From my branches flows the fluid to which millions of hearts beat on hearing its name.
Since its discovery, the frankincense is related to the human need to have a formal link with their gods. It is incredible to imagine that a long time ago, it was one of the most valuable products of the ancient world.
In the extreme south of the Sultanate of Oman, Boswellia sacra will secrete the best of frankincense, a resin whose trade dates back to the dawn of time. Many experts agree that the best incense is produced by species originating from the Sultanate of Oman 1a.
Its medicinal properties and aroma, used by the world’s greatest perfumers, make it a rare and symbolic substance of importance.
The genre takes its name from Professor John Boswell (Miller and Morris, 1988). It is a tree native to Somalia, southern Yemen (in the Hadra’mout valley) and Oman (in the Dhofar region). Miller and Morris (Kapoor, 1990) stated that the only species of Boswellia present in the Arabian Peninsula is Boswellia carterii.
This species was named after the English surgeon HG Carter who was the first to discover it during his expedition to southern Arabia in 1846.
In 1876, the Swiss chemist and botanist Flüeckiger re-examined the same plant. As a new species he called it Boswellia sacra.
Three years later, the English botanist Birdwood examined the whole genus and found that the specimens described previously by Carter and Flüeckiger are identical to those found in Somalia and known as Boswellia carterii so that the two species should be considered synonymous (Miller and Morris, 1988).
With the evolution of language,
This term is now imprecise. It refers to any composition that can be burned to perfume a religious place or house, clothing or body parts. This language refers to a variety of products :
Resins of vegetable origin (frankincense, olibanum, myrrh, etc.),
Fragrant wood (agalloche, sandalwood, etc.), spices...
Despite the many interpretations,
concerning the origin of the term incense, the etymology most commonly recognized is that of « incendere », a Latin term meaning « to burn » or « to consume ».
Apart from this denomination, we find the word frankincense, English word derived from the old French (high quality incense) (« franc », « real incense »). When the detailing ingredients in the pyramid construction of both early and modern perfumes, the word incense designates Frankincnese, (as a long-lasting base note).
To summarize, the word incense generally means a single element or a mixture of natural or non-organic fragrant substances whereas frankincense or Oliban, from Arabic « al-lubán » (« milk » refers to the resin of the tree) means the real and natural incense which is an aromatic resin derived from trees of the Burseraceae family.
Burseraceae are a family of trees or shrubs (645 species) characterized by flaking aromatic bark and by resin present in plant tissues. The resin of many species of this family is used as Frankincense (natural).
There are two important varieties in the family Burseraceae : Boswellia (its resin is called Frankincense) and Commiphora (its resin is myrrh)