Frankincense, the pearl of the desert
Throughout the world, there are 25 known species of the Boswellia genus. The organic Frankincense essential oil used in our products comes from the Boswellia sacra tree, which is native to Oman – widely credited as the world’s finest Frankincense!
The amazing properties of Frankincense are known far and wide, even revered in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. And yet, here’s the sad thing about this precious resource of Frankincense in Oman: the future of this precious natural resource is threatened by extinction.
The Boswellia sacra trees, which produce the aromatic Frankincense resin, has been categorized as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. The main reasons are due to over-harvesting, damage from livestock, disease and infestation and the lack of awareness taking care of these trees.
From tree to oil: the journey of Frankincense
During harvesting season, collectors make small cuts in the bark of the trees. This process is known as ‘tapping’. A milky liquid oozes out, which hardens to form a resin.
After 14 days, the collectors return and slice off the resin, which now look like ‘pearls’, hence their nickname, ‘the pearl of the desert’. The lightest-coloured resin is considered to be the highest quality.
Frankincense essential oil is produced through a process of steam and hydro distillation. The resin pearls are poured into a stainless steel vat, where pressurised steam is passed through it. The essential oil is released and rises with the steam. The precious oil is then separated and collected.
Did you know? The use of stainless steel ensures the purity of the essential oil’s aroma. This distillation process can take up to 8 hours!
And after this organic Frankincense essential oil is produced, it is added into our lovingly-formulated skincare products. At Neal’s Yard Remedies, you can find the luxurious Frankincense essential oil in Frankincense Intense, Frankincense Intense Lift, and most recently, in the form of a hand serum – Frankincense Intense Hand Treatment Serum!
Why we love Frankincense
Here are some reasons why Frankincense is a much-loved ingredient at Neal’s Yard Remedies!
You Are Invited!
Visit our first-ever visual exhibition, based on the theme, “Frankincense, the Pearl of the Desert”. Take a closer look into the story of Frankincense, and see how the precious organic essential oil is made. Free entry!
“Frankincense, the Pearl of the Desert”
Photo Gallery presented by Neal’s Yard Remedies
20 to 29 September 2019
South Atrium, The Gardens Mall
10am – 10pm