It is almost incomprehensible to modern man that incense has had such influence throughout history. Its smoke connected people with the gods, cleansed and healed, and as a result the first trade routes were established. Gifts were given to emperors, it’s worth was like gold, and it brought wealth to those who collected and sold it. It was used in the temples and houses of the Old World as far back as the 2nd millennium BC.
Incense is a fragrant resin of the Boswellia sacra tree. This unusual tree grows only in the desert rocky areas of southern Arabia, in Oman, and the horn of Africa, in Ethiopia and Somalia.
Due to the unusually fresh, citrusy, and at the same time sweet, spicy scent on an intoxicating balsamic base, today incense is mainly used in the cosmetic industry. But it’s also used in traditional medicine because it has an antiseptic effect, soothes anxiety and tension. It can slow down and deepen the breath, and mixed with a bit of wine, it causes mild euphoria.
Many myths have been woven around this unique plant. The Egyptians considered balls of incense to be drops of the sweat of the gods that fell to the ground. They used it for mummification, cleaning, and consecration of temples and houses of the rich, healing wounds and tightening wrinkles.
For many perfume lovers, the smell of burning incense and the smell of its smoke is enchanting. As a perfume note, incense is highly versatile, as it is equally suitable for dark oriental scents or for the effervescent sparkle of citrus cologne. In its pure state, the smell of incense oil is initially reminiscent of freshly ground black pepper, with a hint of lemon peel in the background. As the oil dries, it reveals its dry woody character. In a heavier register of oriental scents, incense gives a mild glow to lavish accords of spices, vanilla, and patchouli.
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