Olibanum Resinoid SomaliaBoswellia carterii Birdw.
Botanical family : Burseraceae
Method of culture : Wildcrafted controlled
Part harvested : Gum
Harvest period :
CAS TSCA : 8016-36-2
INCI : Boswellia carterii gum extract
In the middle of the plant
Frankincense is a gum resin produced by a shrub of the genus Boswellia, belonging to the family Burseraceae, which also includes myrrh and elemi. Frankincense trees are found in arid regions of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, most often in the foothills near the banks of the Red Sea.
The genus Boswellia encompasses several species that generate fragrant resins (sacra, papyrifera, frereana), but the Boswellia carterii species is the most prized by perfumers. Boswellia carterii is principally found at an elevation of 1,000 meters in the sub-desert limestone areas of northern Somalia (Somaliland), the Sudan, and Ethiopia. It is a branchy shrub with compound leaves and secretory canals beneath the bark which, under hot conditions, naturally produce a gum resin.
To stimulate frankincense production, collectors make incisions in the bark of the trunk or branches. These incisions are made only where the substance has begun oozing naturally. After two to three weeks, the tear-shaped droplets of the precious white gum resin, having solidified once in contact with the air, are harvested. These tears are then weighed, sorted, and hand-cleaned to remove bark and other impurities, and then set in the sun to dry for two to three months. The frankincense harvest season is spread over several months at a rate of two harvest sessions per month, performed by families and small nomadic herders. The tapped trees are generally passed down through generations of families as inheritances.
There are several qualities of frankincense, with variations depending on several factors, such as the harvest period, age of the tree, storage conditions, and sun-drying time. The whitest and smallest tears are those of superior quality. The tears that are delivered to our production center in Spain are extracted with ethanol to produce our Frankincense resinoid. It has a fresh, woody, spicy, and balsamic odor. It is for these characteristics that it is used as a heart note or base note in the fine fragrance industry, but it is also valued in the aromatherapy and cosmetics fields.
|Method for obtaining||Ethanolic extraction|
|Appearance||Amber brown to reddish brown|
|Constituents||Sesquiterpenes, fatty acids, boswellic acids and derivatives.|
Advised uses : Aromatherapy, Perfumery, Cosmetic, Alimentary