Frankincense Occulta is a new Frankincense! The Hidden or Occult Frankincense was officially discovered in 2019 in the Ceel Ufeyn area of northern Somalia/Somaliland.
Frankincense Occulta is a very different tree from its neighbours the Frankincense carterii trees. Historically, Frankincense Occulta resin has always been mixed in with the local Frankincense Carterii and is considered by locals to be the same tree. The name "Occulta comes from the Latin, Occultus, which means "Hidden. Though this species has been present as long as any other Frankincense species and is an important commercial crop locally, it remained hidden from the view of botanists till recently. Hence the name-Occulta.
Its simple leaves look different from most other Frankincense species, and Frankincense Occulta oleoresin has a chemical composition that is very different from that of all other known Frankincense species.
This difference is most evident in the aroma and taste of Frankincense Occulta. Unlike most other Frankincense essential oils that contain a predominance of alpha-Pinene, (or in the case of Boswellia papyrifera octyl acetate). B. Occulta essential oil leads with a high percentage of methyl ethers, in particular, 1-methoxydecane and 1-methoxyoctane which is really unusual and unexpected from a Frankincense type. When these compounds were first noticed in Boswellia carterii essential oil samples, it was assumed that they were not of plant origin. Now the mystery is solved.
Chewed, Frankincense Occulta resin has an interesting bitterness and flavour that is nothing like B. Sacra or B. carterii. It is almost a candy/mint/gasoline flavour. It lingers on the tongue just like gasoline does after you have done everything in your power to pull that tube out of your mouth just before the gasoline came out. But it is not as intense. Or as unpleasant.
It has a very interesting aroma burned in a censer and similar to its flavour, leads with notes of mint rather than pine with an odd but not unpleasant sweetness to it. Just very odd and unexpected. After the essential oils and resins have offered themselves on the coal, the typical charred aroma of the water-soluble gum portion is indistinguishable from any other type of Frankincense resin.
I have received only a small amount of this unique resin and am not certain of the future supply.
For more information on this unusual species see the following links- https://aromaticplant.org/assets/26725-21295-1-pb.pdf https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1934578X19866307
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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.