Olibanum is also called frankincense. It is obtained by means of steam distillation from the resin of Boswellia carterii. It is pale yellow and resinous with a fresh, fruity and woody aroma.
Olibanum trees can be found growing in Ethiopia, Somalia and generally in the regions surrounding the Red Sea.
The resin was one of the earliest perfume materials used - first burned as incense and used in religious ceremonies by ancient civilizations pre-dating the Egyptians. It continued to be important during religious ceremonies and was believed to cleanse the air, ward off evil spirits and calm the environment.
By the time of the Pharaohs, myrrh and olibanum (also known as the incense trees) had become extremely valued. Ancient Egyptians used olibanum in the embalming process.
The main constituents of olibanum oil are α-pinene and limonene, which make it astringent, expectorant and antiseptic. Therefore it is often used on the skin, for respiratory problems and to fight infection.
Olibanum oil has a woody, spicy fragrance with hint of lemon. It is traditionally used for meditation, as it is believed to slow breathing, while also encouraging deeper breaths.
It covers the skin with a thin protective film, which softens and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. It is effective on sore, cracked, de-hydrated skins, such as eczema-prone, dry and mature skins.
Its toning and antiseptic effects help keep skin clear of occasional spots and blemishes.