“A morning fraught with frankincense and nard, And purple fires, and amber-scented light, And flame like flame of perfumes.”
Perfum Exotique (Early 20th Century)
SOMALI FRANKINCENSE OIL
Frankincense resin from Somalia infused in Indian Sandalwood Oil
Provenance: Northern Somalia/Northern India
Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa for more than 5000 years. Often called olibanum, it is one of the first exotic spices to be brought back from the East. The aromatic resin is gathered from the trunk and stems of the Boswellia tree by scraping the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden.
The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and many religions use frankincense to anoint newborns infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives. It is still used in spiritual and religious ceremonies for devotional cleansing and purification of the soul. Even those who may not have any specific religious association with frankincense are moved by its calming and ethereal charm.
Frankincense is characterized by a balsamic-spicy, slightly citric and a rich sweet and woody aroma with a slightly conifer-like undertone. In India, frankincense is often mixed with other oils to further enhance its beautiful aroma. It mixes well with rose, champaka, ruh khas as well as sandalwood. Frankincense oil is mixed with many other herbs and applied to the skin for its rejuvenative and nourishing effects. It is widely used in cosmetics today, modern and traditional, for its regulating effects on the mature skin.
The sensuous essence of frankincense can be best described in the following quote by C. McMahon: “What a perfect joy is contained in this beautiful essence. I think it is safe to say that it has served as a bridge to understanding the beauties of many faiths both East and West. As shafts of light pierce into temples, mosques, monasteries, and simple households around the world illuminating clouds of gracefully billowing fragrant smoke rising from the censure or incense burner into the surrounding air, it is easy to see how this simple sacrament became a visible representation of the prayer issuing from the heart to that Hidden Power which nourishes the entire Creation.
Frankincense promotes the energies of the fourth chakra (the heart), sixth chakra (the third eye) and the first chakra (root). The first chakra or the root chakra is the dominant chakra house.
The first chakra house, located at the base of the spine, forms our foundation. It represents the element earth and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally, this chakra brings us health, balance, prosperity, security and dynamic presence.
The fourth chakra is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A heaIthy heart chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
The sixth chakra is also known as the brow chakra or the “third eye” chakra. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such, it opens up our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy, this chakra allows us to see clearly and, in effect, lets us “see the big picture.” Most importantly, it assists in altering perceptions of truth and promotes clairvoyance.
Aroma of frankincense is said to provide mental stability and is widely used to ease homesickness, depression, melancholia and separation anxiety. In this modern age of air travel, frankincense is great for jetlag as it promotes a healthy sense of grounding and equilibrium.