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Agarwood is a mystical and precious resinous wood formed in heartwood of Aquilaria tree, an
archaic tropical evergreen tree native to Golf of Tonkin, Vietnam and other countries of Southeast
Asia. Among 26 species of Aquilaria trees that can give Agarwood, the most valuable species is
Aquilaria crassna Pierre whose cradle is HaTinh province of Vietnam, where SECOIN HATINH
CO., LTD. (Agroforestry Division of SECOIN CO., LTD.) is located. Apart from Aquilaria genus,
there are also six genera that can probably produce Agarwood: Gyrinops, Gonystylus, Aetoxylon,
Phaleria, Wikstroemia, Enkleia in which at least Gyrinops is existing in Vietnam too.

The Aquilaria tree generally grows up to 40 meters high and 80 centimeters in diameter. Some
wild trees become randomly infected with some parasite fungi or molds and begin to produce
Agarwood in heartwood due to immune response to this attack. But this biologic process develops
very, very slowly over several tens of years. Not all Aquilaria trees produce agarwood, only
approximately 10% of wild mature Aquilaria tree ( from the age of 20 years onwards and with
above 40 cm diameter at breast height ) can naturally produce resin. The ecological interaction
between the host tree and the fungi and/or molds in order to produce Agarwood is poorly
understood. Other factors such as the age of the tree, differences in the tree caused by seasonal
variation, environmental variation and genetic variation of Aquilaria trees may also play an
important role in agarwood formation. Newly created scientific achievements and trial treatments
implemented by Robert Blanchette, Dang Ngoc Chau, Thai Thanh Luom, Nguyen Hong Lam,
Nguyen Quang Than,…have shown that Agarwood formation can occur in cultivated trees as
young as four years of age by using inducement (or wounding/pathological) technique. After
wounding, that is drilling in tree-trunk, they put into drillhole a bio-agent consisting of special
isolated fungi and biochemicals. After 20-24 months a dark brown resinous wood part was
observed around injury sites. Accurate estimation of the quality and yield of such “Agarwood” is
still a pending question.

Agarwood uses: Agarwood can be used in the following areas

* Aroma industry: Perfumes, Cosmetics & cosmeceuticals, Toiletries, Flavourings, Fragrances,

Incenses, Candles, Aromatherapy preparations.
* Medicine: Traditional Vietnamese Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tibetan medicine,
Ayurveda & Aromatherapy, Efficacious sedative, Aphrodisiac,...
* Indoor air improvement & fumigation: Air revitalizing solutions help to improve indoor air
quality and performance of office works
* Religious practices & spiritual life: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism,
Deep meditation, Yoga,...
* Other uses: Ornamentation, Bead strings, Carvings, Wines, Teas, Burial & Cremation (grave-
clothes, libation ingredients in funeral pyre), Prayer rugs,…

Agarwood products: Agarwood segments, splinters, chips & powders, Agarwood oils,
Agarwood-based revitalizing solutions, Agarwood-based perfumes, Agarwood incenses,
Agarwood candles & soaps, Agarwood concentrated juices & balms, Agarwood bead strings,
Agarwood statues and carvings, Agarwood impregnated articles, Agarwood liqueurs, Agarwood


SECOIN efforts aim at answering to the following question: How to develop Vietnamese
Agarwood products for Wellness, Poverty alleviation and Biodiversity conservation. Our
Agroforestry Division (SECOIN HATINH CO., LTD.) has been selected as a subject to be
sponsored by UNCTAD/SIPPO within the BIOTRADE programme. We have already taken part in
the international exhibition VITAFOODS 2006 held in Geneva-Switzerland from 9th to 11th May
2006 ( During this Fair, we gave a presentation at Seminar Theatre whose
title is "Biodiversity preservation & poverty alleviation in Vietnam: Agarwood and Aquilaria
crassna Pierre", and our delegation was invited to take part in the Biotrade Business RoundTable
organised by UNCTAD. We have already visited Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) from 25/6 to
6/7/06 to take part in two Business Forums organised by both Spanish and Vietnamese Ministry of
Trade, where we displayed Agarwood products, Essential oils and Medicinal herbs. In May 2007,
we take part in the Foire de Tours (Tours Cedex1) in France. We also give a presentation on
Vietnamese Agarwood in the NTFP international conference hold in Hanoi from 11 to 14 June
2007. From 16 May to 27 July 2007 we take part in Asean Health and Wellness Exhibition hold in
Tokyo-Japan and display our agarwood-based products for well-being.

