Peruvian “Myrrh” Styrax weberbaueri-Peru
This resin is not really a true Myrrh since there are no Myrrh or Commiphora trees of any kind in the Americas. However, the colloquial name of Peruvian Myrrh for Styrax weberbaueri resin has become accepted in the world of e-commerce.
Completely unrelated to Commiphora Myrrha, one recognizes the motivation for naming this resin “Myrrh” when it is burned as an incense.
It opens with a bitterness reminiscent of true Myrrh, but the resemblance ends there.
I call this resin Ughohwowyah.
On the coal it opens with an almost unpleasant bitter smell, makes me go Ugh. Then, immediately after this unusual opening, something changes and there is an involuntary “Oh, (As in “Oh, I didn’t expect this”), which leads to an immediate Wow! Then, really, all one can say is Yah!
Hence the name Ughohwowyah.
The fragrance of this resin on the coal is extremely complex! After the fleeting Myrrhish bitterness, the fragrance of this resin blossoms into the vanilla sweetness of Benzoin Siam, with a hint of the Styrax from liquidambar styractiflua. Along come cinnamon and Allspice with citrus, caramel and Amber and then, they are all wrapped up in an air of distant lands that reminds me of the fragrant markets of Madagascar.
This is a very complex and exotic smelling resin!! Very unusual!
Little is known about this tree and resin, its local medicinal and cultural uses, except that it is harvested sustainably in the Piura region of Peru. I will update this listing with information as I learn more.
In the meantime, let us welcome Ughohwowyah and appreciate the wonderful aromatic qualities it has to share with us.