This is a beautiful Benzoin Sumatra Absolute, prepared using food-grade alcohol and the premium Grade A Benzoin "Almonds" you will find in the shop.
$6.00 - $132.00
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It dissolves cleanly in both alcohol and carrier oils.
Since resins contain no waxes, they require only one solvent when creating an absolute. For this reason, they are also called "Resin Absolutes."
There is nothing more gratifying than having full control over the materials and the processes in the creation of a high-quality product. Sumatra Benzoin Absolute contains 20% alcohol which keeps it mobile and pourable.
Benzoin Sumatra Absolute has a beautiful, mellow vanilla-like scent similar to benzoin Siam, but "perkier". It has more oomph, a touch of woodiness and a stimulating edge to it that the more mellow Benzoin Siam lacks.
In perfumery, it is considered a fixative since it anchors more fleeting scents in a blend. 1%-2% Benzoin Absolute is often used to condition alcohol before using it as a perfume base. This is said to help eliminate residual odours left over from the distillation process and enhance the tenacity of a perfume.
Benzoin is traditionally used topically to help heal cracked or chapped skin and is thought to relieve respiratory congestion. Benzoin tends to cause sensitization. Avoid applying it directly and undiluted to the skin.
Benzoin was originally brought to the West when Islam spread to Indonesia. Arabian traders discovered a tree resin that reminded them of their Luban, or Frankincense back home. They called it Luban Jawi, which translates as Frankincense of Java. This name eventually evolved into BenJawii, Benzoin and Gum Benjamin. Over the centuries Benzoin became a mainstay in the aromatic and medicinal repertoires of cultures along the spice route and its name found many iterations.
For the French, LubanJawi became Le BenJawi, Benjawi and eventually Benzoin. The English found it easier to call it Benjamin or Gum Benjamin. To this day we hear it referred to as Gum Benjamin, Benzoin, LubanJawi, Lubanya and Lubanja depending on the country and culture.
Benzoin is the source of some familiar and important chemicals, such as Benzoic acid, Benzyl alcohol, and Benzyl Benzoate, which we now produce from other raw materials
Benzoin, like Labdanum, is a key ingredient in Chypre and Oriental type perfumes. Many formulas for "Amber" fragrances and Amber perfume accords call for blending Benzoin, Labdanum and Vanilla in various proportions.
Benzoin is a sustainable product, planted abundantly by farmers to provide a secondary income. It is collected by incising a V and parting the tree's bark slightly from the wood. This creates a natural pocket that holds the liquid resin until it sets and gives us the beautiful Benzoin "Almonds" of commerce. (See photos above).
Blending resins, Resin Absolutes and resinoids is done with greater ease when they are warmed in a water bath. Avoid microwaves and stovetops which give little control over the temperature and invite mishaps.
This is a collection of aromatic materials mentioned in the Old & New Testaments and in ancient Egyptian texts. I often get asked to translate biblical plant names and source the materials they mention. They are all here in this collection.