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January 15, 2022 4 min read

Here is a review from Shawn - an oud lover (for the full review, click here)


"When smelled from the bottle, you don't really even know what to expect, but once this oil hits the skin, it is pure bliss."


It sounds like, at first, Shawn smells the Oud Oil from the bottle, and then he applies the oud on his skin and smells it. After that, he compared his smelling experience with the oud oil on his skin and in the bottle. It looks like the oud smells better on his skin.


But why?

The answer:

Surface tension - a force that allows the liquid to resist an external force

Question: can this mesh act as a plug to stop the water from the bottle?


Take a guess 

Here is the answer


Because of the surface tension, water striders can float and "walk" on the water surface.

To me, this force is impressive.

The below iron paper clip has a higher density than water. Therefore it sinks underwater.

But there is a force that can make this iron paper clip float. This force is known as Surface Tension.



The higher the Surface tension of a liquid, the less likely its evaporation rate will be. 

And if the liquid evaporates slowly, you will smell less. If the liquid evaporates quickly, you will sense more. That is why alcohol-based perfume smell stronger and generally have a more significant impact when you first spray it

Smelling from the bottle is very different from smelling it from your skin for the same reason.


Agarwood (Oud) oil is an essential oil or a co2 extract oil. Oud oil is liquid, and all liquid has surface tension.


This surface tension will inhibit the evaporation of Agarwood (Oud) aroma.

When you smell oud oil in a bottle, you only smell part of the scent profile of that oud.


The surface tension holds the aroma (scent molecules)—this force "traps" most of the divine smell inside the bottle. However, there will be a few compounds escaping out of the bottle. Therefore, when you smell directly from the bottle, you only smell a few aroma compounds. The rest are kept under the surface tension, waiting for you to discover.




What happens when you use the glass dipper to dip the oil from the bottle to your wrist?

When you dab, dab, dab the oil on your skin, you break the oil surface tension. Now, bring your wrist close to your nose and smell it.

How do you feel?

Isn’t the oil smell richer on your wrist than in the bottle?


2 ways of applying oud oil on the skin

Rubbing - do it slowly

Many people have a habit of rubbing the oil quickly. This action creates a friction force. Friction will create heat. The hotter the temperature, the quicker the oil evaporates. Some highly volatile aroma molecules will evaporate faster than others. Therefore, If you rub your wrist quickly, you may miss the aroma of these fast evaporate scent molecules. Besides, by rubbing the oil, you are "spreading" it in a greater area, making it evaporate even faster. At the same time, you are also "mixing" the oud oil with sebum- your own body oil. As a result, the oud oil aroma will be slightly changed.

However, there will be minimum heat as long as you do not do it violently or quickly. And when there is low heat, there are fewer changes.

However, as long as you do not do it violently or quickly, there will be minimum heat. And when there is low heat, there is less changes.

Personally, I find that rubbing the oud oil on your wrist is acceptable as long as you do it slowly.

Use your index finger to do the sliding action from left to right, pause for 1 second, and move back to the left.

Do this action between 3 to 5 intervals to release the oud aroma.





When you are dabbing oud oil on your skin, you are breaking the surface tension of the oud oil without heat.


Dabbing is vertical action: moving up and down while rubbing is horizontal action (sliding left and right)

Dabbing will spread less area of oud oil on the skin than rubbing. It means your body produced- sebum will mix less in dabbing than rubbing.

But the difference is slight, so if you are not so picky, both methods are suitable. Either way, you will experience different layers of scents.


By the way, this method is excellent to apply perfume and attar oil too.


I hope you find this article interesting.

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