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  1. #1

    Default Labdanum incense question

    You seem to be very knowledgeable about the various labdanum oils and the various aromas they have. I have a question for you about an incense I have created.

    I have attempted to re-create the HaQetoret of Exodus 30. I think it is a very beautiful scent, however my wife and children do not like the lingering after-scent. I think perhaps it may need to be tweeked with a bit more of a sweet scent to suit their modern tastes. It may be also that the ancients added a bit of essential oil (or an ancient equivalent to essential oils) to their formula. Which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? Here is my formula:

    1 part Myrrh
    1/2 part Styrax Benzoin
    1 part Labdanum
    1 part Galbanum
    1 part Frankincense

    It has a rich musky, delicious balsamic smell. I am looking for essential oils, CO2 oils, or etc, that would add a more accented sweet aroma to the formula. For example: oils of a very sweet myrrh, a very vanilla sweet benzoin, a sweet fresh labdanum, and a sweet fresh frankincense. Again, which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? And who would carry the best scent of each of these?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Labdanum / Cistus / Rock Rose

    Maybe this discussion should be taken to the DIY perfumes thread, since it's not specifically about labdanum. I've taken the liberty of copying it over to there, since you may get more responses if it's not in an archival thread.

  3. #3

    Default Labdanum incense question

    Firesurfer posted this on the "notes" page, but I thought it would be more likely to get some answers here since it's a DIY project, so took the liberty of copying it to this post.

    "You seem to be very knowledgeable about the various labdanum oils and the various aromas they have. I have a question for you about an incense I have created.

    I have attempted to re-create the HaQetoret of Exodus 30. I think it is a very beautiful scent, however my wife and children do not like the lingering after-scent. I think perhaps it may need to be tweeked with a bit more of a sweet scent to suit their modern tastes. It may be also that the ancients added a bit of essential oil (or an ancient equivalent to essential oils) to their formula. Which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? Here is my formula:

    1 part Myrrh
    1/2 part Styrax Benzoin
    1 part Labdanum
    1 part Galbanum
    1 part Frankincense

    It has a rich musky, delicious balsamic smell. I am looking for essential oils, CO2 oils, or etc, that would add a more accented sweet aroma to the formula. For example: oils of a very sweet myrrh, a very vanilla sweet benzoin, a sweet fresh labdanum, and a sweet fresh frankincense. Again, which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? And who would carry the best scent of each of these?

    Thanks"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Your incense sounds wonderful. If you want a sweet, fresh labdanum, I would highly recommend the cistus EO from Spain that is sold by Liberty Natural. Delicious stuff!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Labdanum / Cistus / Rock Rose

    Cinnamon EO would be a good and era-appropriate addition to your ancient recipe. The Egyptians and Hebrews also used Cardamom, Coriander and Sweet Flag which might sweeten up your blend some.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    GREAT! Sounds like what I am searching for.

    So I will put Cistus EO from Liberty Natural on my list.

    Now I have four more to go. Any ideas on where to get the sweetest, freshest essential oils or CO2 oils for:

    Myrrh
    Styrax Benzoin
    Galbanum
    Frankincense

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Don't know if this is any use to you.

    Onycha (Greek: ονυξ), along with equal parts of stacte, galbanum, and frankincense, was one of the components of the HaKetoret (holy incense) which appears in the Old Testament in the book of Exodus (Ex.30:34-36) and was used in the temple in Jerusalem. This formula was to be incorporated as a holy incense and was not to be duplicated for nonsacred use.[

  8. #8

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Thanks, but I was the one who wrote that whole article (except for the first two sentences which were modified by myself).

    It is my opinion that onycha is labdanum. However, in the article I listed all of the contenders for onycha so that the reader could make an unbiased, informed decision as to the identity of the very illusive ingredient.

    But thanks again for your response.

    Curtis

  9. #9

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    I have to laugh at the circular referencing here!

    I have bought all of the ingredients you mention from Liberty Natural, and find their products excellent overall.
    Myrrh: Probably the best bet is Kenyan opoponax or "sweet myrrh".
    Styrax (benzoin): I just got a fairly large quantity of benzoin resin from Liberty and it smells wonderful. I had been using benzoin from other sources, but LN's is superior.
    Frankincense: This one is hard. The best frankincense I ever smelled was some EO that I had had sitting around for 15+ years. It was amazing. I know that aging improves it, so fresh is not necessarily what you want in this case. I think in general the frankincense from Oman or Somalia is the best. Liberty has a number of different varieties, including ones from different species, so you might want to get small samples of the different types and use your nose to decide which one would work best in your formula.

    That's my 2 cents worth.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    My research has led me to identify stacte as a light myrrh oil in a solid carrier of styrax benzoin. Onycha was labdanum. Galbanum was the same galbanum we use today or its very close relative (narthex or giant fennel). Frankincense is the same as we identify today.

    The second Temple incense had other spices added to it per what is known as the oral Torah. I believe I have also identified all of the ingredients in this incense.

    I am totally satisfied with the pure, beautiful scent of the incense I have re-constructed but I would like to enhance the fragrance a bit for modern senses. The sweetness of the incense is very complex and subtle. Today's senses are used to being blasted with the raw force of piercing aroma.

    I call my first incense the Exodus 30 incense. My second formula is the Second Temple incense. If I can tweak the first incense a bit I will refer to it as the Exodus 30 enhanced version.

    This is sort of a journey into the world of incense in which I am taking my students at the Bible college I teach. I am aware that the Bible teaches the incense is not to be used for non-sacred purposes. I feel justified in re-creating the incense for the following reasons (1) Under the new covenant the incense is seen as simply the type and shadow of the prayers offered up to God by those redeemed under the new covenant. (2) Although we no longer offer up physical incense on the alter to God, we are still using it in a sacred way in our study of it or to set an atmosphere conducive to spiritual contemplation.

