The following presents the fundamental differences between oud perfume, natural oud, and 'artisanal oud' oil and has been divided into several sections: Introduction, Availability, Formation and development, Oud: The note, Artisanal Oud and Conclusion. Introduction Oud as a note can be found for as little as $1 a gram yet 'artisanal oud' can cost as much as $1,700! That’s a huge discrepancy, so what’s the difference? In a nutshell, designer perfumes labeled oud mostly use synthetic aroma chemicals produced by flavor and fragrance manufacturers like Firmitech and Givaudan. As for those that claim to use ‘real oud’ that’s Natural Oud produced in plantations, but neither come close to the satisfying depth and complexity experienced within fine 'artisanal oud' which can exhibit up to 150 different aromatic compounds within a single oil. But there is more to it than just that… This exotic and mysterious aromatic substance has a legendary history and has been renowned in regions of the Middle and Far East for centuries, yet the developed Western nations have only relatively recently come to know of the valuable aromatic, unfortunately, in the waning of its existence. Agarwood oil is known by many names, with perhaps the most common being Oud; o-u-d. Spelling variations of the same word exist and some of the most common are A-o-u-d and o-u-d-h. The perception is that such spelling variations are mostly for the sake of novelty, meaning they’re the brands way of distinguishing themselves from the thousands of other oud fragrances that have flooded the market, although some argue these spellings to be more accurate transliterations of the original Arabic word. Which is spelled (عود) ain - wow - dal, read from right to left, with the ain having a slightly guttural pronunciation; So one could see perhaps where the A comes from, however the dal at the end of the word is pronounced like the d in the word end. So I really don't get the ‘h’ but that’s just semantics. . . Oud is also known as eagleswood, aloeswood, agarwood, gaharu and by many other regional terms, but in the original sense, it refers to the aquilaria and gyrinops genera of the Thymelaeaceae family of trees. Only found in regions of India and the FarEast. There are also other more common aromatic woods that some dilute agarwood oil with, but more on that later.