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  1. #1

    Default Olibanum / Frankincense

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project thread:

    Olibanum, India, Soma Luna, tinctured– The classic frankincense note. Sweet, lemon-orange-pine, dusty, aromatic. Used exentsively in churches in Europe and North America.

    Olibanum, Frankincense (natural?) – This sample capturs the dusty, citrusy aspect of frankincense resin, but he real resin is ever so much more beautiful—sweeter, orangier, fuller. This sample focuses on the dry, peppery aspect.

    Olibanum, Frankincense: incensey, plus vicks. Reminds me very much of Serge Noire actually.

    Olibanum, Frankincense, probable origin India (I think I read this somewhere on Linda's site but can't find it anymore), 2% dilution in carrier oil.
    Serious bordering on stern, the smell of a church during a Roman Catholic mass. It conveys the colour grey to me, like the smoke when you burn it. Initially quite peppery, then it becomes more rounded, but retains its austere character. I think it's more "feeling" than reality, given that I can't avoid the association with its main use.
    Last edited by Asha; 4th July 2009 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Tincture of 5 drops EO in 50 ml water. Warmed in a ceramic simmering potpourri.
    The EO is by Himalayan Wisdom. It is labeled "Frankincense" and the subtitle is Boswellia Frererana. The frereana species grows in Somalia (according to Perfume Handbook ).

    What a lovely, complex scent! This is the first EO in which I find top and deeper notes. The top notes surprised me with their strong lemon aspect. There were suggestions of lemon zest, lemon leaf, and lemon-drop candy. At the same time, there were the beginnings of cool, herbal and coniferous notes. The herbals became sweetly aromatic (not purely sweet). I say this to distinguish this from something like dusky aromatic. As the scent develops, it becomes sappy and resinous. It is lively and exhilarating. Now it has the austere majesty of the atmosphere of an old cathedral, la vraie vielle eglise scent I've heard described. Probably one of my favorite scents. This is a high-quality EO, and it shows.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 9th November 2009 at 07:27 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  3. #3

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Ody, another way to try Frankincense is to burn the resin tears on charcoal. That will allow you to experience a different side of the substance--much more smoky, obviously, and definitely a "holy" feel due to its use in religious rituals. Most of the lemony parts are overwhelmed by the green turpentine-like notes when the resin is burned.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Thanks Asha, I'm definitely into trying that for frankincense. I have a little brazier and charcoal. I will be on the lookout for the frankincense tears. I love the smell of frankincense (much more than myrrh).
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  5. #5

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    I have yet to find a frankinsence eo that smells like the resin tears burnt on charcoal, so i am tincturing some quality frankinsense atm. it does smell much more "spiritual" and incensey but it is very sticky, tho i havent strained it yet.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Frankincense essential oil, Aqua Oleum: Clean, effervescent and slightly mentholated. It's more peppery than resinous, and isn't particularly dense or austere in the smoky sense.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    I seem to be making a habit lately of resurrecting very old threads. Resurrection seems particularly appropriate, given the heavy Christian associations that come with Frankincense / Olibanum (the name used in older versions of the Bible as I understand it and the one most often used in the perfumery trade) and it happens that I've recently been doing some smell tests on several samples I thought this was another good candidate:


    The olibanum I use routinely is the essential oil from Boswelia carteri and it's good basic stuff, works well in citrus accords as it helps to extend the life of citrus - lemon and green mandarin in particular. I also have a tiny amount left of a frankincense that I bought in the early 80s from Culpepper that I've been hoarding. This is quite different: much less lemon and far more incense, very deep, complex and very nice indeed. Finally I have frankincense resin (tears) from several sources that I use to burn on charcoal sometimes - just sniffing the grains they don't give much and there are already excellent descriptions of the smell when burnt above. I'm planning to make tinctures out of them in the hope they may be able to replace my aged stuff that has almost gone - advice appreciated from anyone who's already done that.

    I was sent samples of three Frankincense variants by Adam at Hermitage Oils for evaluation:

    The Boswelia seratta is nice: very similar to the carteri but even more lemony - I'd like to use this in some of my citrus accords in place of the carteri - there are no off-notes to disturb the composition but I think it will marry with the citrus even better.

    The Boswelia neglecta is very interesting with a musty, old wood note that is not present in any of the others. It reminds me a lot of vetivert and I think the two would work well together. I would not want this one in most of my citrus compositions though as it might clash. On the other hand I'm currently working on a grapefruit and vetivert blend that it might very well enhance.

    Finally the Boswelia rivae certainly the nicest of them, very subtle, complex and incense-like. Amazingly similar to my aged frankincense. This could go into most blends and enhance them, but will be especially interesting where that characteristic church-at-high-mass kind of effect is what you are looking for.

    I don't believe Adam has these in stock yet, but if the reports from his evaluators are good I expect he will - so if you are interested in buying them, let him know. Hermitage Oils ships worldwide (and no I don't get commission, I'm just a satisfied trade customer).
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    You can resurrect anything you want in the Single Note Exploration section Mr B. It was a pleasure to find this post here today.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Happy to help! I find writing up my impressions of different notes helps fix in my mind what I've learned so it's useful to me as well as potentially to other people.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Olibanum / Frankincense

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    I seem to be making a habit lately of resurrecting very old threads. Resurrection seems particularly appropriate, given the heavy Christian associations that come with Frankincense / Olibanum (the name used in older versions of the Bible as I understand it and the one most often used in the perfumery trade) and it happens that I've recently been doing some smell tests on several samples I thought this was another good candidate:


    The olibanum I use routinely is the essential oil from Boswelia carteri and it's good basic stuff, works well in citrus accords as it helps to extend the life of citrus - lemon and green mandarin in particular. I also have a tiny amount left of a frankincense that I bought in the early 80s from Culpepper that I've been hoarding. This is quite different: much less lemon and far more incense, very deep, complex and very nice indeed. Finally I have frankincense resin (tears) from several sources that I use to burn on charcoal sometimes - just sniffing the grains they don't give much and there are already excellent descriptions of the smell when burnt above. I'm planning to make tinctures out of them in the hope they may be able to replace my aged stuff that has almost gone - advice appreciated from anyone who's already done that.

    I was sent samples of three Frankincense variants by Adam at Hermitage Oils for evaluation:

    The Boswelia seratta is nice: very similar to the carteri but even more lemony - I'd like to use this in some of my citrus accords in place of the carteri - there are no off-notes to disturb the composition but I think it will marry with the citrus even better.

    The Boswelia neglecta is very interesting with a musty, old wood note that is not present in any of the others. It reminds me a lot of vetivert and I think the two would work well together. I would not want this one in most of my citrus compositions though as it might clash. On the other hand I'm currently working on a grapefruit and vetivert blend that it might very well enhance.

    Finally the Boswelia rivae certainly the nicest of them, very subtle, complex and incense-like. Amazingly similar to my aged frankincense. This could go into most blends and enhance them, but will be especially interesting where that characteristic church-at-high-mass kind of effect is what you are looking for.

    I don't believe Adam has these in stock yet, but if the reports from his evaluators are good I expect he will - so if you are interested in buying them, let him know. Hermitage Oils ships worldwide (and no I don't get commission, I'm just a satisfied trade customer).
    I thought I’d bump this one as I notice this morning that not only does Hermitage Oils now have those oils in stock, but there is a sale for the next couple of days that includes the Boswelia rivae at half price.

    I love it and am already using it in some of my compositions. So if anyone was interested to try it after reading the above earlier in the year, now might be the time . . .
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

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