As for Agarwood oils, we are selling about 25 kinds of Agarwood oils made of selected resinous
wood parts from Aquilaria crassna Pierre, A. malaccensis, A. sinensis, A. filaria,…and their
combination using infusion or co-distillation techniques, in which A. crassna is native to Vietnam
whose oils have characteristic and seductive smell. Their price range from USD1311/litre to
USD11132/litre. All oils are accompanied by COA (certificate of analysis) implemented by EDC
center (Center for Education & Development of Chromatography), Hanoi University of
Technology. Our main markets are Northeast Asia, USA, Europe and Middle East.

We also produce Agarwood-based revitalizing solution that is a nice combination of Agarwood

oil/extract and other aromatic essential oils like: Lavender, Lavendin, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass,
Peppermint, Spearmint, Clary sage, Citronella, Jasmine, Rose, Orange, Lotus, Thyme. The easiest
and simplest way of putting revitalizing solutions into the air for inhalation is to use Aroma
Diffusers and/or Air Revitalizers / Purifiers which can generate negative ions and have great effect
on removing bacteria and viruses, easing allergies caused by dust & air contaminants, repel insects,
aromatherapeutic effects to relieve stress and fatigue.

As for Agarwood incenses, we are selling three incense forms as stick, coil and cone. Incense
ingredients are: Agarwood powder and other aromatic ingredients in powder form. Our incense
ingredient recipes are generally based on “The Five Basic Elements” of Eastern philosophy, for
example Metal: Illicium verum Hooker fil., Wood: Pogostemon cablin Blanco Benth., Fire:
Syzygium aromaticum L. Merr. et Perry, Water: Aquilaria crassna Pierre, Santalum album L.,
Pterocarpus santalinus L.f.,…Earth: Vetiver zizanioides L. Nash, Nardostachys grandiflora DC.,
Valeriana officinalis L. & Maillefer,…. Our excellent quality incense binders are: Litsea glutinosa
Lour. C.B.Rob. (Tallow laurel), Pouzolzia sanguiena Bl. Merr. (Pouzolzia viminea).

Our Agarwood candles are made of Soy wax, Agarwood-based fragrant oils and Wick bought
from Wedo, a famous German manufacturer.

We also produce Agarwood carvings and Agarwood impregnated products like: bead strings,
statues, prayer-rugs, burial clothes & materials,…We are in the process of trial production of
Agarwood liqueur, Agarwood teas and Agarwood balms (for sedative application, sleep disorder
treatment, skin care,…).


* Taxonomic identification of Agarwood producing genera and species currently existing in

Vietnam is essential in establishing priorities for conservation and sustainable use strategies. It is
quite necessary to carry out serious scientific studies on this topic, including correct selection of
varieties from the Aquilaria crassna species.

* Morphology study and Anatomy of Aquilaria crassa tree (trunk, leaf, flower, fruit, seed) play an
important role for sustainable development of Agarwood in Vietnam, including cultivation,
domestication and processing finished products.

* Scientific verification of the result of different inducement techniques currently applied in

Vietnam is useful in selecting good techniques that may be legally approved.

* Profoundly study newest scientific works of Japanese scientists about “New sesquiterpene from
Vietnamese agarwood and its induction effect on brain-derived neurotrophic factor”
( and its practical applications.

* We are also looking for advanced techniques of distillation, extraction and decoction for
diversifying Vietnamese Agarwood products originated from Aquilaria crassna Pierre species.

Published: NTFP International Conference (11-14 June 2007) proceedings


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