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Did you know that Frankincense is a resin, from a tree, and has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 5,000 years and was also traded from the Horn of Africa during the Silk Road era.
The Greek historian Herodotus wrote in The History that frankincense was harvested from trees in Southern Arabia. He reported that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of winged snakes that guard the trees, and that the smoke from burning storax would drive the snakes away.
Pliny the Elder also mentioned about frankincense in his Naturalis Historia.
Frankincense was reintroduced to Western Europe by Frankish Crusaders, and other Western Europeans on their journeys to the Eastern Roman Empire where it was commonly used in church services. Although named frankincense, the name refers to the quality of incense brought to Western Europe, not to the Franks themselves.
How to Burn Resins: Light the charcoal with matches or lighter for about 20 seconds until it self-ignites. Use tongs to hold it up (never hold it with your fingers alone or you might get burned). Place the lit charcoal in a bowl or any incense burner. The bowl or incense burner should be filled with sand or dirt. Let the charcoal warm for a few minutes. (It turns gray around the edges when it is ready) Now you are ready! Add a small amount of resin on top of the charcoal. The resin will burn and soon release essential, aromatic oils through the smoke. Continue to place resins or powder on charcoal as they burn out and smoke decreases for a continuous burn.
Here's a great resource for olfactory sciences, history, etc.