Of Perfumes & Gods

— Tales of Olibanum —

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

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.