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Home Page > Essential Oil Profiles > Frankincense (Olibanum) Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil (Olibanum)

Frankincense is also known as Olibanum.

Frankincense Essential Oil ProfileFrankincense is a tree resin that has been used and valued since ancient times for its medicinal, cosmetic, aromatic and spiritual applications. In Christianity, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the gifts given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men.

Frankincense Essential Oil is used most often for spiritual, perfumery and incense /room fragrancing applications but is useful as an expectorant and sometimes is used in respiratory and cough formulations.

Frankincense Oil is steam distilled from frankincense resin. Frankincense Essential Oil smells sweeter, cleaner and fresher than the resin, and more people prefer the aroma of the essential oil to that of the resin.

I adore the aroma of Frankincense Essential Oil and include it in room fragrancing, incense and spiritual blends all year round.

Emotionally, I find the aroma to be grounding, calming and relaxing without being sedating. The aroma is woody, earthy and also has a slightly fruity/sweet, warm, spicy attitude to it. The country of origin and quality of the frankincense tears play a big part in the overall aroma of the essential oil.

Frankincense Oil
Frankincense Oil

Botanical Name: Boswellia carterii

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled

Part Typically Used: Resin

Color: Light Yellow

Consistency: Thin

Perfumery Note: Base

Strength of Initial Aroma: Mild - Medium

Aromatic Description: Fresh, woody, balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity.

Frankincense Tears
Frankincense Tears

Frankincense Oil Uses: Anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, extreme coughing, scars, stress, stretch marks. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 59-67.]

Major Constituents:
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents and for constituent lists for other Frankincense types.
[L. Hall, Chemotaxonomical Investigation of Frankincense Producing Boswellia spp. from Somalia and a Quest for Quality Standards. (Thesis. University of Strathclyde, 2000). Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 287-288.]

Safety Information: Tisserand and Young precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Skin sensitization is more likely when using oxidized Frankincense Oil. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 287-289.]

Important Notes: The essential oil information provided within the Essential Oil Properties & Profiles area is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

General Safety Information: Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Cover Own Safety Profiles for 400 Essential Oils and 206 Constituents:
Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

The second edition of Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young is a 784-page powerhouse of information that is invaluable to the serious aromatherapy student, aromatherapy practitioner, health care professional, and everyone seriously interested in understanding individual essential oils, their constituents, usage guidelines, safety precautions and contraindications.
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Cover The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
Contains 160 detailed essential oil profiles complete with beautiful color photos.
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Includes brief profiles for approximately 85 essential oils, 11 hydrolats and 24 carrier oil/butters.
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