Gaharu Buaya is a wood obtained from the only species of the Aetoxylon genus. The name is thought to originate from the term Buaya meaning "Crocodile" in Indonesia. Not only are the trees found in swampy forests, but the term is also used from people considered to be "big liars". Gahaur Buaya is often sold in-accurately as Agarwood, as well as being used in the production of Oudh oil as an adulterant. The essential oil helps "extend" the much more expensive oil from Aquilaria species making various Oudh oils either more affordable or more profitable.
The wood behaves similarly to that of Aquilaria pieces when placed upon a hot charcoal, though it seems to take a little longer to incinerate and chars a bit. The aroma is reminiscent of other Agarwoods if one removed the earthy & animalistic notes characteristic of the Aquilaria species. There is a sharp sweetness contained released by the smoke. It is best to use an indirect heat source to produce a clean and fragrant aroma, especially when used in aromatherapeutic applications. While some find the aroma of Gaharu Buaya to be a turn off when used as incense, this may be due to the highly variable quality of the wood itself. We have found the samples received to be quite pleasant, though unlike true Agarwood. Mixing the wood with sandalwood and various spices like cinnamon and clove gives off an aroma almost reminiscent of hot french toast. Strangely enough, the slight cooked "egg" scent appears when using this wood where it is absent when substituting an Aquilaria species.
Our initial research has not turned up any useful information in regards to medicinal or other uses specific to Aetoxylon sympetalum. We will provide any updates if and when more information becomes available.
We are unaware of any other synonyms at this time.
Originally described by:
Cornelis G. G. Jan van Steenis (1901-1986) Friedrich Walter Domke (1899-1988)
A. sympetalum is found in the tropical waterlogged Kerangas forests of Austronesia. The species is thought to be endemic only to the island of Borneo.
We have recently obtained a sample of the wood from New Guinea. Due to the minimal research done on this species, it could be possible that the range extends further throughout Austronesia. More information is needed.
NOTE: The research on Aetoxylon sympetalum is ongoing. We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. Please expect the above information to be revised as more information becomes available. If you have further information about this species or if you wish to submit a correction to this page, please feel free to contact us here
As of 2016, we have decided to majorly simplify the taxonomic structures of the species collection. Due to the numerous systems available, and many species being disputed and in a state of flux, we feel that most of our audience will be better served with a easier to understand condensed listing.