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.
frankincense has been used since antiquity 1 to awaken a higher consciousness, strengthen spirituality, meditation, prayer. It is also sought after for its therapeutic virtues.
Its medicinal properties and aroma, used by the world’s greatest perfumers, make it a rare and symbolic substance of importance.
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 »), to distinguish it from many fragrant resins claimed as incense and, Oliban, from Arabic al-lubán (« milk » refers to the resin of the tree)..
To summarize, the word incense generally means a single element or a mixture of natural or non-organic fragrant substances whereas frankincense or Oliban 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)
The cultivation of frankincense is a know-how that has been handed down from generation to generation for decades and which we inherit proudly. Harvesting is done by a shallow incision in the bark of the male tree by removing a narrow band. A sap flows out and coagulates on contact with the air, then it is picked up by hand. A succession of 3 passes, spaced from 10 to 15 days apart, is made on the incisions. The third pass gives the best resin.
The quality resin is collected in autumn, after incisions made during the summer, it was called « white frankincense », as opposed to « brown frankincense », harvested only in spring after winter incisions. A tree can produce about 3 to 4 kg per season. According to studies, 2 the incisions - which must be spaced apart by about thirty centimeters - are made on the east and west sides of the tree to allow sufficient exposure to the sun for rapid drying of the resin.
A unique tool with a wooden handle and an iron spatula at its end, used by the incense producer Dhofari (Bedouin), to « peel » the bark. Sometimes the tool may be provided with a spatula at each of its ends.
As soon as an incision is made, the sap begins to surface. The optimal size of the tapping must not exceed 12 cm². The plant or tree that produces juices or resins is explained by the fact that it serves as a defense mechanism to isolate its wounds. It protects against desiccation, against attacks of insects and fungi, as well as rot.