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Benzoin is a balsamic, vanilla-like resin distilled from the tropical shrubs of the genus Styrax. Its comforting aroma functions as a fine fixative in fragrances and was a key component in perfumes past. This thick resinous essence is steam distilled, which is a rare find as it is often available only as an absolute extraction. The oil may be enjoyed as a comforting euphoric-aroma wafting through your home, as a warming chest balm, and as a skin serum to improve the appearance of skin tone.
Botanical Name: Styrax benzoin
Botanical Family: Styracaceae
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
Part of Plant Distilled: Resin
Country of Origin: Indonesia
Cultivation Method: Organic
Composition: 100% Styrax benzoin
Consistency: Medium thick viscosity
Scent Description: Balsamic, vanilla-like, rich, resinous, and comforting
Blends well with: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Frankincense, Vetiver, Spikenard, Agarwood, Rose, Jasmine, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Hyssop, Marjoram, Ylang, Rockrose, Orris Root, Poplar Bud, and Thyme.
Uses: Famous as a fixative in perfumes and colognes; diffuse to create a warm and heartening aromatic atmosphere. Use in baths to elevate emotions and relax nerves; lovely in massage oils and serums to improve the appearance of skin tone and texture. Dilute to use, as some people's skin may be sensitive to it.
Balsamic Benzoin has roots in early Arabia where the name benzoin means "incense from Sumatra". This ancient exudate was used as apothecary item, incense, and perfume for thousands of years throughout the Mediterranean basin, Cyprus, India, Greece, and Java. Its comforting aroma functioned as a fine fixative in ancient fragrances.
Historically, this balsamic resin was thought to be heating, drying, warming, and stimulating, while soothing the emotions into relaxed euphoria. In Europe, sweet pastilles lozenges were made with compounded benzoin. Wondrous skin smoothing serums were made with benzoin as the extract was thought to soften the look of scars, enhance skin elasticity, and seal dry skin.
"The Greeks and Romans used the resin not only as an incense, but also in perfumes and cosmetics, and in later times, benzoin resin was powdered and used in pomanders – it is said that Elizabeth I of England carried a pomander of benzoin and ambergris."
~ Jennifer Peace Rhind, Fragrance and Wellbeing