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Scent From Heaven: On the Trail of Oud
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Through a journey both dark and beautiful, we trace one of the world’s most expensive commodities from its end users in the Middle East to its source in the forests of Southeast Asia.

Kilo for kilo, oud is more costly than gold
For thousands of years, it has been used in the Middle East and Asia in the form of wooden incense chips, body oils and fragrance – becoming synonymous with hospitality in the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, more oud is burned here than anywhere else in the world.

“When I smell oud, I smell the scent of heaven. Amongst other useful things it does, oud drives depression away; one has a feeling of joy. It also depends on the type of oud. Each oud triggers certain memories. For example, when I smell Cambodian oud I remember my mother. Whilst when I smell Indian oud, I remember my father. Each piece of oud tells its own story, encapsulating decades,” says Mohammed Menekher, a PR and event coordinator from Qatar.

 

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