The story of Frankincense is an Arabian Tale. The name derived from the French ‘franc esens’ meaning ‘pure incense’, and has been used for thousands of years due to its scent and medical properties.
Peaceful Oman is home to the finest frankincense, carefully harvested with traditional techniques from the Boswellia Sacra tree. Frankincense is an aromatic resin from the sap of the Boswellia Sacra, also called ‘Desert tears’, due to its droplets shape. The work to harvest the resin begins in April when the temperatures begin to rise, and when the sap flow more easily. The resin is being carefully sorted and distilled to extract the essential oil, rich in fragrance and medical properties.
These sacred Boswellia Sacra trees also need protecting, and therefor sustainably sourced frankincense is to be aware of. Today Boswellia Sacra is defined as ‘near threatened’ by The IUCN Red List of threatened species.
“The words which express our faith and piety are not definite; yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures.”
Henry David Thoreau
Frankincense is known around the world for its sweet swirling scent and the calming aroma of burned resin has been treasured for centuries. It has been used as infusion among the Nomadic Tribes in the Arabic Peninsula, and in The Ebers Papyrus, ancient Egypt’s most important document of medical knowledge, frankincense is mentioned as a medical treatment method.
The incense became so popular that it was to compare with gold on the Roman Empire markets and Arabian traders carried the resin with their camel caravans across the ‘Incense Route’, a network of trade routes extending over 2 000 km, from Oman in the Arabian Peninsula destined to the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek And Roman Empires in the Mediterranean. The precious Myrrh was also popularly traded in the same route.
“The frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah and the remains of the caravan oasis of Shisr/Wubar and the affiliated ports of Khor Rori and Al-Baleed vividly illustrate the trade in frankincense that flourished in this region for many centuries, as one of the most important trading activities of the ancient and medieval world.” Unesco, Land of Frankincense
Frankincense is deeply associated with purification and with its properties it has become an ancient and spiritual remedy, with a mystical smoke believed to ascend directly to heaven.