Also referred to as Opoponax resin Absolute, this is a richly fragrant semi-pourable, translucent liquid which presents all the aromatic compounds present in Opoponax ie: the fragrance of both the essential oil and the resin of Commiphora Guidotti. I make it in a single-solvent process using only food grade alcohol and no harsh chemical solvents.
Using 95% alcohol, fresh Opoponax is macerated, the resin and essential oils dissolved, then filtered to remove all the odourless water-soluble gum compounds. this creates an intense aromatic liquid that not only contains the essential oil of Opoponax but delivers the non-volatile fragrant resin fraction which is lost in the distillation process.
It possesses a vivacious, complex, tenacious, herbaceous, sweet, earthy, and dry woody fragrance with notes of moss, licorice, molasses and hints of citrus. It is true to the odour of the fresh Opoponax oleoresin.
With a clear amber colour, it is translucent enough to be incorporated in perfume work and makes an interesting addition as a binder or aromatic component in compound incense formulas. In perfume, it acts as a fixative for more fleeting scents and brings a vibrant base/heart note to compositions.
Since Opoponax contains only alcohol and water-soluble compounds and no wax, (as do aromatic flowers which are most often processed into absolutes), there is no need to perform a two-stage solvent extraction using harsh chemicals such as Hexane or Toluene. For this reason, this single-stage extraction is called by some a “Resin Absolute”.
Due to its lack of water-soluble gum, it burns clean and sweet on the charcoal without charring.
Mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, Opoponax, also known as “Scented Myrrh” or “Sweet” Myrrh” has a long and distinguished history of use as traditional medicine and an incense/perfume ingredient.
The name Myrrh is rooted in The Aramaic word for bitter. Mar, Mor, מר or מור, in Hebrew. It lives up to its name with a wonderfully rich, stimulating and very palatable bitterness. Some associate this with the names Mary, (Mar-Yam), Miriam, Maria, meaning the bitter of the sea, the froth of the sea. The name of the Goddess Aphrodite is also thought to mean “risen from the froth of the sea”.
The Myrrh family is ruled Astrologically by the Moon and considered to be of a feminine nature and has an affinity with bodies of water, ebb and flow and especially in facilitating movement in the fluid and circulatory systems of our body ( Frankincense is ruled by the Sun).