Benzoin aka Gum Benjamin Essential Oil
Styrax benzoin resin, sourced through social enterprise
Benzoin is properly called a resinoid; this benzoin is a 50/50 alcohol extract.
Aroma: Rich, warm, slightly woody, creamy, vanilla.
Description: The Benzoin tree originates in Java, Sumatra and Thailand where it can grow up to 8 meters (20 feet). Deep incisions are made in the trunk of the tree from which the greyish colour sap exudes. When the resinous lump becomes hard and brittle, it is collected from the bark.
History: Also known as Gum Benjamin, Benzoin is one of the classic ingredients of incense, and in ancient times it was used as a fumigator. It is the primary ingredient in Friar's Balsam, and was medicinally used to paint sore throats and mouth ulcers. In cosmetic use, it was the additive to rosewater for the centuries-old facial cleanser and toner known as Virgin's Milk, and the ladies of the Royal House of Windsor attributed their beautiful complexions to the use of Friar's Balsam in freshly made barley water.
Colour: Golden Brown
Consistency: Thick, warming suggested to pour
Perfumery Note: Base
Strength of Initial Aroma: Light
Common Uses: The main constituent of Benzoin Essential Oil is benzoic acid, which has properties that are antiseptic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, deodorant, diuretic and expectorant. The sweet resin is widely used as a fixative in perfumes but has also been used medicinally for respiratory ailments, and skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.