Sandarac Resin Tears

Sandarac resin tears from the Tetraclinis articulata tree in Tunesia have been used for centuries as an incense ingredient and are the base material for traditional varnishes used in fine woodworking and finishing handcrafted musical instruments.

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In antiquity, it was used in the production of finishes for oil paintings and is still used today in the preparation of Laquers for Lutes.

The Biblical name, "Citronwood" echoes the beautiful Citrine colour of Sandarac resin tears, and the sweet aroma of the burned tears has tangy notes of citrus zest reminiscent of Frankincense and Mastic of Chios for which it has sometimes been substituted.

The Sandarac tree is referred to in ancient times as Arar, Thyine and Citronwood-Tetraclinis articulata. Tunisia.

Sandrac Resin tears or Sandarach, is referred to in many ancient formularies. it is still used in Islamic, Persian and Unani traditional medicine and goes by the name of Sandaroosh-سندروس-in Arabic

Until the development of petroleum products and distillates, plant resins were the primary material used to preserve and finish wood products and oil paintings. This ancient art is being revived and one can find formulas for lacquers and varnishes, both ancient and modern, online for finishing handcrafted wood instruments and as a coating for metalwork and other handmade items.

Scribes have used Sandarac resin since antiquity to seal and "Size" parchment and prepare it to accept the ink uniformly. Often it was ground fine with a pumice stone or cuttlefish bone for this purpose

Similar looking to the Cypress, Eastern Cedar and Juniper trees, Tetraclinis articulata also goes by the name of "Arar", Thyine and Citronwood.

Yielding a beautiful wood with fine grain and a delicate Citrus aroma, the Sandarac tree (Citron), is one of the few conifers mentioned in the Bible; Revelation 18:12 refers to "cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble".

In Morocco, a whole craft industry is built around the wood of the Sandarac tree. The trees are "Coppiced" regularly, which stimulates new growth, assuring ongoing sustainability of the industry. Coppicing ( cutting back the tree to its main trunk), allows the roots of the trees to continue undisturbed for many decades (even hundreds of years). The roots develop unique burls full of "Eyes" underground and are much sought after for carving.

Some think it, that Sandarac resin tears are the "Gold" mentioned, along with Frankincense and Myrrh, which were brought as gifts to the baby Jesus.

There is also a theory that the Gold was Benzoin resin, but I believe Sandarac is much more likely since it was traded through the Mediterranean at that time and Benzoin was only traded in the area during the Byzantine era..

A pure oleoresin with no water-soluble gum content, Sandarac resin tears are impervious to water and dissolve in alcohol and essential oils. It emits little fragrance at room temperature, but once heated on the coal, it reveals a beautiful character and depth of aroma.

A fixative and aromatic perfume tincture can be made by macerating Sandarac resin tears in alcohol.

Sandarac is genuinely a classic resin and one we have been trading and using for thousands of years.


Materials: Tetraclinis articulata, Sandarac resin tears, oleoresin.

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
Presley S (Ashburn, US)
I love the nearly frankincense smell of th...

I love the nearly frankincense smell of this particular resin. It's really super

JR (Eagleville, US)

Excellent product, delivery time, customer service.

Harry (Ashburn, US)
Beautiful and was delivered promptly. Ever...

Beautiful and was delivered promptly. Everything was just as expected.

Hodari Zboncak (Ashburn, US)
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This review has no content.

Scott Hessel (Ashburn, US)
The sweet and mildly spicy blend of this S...

The sweet and mildly spicy blend of this Sandarac is incredible. I love this shop and the offerings.