    Curtis

  11. #11

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Oh, I missed the galbanum that was on your list. That may be the scent that people don't like in your incense because it is sharp and not at all sweet. You might want to cut back on the galbanum and boost the benzoin to make a sweeter blend.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Thanks Doc Elly. This really helps. I ordered from one company and the oils smelled like bug spray. I didn't want to waste my money buying from various companies so I decided to inquire of others who had previously bought from other sources.

    BTW, which of the frankincense oils from LN has the strogest scent in the "sweet" and "fresh" department?

    Thanks again.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Ah yes, I do need a sweet galbanum, if such a thing exists. Personally I like the grassy galbanum scent, however modern tastes are not familiar with this scent (although it is used in many modern perfume blends).

    I am unable to cut back on any of the ingredients as they are fixed per the ancient recipe. However it is permitable to enhance the formula with the oils from its own ingredients.

    If I could impose. . . where could I find a sweeter galbanum oil?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Have you tried the oils offered by any of the following companies: Eden Botanicals, Mountain Rose Herbs, Scents of Earth, Mermaid, New Direction Aromatics ?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    BTW, galbanum in the raw has a very putrid, nasty, bitter smell. However, when galbanum is mixed with the incense and burned it produces a very sweet aroma.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    FireSurfer,
    BTW, which of the frankincense oils from LN has the strogest scent in the "sweet" and "fresh" department?
    be aware that frankincense oil might not smell like what you expect from it. see this current thread. i've got mine from enfleurage, a company with a very good reputation, certainly for their resins. their oil does not smell like the resin.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Elly View Post
    Your incense sounds wonderful. If you want a sweet, fresh labdanum, I would highly recommend the cistus EO from Spain that is sold by Liberty Natural. Delicious stuff!
    Would you recommend the EO labdanum over the CO2 labdanum?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    The one that I like from Liberty is cistus 1774, an EO from Spain.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Elly View Post
    The one that I like from Liberty is cistus 1774, an EO from Spain.
    I understand. I was just wondering how the EO labdanum compares in fragrance with CO2 labdanum.

    Thanks.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    I have not tried Liberty's labdanum CO2 absolute, so cannot comment on it. In general, absolutes are harder to work with than EOs, so any time the EO is available I use it. However, my application is perfume, not incense, so my criteria are different from yours. I did get some labdanum absolute from another company; it was extremely viscous, dark green in color, and did not have nearly as nice a scent for most of my applications. However, there are a couple of formulas in which I use it. I think the bottom line is that you are going to have to decide for yourself what works best in your formula. That probably means trying samples of different things.

    For some substances, e.g., citrus EOs, there's not a huge amount of variation. One sweet orange oil behaves and smells similar to the next. However for others including labdanum, you really need to explore the different forms from the different suppliers in order to find what works for you. Sorry I can't give you a quick and easy answer, but there just isn't one.
    Last edited by Doc Elly; 2nd April 2010 at 05:23 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Thank you. You have been most informative.

    Have you tried galbanum EO? I wonder if I will be able to find a a good source for galbanum EO or if it will be just as nasty as the resin itself.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    The galbanum EO that I have comes from Turkey. I bought it a while back from Perfumer's Apprentice, which is probably not the best place to buy EOs, since they mainly deal in aroma chemicals. I would think Liberty Natural or Eden Botanicals would both be good sources. Liberty has the Turkish galbanum, probably the same one that I have. I wouldn't call the EO "nasty" - it's sharp and very dry and resinous, with that characteristic "twangy", "rooty" galbanum smell, but not at all unpleasant. I think you'd like it.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    AH . . . I finally found the secret formula!!!

    Through much trial and error (and wasting hundreds of dollars on resins and oils) I at last was able to create a wonderfully, exotic and sacred aroma!

    This incense is a recreation of the original HaKetoret of Exodus 30. It contains four resinous ingredients. I have also recreated the HaKetoret of the second Temple, per the oral Torah, which has 11 ingredients. It too has a wonderfully exotic aroma. The former has more of a sweet frankincense top note while the latter has more of a sweet cinnamon top note.

    I sometimes have the tendency to major in details. Thank you so much for patiently answering all of my detailed questions.

    Curtis




    Quote Originally Posted by FireSurfer View Post
    You seem to be very knowledgeable about the various labdanum oils and the various aromas they have. I have a question for you about an incense I have created.

    I have attempted to re-create the HaQetoret of Exodus 30. I think it is a very beautiful scent, however my wife and children do not like the lingering after-scent. I think perhaps it may need to be tweeked with a bit more of a sweet scent to suit their modern tastes. It may be also that the ancients added a bit of essential oil (or an ancient equivalent to essential oils) to their formula. Which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? Here is my formula:

    1 part Myrrh
    1/2 part Styrax Benzoin
    1 part Labdanum
    1 part Galbanum
    1 part Frankincense

    It has a rich musky, delicious balsamic smell. I am looking for essential oils, CO2 oils, or etc, that would add a more accented sweet aroma to the formula. For example: oils of a very sweet myrrh, a very vanilla sweet benzoin, a sweet fresh labdanum, and a sweet fresh frankincense. Again, which of the many oils would you recommend I add to my formula in order to make it sweeter? And who would carry the best scent of each of these?

    Thanks

  24. #24

    Default Re: Labdanum incense question

    Curtis, I'm glad to hear that your incense finally worked out the way you wanted it to. Sounds like it's been quite an adventure.
    Blog: www.perfumenw.blogspot.com
    Website: Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes http://orchidscents.com.

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