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The resin and oil of the Benzoin tree has been cherished throughout history. It was deemed equally important as the more expensive and exotic Frankincense and Myrrh. With a strong, sweet, and balsamic scent, Benzoin was beloved by ancient royalty. It appears on ancient Egyptian papyrus records showing that it was traded across the Red Sea to Asia.
Benzoin is a common ingredient in incense-making and perfumery because of its sweet vanilla-like aroma and fixative properties. Gum benzoin is a major component of the type of church incense used in Russia and some other Orthodox Christian societies, as well as Western Catholic Churches. Most benzoin is used in the Arabian Peninsula and Hindu temples of India, where it is burned on charcoal as an incense. It is also used in the production of Bakhoor (Arabic بخور - scented wood chips) as well as various mixed resin incense in the Arab countries and the Horn of Africa. Benzoin is also used in blended types of Japanese incense, Indian incense, Chinese incense (known as Anxi xiang; 安息香), and Papier d'Arménie as well as incense sticks.
There are two common kinds of benzoin, benzoin Siam and benzoin Sumatra. Ours in Sumatran Benzoin, obtained from Styrax benzoin, which grows predominantly on the island of Sumatra.
Our Benzoin is powdered, mercifully (it often comes as a giant rock, hard to break). Use Sumatran Benzoin Resin as an herbal blend of incense, to impart a wonderful scent to your space.
Here's a great resource for olfactory sciences, history, etc.