Frankincense Socotrana resin is rarely seen outside of Yemen and is usually not traded on the international market.
It is used mainly for incense and traditional medicine by the local population of the island of Socotra. The government sets restrictions for the collection of this resin and its trade.
This is the first time in 10 years that I have had the opportunity to purchase this rare resin, and I only have a very small amount of it. I expect it will not stay in the shop for long!
The resin of Boswellia socrotrana is a natural exudate. The trees are not tapped or damaged to collect the resin. The resin droplets are collected from the branches and the ground where they fall naturally. For this reason, you will find occasional bits of bark, twigs, sand and debris mixed in with the resin.
It has a unique fragrance that could be compared to a blend of Frankincense Frereana and Frankincense neglecta. A very odd combination, yet distinguished and pleasant. I find it softly sweet and calming.
It makes wonderful incense burned on its own or blended with other aromatic materials.
Frankincense Socotrana dissolves easily in alcohol and warm oils for use in alcohol and oil-based perfume blends. It is easily incorporated into medicated oils, salves and cremes.
This type of Frankincense resin is what I call a “Thurimel” or Honey Frankincense. It does not exude as a white liquid like the traditional “Olibanum” type Frankincense resins but is formed of clear drops of honey-coloured clear resin set in a crystalline matrix.
Ruled astrologically by the Sun, all types of Frankincense are anti-inflammatory, calming to the mind and spirit and aid in meditation and spiritual work.
Frankincense has been a valuable commodity and an important part of our global cultures, religions and trade for thousands of years. Highly valued for its medicinal, spiritual and aromatic uses, it is only recently that the different types of Frankincense have been examined closely and their unique chemical compositions studied.
For more information about Frankincense, including instructions for preparing medicine and incense from them, please visit my blog at http://apothecarysgarden.com