The Frankincense tree, or Olibanum, upon first glance, may seem rather unremarkable. It appears as a giant shrub, with many knurled branches topped with abundant slender leaves and occasionally, small white flowers. A native to northern Africa, it looks like it belongs in the desert, growing in some of the world’s harshest conditions. But it is not the tree itself, but rather its sap that has such profound lore surrounding it. When the tree’s bark is pierced with a knife (known traditionally as a ‘Mingaf’), a milky-white oleoresin is exuded, though the tree is not harmed (Myrrh is also harvested in this way). The resin forms droplets known as ‘tears’ or ‘pearls’, which harden into the orange-brown gum known itself as Frankincense. The English name of this natural incense is derived from the medieval French ‘franc’, meaning ‘pure’ or ‘free’, and from the Latin ‘incensium’, meaning ‘to smoke’.
These trees in the Dhofar region of Oman are revered as a gift from God. This particular species, also called Frankincense Sacra, is regarded as having a superior phytochemical profile, as well as therapeutic value, when compared to other steam or hydro-distilled Frankincense oils. This makes the inherent Boswellia sacra fragrance and strength one of a kind. Sacred Frankincense essential oil contains a higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. Its exquisite aroma is noticeable to its counterparts, and how the species grows has a lot to do with it. B. sacra trees are considered unusual for their ability to tolerate environments completely unforgiving; they can literally sprout out of chalky soil from near solid rock. You find them in high altitudes of 4,000 ft. on rocky slopes and ravines. The tears tapped from these enduring, shrubby trees are considered superior due to their more fragrant aroma. Initial scientific collections of Boswellia sacra, done in 1846, concluded that the best of all Frankincense trees are the B. sacra species found in Oman. The detailed accounts, however, didn’t come until the 1930’s.
About The Oil
All Frankincense essential oils are derived from the resin lovingly referred to as “Liquid pearls from the tree of life.” These oleo gum resins function as the protective and defensive support for the tree and, in its essential oil form, passes onto us these same precious properties. This Boswellia sacra essential oil is extracted by a combination of hydro-distillation and CO2 extraction to produce the highest abundance and variety of molecular compounds for the most potent availability.
This combination of hydro-distillation and CO2 extraction is a technique unique to the distiller. It ensures the best therapeutic value as well as the best aromatic value to be had from this important oil.
Why is this process important? Some folks prefer the aroma of steam distilled Frankincense (really, a personal preference), while the CO2 extracted oil is considered to have the most therapeutic value (specifically, because CO2 extracted oil naturally contains heavier-weight molecules not found in steam distilled oil). So in this Sacred Frankincense essential oil, you get the best of both worlds: the bright, sweet notes of a steam distillation, and the heavier molecular weight compounds found in a CO2 extract.
Research supports the therapeutic use of every one of the Frankincense species. It’s really a matter of personal preference to find the aroma you most enjoy!
Resins and their oils have always been associated with fumigation and purification. This explains why Frankincense essential oil was first used as incense in India, China and the Catholic churches of Europe and North America. The spirit of the sacred and of meditation have surrounded Frankincense for ages, allowing the spirit, as it’s smoke does, to rise to the heavens. Frankincense can properly be said to belong to the family of sacred scents.
In ancient Egypt, the famous kyphi, derived from frankincense, was used in perfume, incense, and beverages. Ancient Egyptian women would char frankincense resin (called kohl) and use it to blacken their eyelids and outline their eyes.
The ancient cultures of Egypt, Persia, Israel, Rome and Greece often prescribed Frankincense oil as medicine.
This particular Frankincense Sacra essential oil is truly a royal luxury, for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, the ruler of Oman, purchases the vast majority of this ultra high-end Boswellia Sacra frankincense.