Onycha-Operculum-A traditional and Biblical incense ingredient-Ketoreth-Kyphi-Uunsi-Bakhour-Devil’s Fingernails-Red Sea

(38 customer reviews)

$16.00$334.00

Onycha is the “door” or operculum of a sea mollusc that has been used as an ingredient in traditional incense-making for thousands of years.

Also called “Devils Fingernails”, (azafir al-shaytan in Arabic), Onycha is still a mainstay of traditional Somali Uunsi, Arabian Bakhour, and an important ingredient in Indian, Japanese and Tibetan traditional incense formulas. …

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Description

Onycha is the “door” or operculum of a sea mollusc that has been used as an ingredient in traditional incense-making for thousands of years.

Also called “Devils Fingernails”, (azafir al-shaytan in Arabic), Onycha is still a mainstay of traditional Somali Uunsi, Arabian Bakhour, and an important ingredient in Indian, Japanese and Tibetan traditional incense formulas.

Experts believe it is the “Tsiporen” or fingernail that is one of the ingredients in the Temple incense referred to in the Old Testament.

Though opercula can be found all over the world, those sourced from the Red Sea are considered by many to be the premier quality.

Onycha is still sold in traditional Apothecary shops and Souks in Africa, Arabia and Asia, however, I have found that instructions on how to process and use this material are sparse and vague.

There are many theories on how to process Onycha and what function they serve.

Some call for boiling in water or salt water or steeping in strong wine or alcohol. One often comes across instructions suggest roasting the Operculum prior to grinding to a powder and blending in incense.

In the Old Testament, it is mentioned that when preparing Onycha for the temple incense one should not use urine but old wine from Cyprus.

Another calls for soaking the material in a strong base.

Though there is a dearth of knowledge around processing Onycha, this unusual material holds an honoured place in the history and tradition of incense making.

Onycha is thought to act as a fixative in incense blends, to add an animalic/musk note similar to Castoreum, and like other animalics, to add dimension to an aromatic composition.

Onycha brings with it a mystery and a challenge.
How will you work with it?
Where will you find the answers?

*Note that this material weighs very little and each package contains quite a bit more volume than other packaged products in the shop. (Please see the photo of a 1 Ounce package above).

Dan

Additional information

materials

Devils Fingernails, Onycha, Operculum, Snail Doors

Ounces

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4.89 out of 5 stars

38 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Lavinia Hudson

    Lavinia Hudson

    excellent quality, thank you Dan!

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  2. Cecelia Davis

    Cecelia Davis

    absolutely love it! Thank you for fast shipment!

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  3. Gust Kovacek

    Gust Kovacek

    Onycha is such a special ingredient and I’m so glad to find such a reliable source! High quality just like everything offered in this shop!

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  4. Eino Schumm

    Eino Schumm

    It looks like its shown

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  5. Aleen Koch

    Aleen Koch

    Fast shipping, great quality. Thanks.

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  6. Izabella Kris

    Izabella Kris

    Really good quality products. Sets the standard for quality and authenticity. Will definitely order from this shop in the future. Thanks!

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  7. Jordane Sanford

    Jordane Sanford

    It is so cool to be able to source these rare scent stuffs from you. A delicate and lovely aroma in the bag, I can't wait to burn some. Thank you.

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  8. Audra Rowe

    Audra Rowe

    Review has no content.

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  9. Chaim Jacobs

    Chaim Jacobs

    Vaccuum packed well. Use this onycha in incense.

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  10. Aleen Koch

    Aleen Koch

    Lovely as always. Super clean fragrant and ready for creating.

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  11. Madaline Wilkinson

    Madaline Wilkinson

    SOOOO excited I got this now to make Ketoret!!!

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  12. Mollie DuBuque

    Mollie DuBuque

    Nice quality and size. Plan to bake, crush and use within incense blends soaked on sandalwood sticks or agarwood.

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  13. Ernie Welch

    Ernie Welch

    Absolutely incredible! Can't wait to tincture this. Thank you!

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  14. Marisa Buckridge

    Marisa Buckridge

    This is great stuff. Not sure what I will do with it, but it is now in my collection of exotic scents.

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  15. Telly Nienow

    Telly Nienow

    An intriguing scent with notes of sea air, shellfish and — when burned — well-aged castoreum. I'm excited to experiment with this ingredient, and try the different preparation methods.

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  16. Brooklyn Hansen

    Brooklyn Hansen

    Review has no content.

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  17. Norene Dickens

    Norene Dickens

    Nice! Can't wait to experiment with these lovelies. Thanks so much!

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  18. Manley Welch

    Manley Welch

    Well quality looks good but when lit smells like burning hair or ashtray

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  19. Ida Schaden

    Ida Schaden

    Review has no content.

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  20. Dusty Schamberger

    Dusty Schamberger

    This shop is my go to but item was a first for me and it was great. Thank you.

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  21. Barton Schneider

    Barton Schneider

    Needed these to make holy incense, beautiful colour and nice ocean scent.

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  22. Jaunita Muller

    Jaunita Muller

    Review has no content.

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  23. Jay Koepp

    Jay Koepp

    Good quality ingredients as always

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  24. Kathlyn Hartmann

    Kathlyn Hartmann

    The item met my expectations.

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  25. Lila Davis

    Lila Davis

    Review has no content.

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  26. Llewellyn Kihn

    Llewellyn Kihn

    Review has no content.

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  27. Bailey Turcotte

    Bailey Turcotte

    Review has no content.

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  28. Sadye Runte

    Sadye Runte

    Review has no content.

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  29. Jude Walker

    Jude Walker

    Exactly what I anticipated! Thank you so much for such a quality resin!

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  30. Vivienne Gorczany

    Vivienne Gorczany

    These ingredients were just what was needed. Excellent quality

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  31. Jackie Hermann

    Jackie Hermann

    I only used blended one from other store. It is hard to find just single pure onycha. I will edit again when I use it.

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  32. Lucy Orn

    Lucy Orn

    Nice incense. Good packaging/labeling. Thanks.

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  33. Jazlyn Batz

    Jazlyn Batz

    Review has no content.

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  34. Anderson Quitzon

    Anderson Quitzon

    Strange, but also interesting. It is good.

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  35. Kailey Luettgen

    Kailey Luettgen

    Excellent Quality. Arrived exactly as photographed being very intact.

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  36. Leatha Grant

    Leatha Grant

    Positive experience, item was as described.

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  37. Cecile Trantow

    Cecile Trantow

    Great product and vey fast delivery.

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  38. Marietta Murphy

    Marietta Murphy

    Thanks for the fast delivery and always good quality

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