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What is Frankincense?

What is Frankincense?

What is Frankincense?

Frankincense, also called Olibanum, is an aromatic resin that comes from the Boswellia Tree, found in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Its name comes from the Old French, Franc Encens, meaning ‘High Quality Incense’. 

The aroma of Frankincense is best released with heat and fire, and was most likely discovered by early humans while building fires for warmth and cooking. 

Frankincense has been traded for Millenia, with a history on the route of the Silk Road.

The domestication of Camels allowed Incense to be traded far more easily, with Camels being the perfect animals to travel through the harsh landscapes of the desert regions.

Frankincense is commonly found as an incense and in fragrances.

The Europeans used it in their church services, the Egyptians would use it during the embalming process, the Persians used it for its supposed medicinal remedies, and in Abrahamic religions, it was used to cleanse homes and buildings of bad and/or evil energy.

Frankincense is said to be woody, piney, coniferous, balsamic, and smoky, as well as soft and lemony. It has a complex aroma that blends well with warmer notes, and is often found in the base of many fragrances.

Its smoky quality works well in scents meant to be spicy, incensey, and woody.

Pretty much all of the fragrances from the Amouage collection have Frankincense in the base of their scents, along with Myrrh and Sandalwood.

Opus XII Rose Incense from Amouage uses Olibanum Hyper Absolute and Frankincense Absolute to add a dark and sultry, smoky essence to a Rose-forward scent that is the perfect representation of its name.

Opus XIV Royal Tobacco from Amouage uses Frankincense Oil and Frankincense Resinoid to boost the smoky quality of Tobacco and other resins.

V Amber Fougere from Clive Christian blends Frankincense and Fir Balsam, another resin, to add an earthy depth to a typically Green Fougere scent.

Baraka from Tarika Perfumes uses Frankincense in its heart to mix things up. A floral bouquet adds a softness that maintains depth.

Fleur Japonais from Shalini Parfums turns the scent of Cherry Blossom on its head. Instead of a typically sweet and fruity scent, Frankincense, Labdanum, and Sandalwood add a woody depth with a subtle smokey nuance.

Let us know what some of your favorite Frankincense fragrances are.

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