|INCI: ||Styrax benzoin|
|Flavouring according to EC regulation 1334/2008|
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BENZOINStyrax benzoin (Styracacee)
Originally from tropical regions of Asia (Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia), Styrax benzoin is a large tree that can grow to a height of twenty metres, with light green leaves similar to those of the citrus trees. When its bark is deeply slashed, the tree secretes a resin that hardens on contact with the air and exposure to sunlight, forming a solid, yellow-orange mass known as "Gum Benjamin" or "Java frankincense".
Benzoin absolute essence is obtained by treating the resin with solvents, which are then removed from the resulting solution. The essence is orange-brown in colour, with an intensely sweet, vanilla-like fragrance. It combines well with many oils, but especially with myrrh absolute and the essential oils of Agarwood, Black pepper, Copaiba, Nutmeg, Olibanum, Sandalwood, Sweet Myrrh and Vetiver.
popular herbalist tradition)
In China, gum Benjamin has been used for medicinal purposes (as a digestive and an anti-septic) for thousands of years. Throughout the East, it's been used for thousands of years for ritual fumigation purposes; and it's still widely burned in houses in the belief that its fumes have the power to ward off misfortune.
In the West, tincture of benzoin (the famous "friar's balsam") was used for centuries as a remedy for various kinds of respiratory ailments.
A highly prized aromatic ingredient, benzoin absolute has been appreciated for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, deodorant and preservative properties.
Nowadays, benzoin resin is used both as a component and a fixative in fragrances for soaps, cosmetics, medicines and perfumes.
In high-end perfumery, the alcoholic tincture of benzoin and its absolute essence are widely used as fixatives. Benzoin is also used as a flavouring agent in the drinks industry (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages).