Available nowhere else in the world, this is the essential oil of Boswellia Neglecta Thurimel I distilled in May 2019.
Produced from a recent shipment of Frankincense Neglecta Thurimel or light resin from Somalia, it has a unique fragrance profile compared to other Frankincense essential oils.
It has a warm, radiant Frankincense heart with amber and honey notes swaddled in musk, caramel, citrus, black pepper and cardamom.
It is a truly unique expression of the spirit of the Frankincense family.
You will also find the equally aromatic hydrosol and resin extract of this Frankincense in the shop. Both by-products of the distillation process.
This shipment of “Light” Boswellia Neglecta was sent as part of a joint effort to take some of the pressure off the heavily tapped Boswellia Carterii and Frereana trees and develop a market for the lesser-known species that share the mountains with them.
Diversifying the trade in resins gives harvesters and their communities a broader income base and a safety net in case the mainstream Frankincense and myrrh trees cannot be saved from their current decline. They are dying off, around the world, at an alarming rate from both environmental stresses and human folly.
If we can create an appreciation and market for this resin and essential oil in the West it will benefit the harvesters with an extra income and hopefully, lessen the pressure of over-harvesting on mainstream Frankincense species.
About Olibanum & Thurimel resins
Our familiar Frankincense types are oleo-gum-resins and contain varying proportions of water-soluble gum. This combination of gum and oleoresin exudes from the tree as a white emulsion which gives Frankincense its traditional names- Luban in Arabic and Levonah in Hebrew, both based on the Semitic root word “White”, לבן. The Latin name for Frankincense, Olibanum and Oleum Liban in ancient Greek are both derivatives of this word. After thousands of years, we have come to associate all Frankincense species with this white exudate.
Surprisingly, this Boswellia neglecta exudate is an oleoresin with no water-soluble gum. and appears as clear golden droplets and thus, is not an Olibanum or Luban.
Not only does this “Light” B. neglecta differ from other Frankincense resins in colour and composition, but the honey coloured “Light” resin contrasts radically with the granular black resin produced alongside it on the very same tree which is commonly sold as Boswellia neglecta resin. Confused yet?
For these reasons, I felt we needed a good name for the amber resin of Boswellia neglecta. It sounded grammatically grating and irritatingly unimaginative to call it “Neglecta Light” in the shop.
So, for the sake of clarity and linguistic aesthetics I have dubbed the resin formerly known as Boswellia neglecta “Light”- Boswellia neglecta Thurimel, a Thurimel which means Frankincense Honey in Latin. I was considering the other Latin version, Tus melle, but that was too smelly. I am taking artistic license with this. I don’t know if I got the Latin declensions right, but I look forward to being corrected if this is the case…..
The scent of this Frankincense neglecta Thurimel from Somalia is more intense than the Kenyan variety. Though both share the same Amber Frankincense heart couched in sweet honey and soft musk, this variety is more vivid, fruity and citrusy than the Samburu Frankincense neglecta Thurimel. Other than the scent, it seems identical to the Kenyan variety in all ways. It is a pure oleoresin with no water-soluble gum which means it melts cleanly into the charcoal as incense, and just as readily, dissolves into warm oils and waxes for the production of moustache waxes, oils, salves and cremes. It makes a unique perfume tincture and the infused oil of this Frankincense feels softening, nourishing and penetrating on the skin.
AN INTRODUCTION TO BOSWELLIA NEGLECTA
The Boswellia or Frankincense neglecta resin of commerce is generally accepted as a dark, granular, blackish mass with a rich familiar Frankincense fragrance and a note of sweet Fir trees. l was convinced no tree could produce 2 resins so different in appearance. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes in Northern Kenya I would still be sceptical.
Initial injury to the tree generates a clear oleoresin which hardens translucent and light golden in colour. (The Thurimel). Subsequently, the tree creates traumatic resin ducts as do our Northern Spruce and Pines. These ducts generate a therapeutic compound called “Callus Resin” that acts as a bandage and promotes the growth of protective tissue that heals the wounds, creates “scar tissue” and isolates healthy tissue from diseased. I assume, that the presence of different chemical compounds lends a different fragrance profile to each of these oleoresins. This fragrant black granular oleoresin is the Frankincense neglecta of commerce that we are familiar with.
In Northern Kenya, the Samburu women pick it off the trees in small tears which melt together in the 30-40 degree heat that accompanies most days in the bush. For this reason, it is usually purchased as a lump and aggregate shaped by the bags the women collect it in.
As all its brothers, Frankincense Neglecta is ruled by the Sun from an astrological point of view. It is calming and strengthening to both mind and heart, aids in meditation and concentration and is thought to act as an aphrodisiac.