Gaharu Buaya: Brief Info
Gaharu Buaya (Aetoxylon sympetalum) also known as crocodile gaharu (English), gaharu buaya (Indonesian), puk-puk gaharu, Creoles, and Pidgins
Tree up to 40 meters tall and 60 cm diameter.
Habitat : Locally frequent in kerangas forest.
Distribution : In West Sarawak. Kalimantan in general
Local name : Gaharu Buaya
Aetoxylon Sympetalum: Cheaper Gaharu
Aetoxylon Sympetalum is an agarwood tree that can grow anywhere from 40m tall to 60cm wide. It is known as gaharu Buaya in Indonesia and its a fairly cheap agarwood commodity.
Its widespread, unthreatened (according to some resources) and smells great. Aetoxylon is also used in agarwood blends to help meet demands on other existing oudhs which are more expensive.
Its colours (in oil form) can range from a nice light honey to a dark blackish/brownish colour depending on its quality. It has a light smell thats very sweet and woodsy. This scent is found in Aquilaria Malaccensis and Agallocha after all the animalistic notes have faded away, yet it is still much, much sweeter.
Oil viscosity is thick and rubs on smoothly.
What is the different between Gaharu and Gaharu Buaya?
Oudh or gaharu in Indonesia had 17 kinds of species. But people especially traders in Indonesia divide these 17 kinds into 2 major class. The Gaharu so called “real ” oudh and Gaharu Buaya so called “2nd grade” oudh.
Gaharu or so called as “real” oudh are mostly come from Aquilaria Family. These includes the most highly priced now Aquilaria crassna also known as Cambodi Oudh. Aquilaria malaccensis, Aquilaria beccariana, Aquilaria fillaria (the Papuan Oudh) and so on. These Aquilaria families were highly priced because of there high quality. Defining what is high and and not in oudh business is difficult. Since many people strictly depend on their noses and experience. And nose those that aren’t trained enough can be easily to be fooled.
The reason Aquilaria class is considered high grade is the highly eudesmol content inside the oil. They say the higher the eudesmol the higher the quality of an oudh oil.
Some said the middle eastern people seek for oil that will dooze them up with full relaxation after they inhale the vapor. Simply they become very sleepy and wake up with a very relaxing state. And this is from Aquilaria Family.
From chemical aspect oudh is very unique substance since it consist 17 kinds of compound. That each had different in these compound even in a single species that live in a different area.
Gaharu Buaya, a slightly different story
For oudh buyers outside Indonesia mostly didn’t have any clue about these type of Oudh. The term “buaya” in gaharu meaning “crocodile“.
The naming of Buaya had their own story.
One version said that the naming came from where these so called Gaharu Buaya lives. Which is in the bogs or the swamp, that is the habitat of crocodile. Since they are gaharu so people called them as Gaharu Buaya to differ their jungle counter part.
Other version of this naming Buaya is actually a marking for it’s quality. Buaya in Indonesian culture related to a person that is a big liar. So marking it with this buaya name give it a difference with “real” oudh. Well, some Gaharu Buaya is quite disgusting resemble a very strong oil that super powerful in it’s oudh or that make you wanted to vomit. But some where had agreeable odor close to Aquilaria Class. Like the one we had here Aetoxylon Sympetalum.
The Gaharu Buaya had a lot more species then the Gaharu from Aquilaria Family. That’s another difference. In oudh perfumery industry, these Gaharu Buaya are largely use for mixture with Aquilaria Family to meet the demand of growing market. Since Aquilaria class is very expensive that would not be economic to use these Aquilaria in Industry.
Many of these Gaharu Buaya oil goes to India through Singapore, there they will be mixed with other oudh from Aquillaria Family and sell to middle east. And later on to the Europe and USA.
Gaharu buaya bracelet. — Sinking quality, less than USD250 per piece.
If the seller is telling that he is selling Gaharu buaya, he is genuine enough, nothing to claim that the wood is fake.