Of Perfumes & Gods

— Tales of Olibanum —

by Aina S. Erice

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An exploration of one of the world’s
most desired perfumes...

"I don’t know if it was truly thus, but I would like to think that the prehistory of perfume was written in fire and smoke, as evidenced by its very own name:

per fumum, through smoke."

Beyond the sands of the great desert there grows a rare tree whose white blood hoards the ancient gods’ favourite perfume.

The sages call the trees Boswellia sacra Flueck.

Others know it as al lubān; as franc encens, or frankincense.

I like to call it olibanum.

It all began in December. I was looking for some plant substance to research, and ended up writing about olibanum. It was supposed to be a short article... until it suddenly wasn't so short.

I was irrevocably drawn into its scented, mysterious folds. And found myself hunting for rare luxury perfumes to sniff what olibanum feels like; heating resin drops in a tablespoon; reading Latin riddles for Saturnalia; learning about divination via incense in ancient cultures... And being ever-curious, ever-thirsty for more.

I'm offering my modest journey, my Tales of Olibanum as a free ebook.

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{ Read the first chapter, Olibanum in a flask, here }

"Perfume mysteriously warps the river of time into meanders, blending layers of memory and emotion until past and present touch and coalesce in a single, timeless experience."