buyers please do tell.
    @ASO i mean no ill will we just diverge on opinions in this matter. It's just that there are much deeper issues in our community like trust and as innocuous as this seems I just dont feel like this is something that garners that. Most buyers are happy that they actually got what they actually paid for....and thats not healthy for us as a community but let's reserve that topic for another thread on maybe never.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
    Oudamberlove likes this.
  17. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Uncertified Organic.... :Roflmao:
    Oudamberlove likes this.
  18. Bigboy

    Bigboy True Ouddict

    Uncertified Organic:eek:nly requirements are not inserting personal body matter into the oil. Then again im sure if it was human waste it would be permissible as its biological and non synthetic matter.
    Oudamberlove likes this.
  19. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    USDA organic is a total scam, I’m an organic farmer certified as sustainable And renewable .
    That being said I can’t use many certified organic inputs as they are absolutely chemical in nature, a total salt. They can use potassium hydroxide Or chemically extracted seaweed In organic products because someone paid money to have it added to the list. My products are tested for pesticides, chemical residue, and heavy metals . That certified OG food at whole food? None is actually tested! You don’t know If the non- organic farm next door sprayed malathion that drifts over( I actually saw this with my own eyes) Or if the farm is next to the highway with dust and exhaust all over your food( seen this also) so organic is a term for people who pay to use that term but there is zero oversight on organic crops ,its all trust and paperwork. Honestly I’ll trust ASO to vet. The farms they use because they Care and I trust that. Organic is a paperwork trail no more , what the farmer does or his neighbors do is never looked at. Just what it says on the paperwork. I do a lot of paperwork and a lot of testing , the cannabis business in California is The most regulated And tested to verify cleanliness of any farm products in the world.
    So moral of the story? Know your farmer! Know your distillers!
  20. F4R1d0uX

    F4R1d0uX Resident Artisan

    Thanks brother :Thumbsup:

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