What Does Frankincense Smell Like?

Whether you are looking for a new scent to fill your home or are simply curious, it can be hard to identify a scent when you don’t know what to look for.

What Does Frankincense Smell Like

Lucky for you, you have probably already had the scent of Frankincense grace your nostrils. You just didn’t know what it was.

Save yourself the hours of smelling all of the candles in the store and the headache that is sure to come along with it.

We have the perfect way to describe exactly what Frankincense smells like and why you need it in your life as soon as possible.

Read below to find out more!

What Is Frankincense?

Olibanum, another name for frankincense, is an aromatic tree resin with a long history and a significant role in spirituality.

This resin is derived from the Boswellia tree, a resilient species of deciduous tree that is native to India, Southern Arabia, and Eastern Africa.

After being removed from the trees, the milky white resin is processed into tiny, dried pieces that range in hue from white to golden-amber and are semi-translucent.

Its use can be found in its name. Frankincense was one of the most common ingredients in incense (see also ‘How To Put Out Incense‘).

It was so common that Frankincense was derived from the French “franc encens” or “high quality incense”.

As the abilities of Frankincense became more known, it quickly became one of the most expensive resins in the world.

It has a strong connection with religion and spirituality. In Christianity, Frankincense was one of the 3 items gifted to baby Jesus by the 3 wise men. Giving it a rather significant Biblical meaning.

One of the four smells utilized in the unique ceremonial incense blend of Jewish temples in Judaism was frankincense.

Frankincense has been used in cultures all over the world through history and still presents a significant presence in religion today.

In today’s world, Frankincense is more commonly used in the production of cosmetics and aromatherapy.

While it is no longer as expensive and precious as it once was, Frankincense is still high in value. With a liter of Frankincense costing up to $6000.

You will probably be familiar with Frankincense through its use in soaps, candles, perfumes, and lotions which are widely used throughout the world.

What Does Frankincense Smell Like?

The amber (Also check out Amber Incense) scent family includes frankincense. When you consider the potent aroma of burning incense, sometimes the image of frankincense—woody, earthy, deep, and spiritual—comes to mind.

What Does Frankincense Smell Like

When it comes to the scent of Frankincense in candles and home fragrances, often people think that it will be a strong, distinct scent. This is not the case.

Frankincense is not overpowering or strong but rather used to create a light, delicious blend that is wonderful for the holiday season.

While frankincense has a woodsy aroma, it is not quite as thick and smokey as vetiver or creamy and seductive like sandalwood.

Frankincense’s pine-like aroma can actually be described as more resinous or balsamic (which makes sense, since it comes from tree resin) (see also ‘How to Burn Frankincense Resin‘).

You discover some rather sweet notes throughout the scent of Frankincense. While many scents around the holidays can be overwhelmingly sweet, Frankincense offers a light, refreshing sweetness. With a combination of pine and lemon, it is subtle and pleasing.

Perfect if you enjoy a fragrance which is woodsy but not too dominating like some scents can be when spread throughout the home.

Depending on the origin and quality of the resin, the scent of Frankincense may change and differ slightly. Although, there is a general undertone that can be found throughout each resin. This is often described as:

  • Warm
  • Sweet
  • Earthy
  • Hints of spicy undertones
  • Light
  • Citrious

As mentioned above, Frankincense was one of the 3 gifts given to baby Jesus by the 3 wise men.

Another scent which is often associated with Frankincense which also has a religious significance in Myrrh (see also ‘What Does Myrrh Smell Like‘). This scent is a resin of the Commiphora tree and is often compared to Frankincense.

However, Frankincense is said to be sweeter and warmer whereas Myrrh is richer, earthier, and more bitter.

Advantages Of Frankincense

Outside of using Frankincense to give your home a delightful, luxurious aroma, the resin has other benefits.

Frankincense has been used in traditional medicine all throughout history across the entire world. It has shown the ability to help heal wounds and provide pain relief.

While research into the medicinal properties of Frankincense is still ongoing, a few benefits have been confirmed.

Frankincense has an amazing ability to reduce the effects of arthritis and help reduce inflammation.

It has also shown amazing effects of improving gut function, relieving asthma symptoms, and helping to improve and maintain the health of our teeth and gums.

Frankincense is often used as an essential oil in aromatherapy to reduce tension, encourage relaxation, and clear congestion.

Its peaceful and spiritual perfume is also a fantastic mood booster, and some people even say that it can help with memory and attention.

If you happen to have weird, displeasing odors adorning your home, you may want to invest in Frankincense. It has been known to act as a natural deodorizer.

The essential oil, Boswellic acid, that is found in Frankincense has antimicrobial properties which help kill unwanted bacteria and clean the air around your home.

Overall, Frankincense is an incredible resin that has been proven to be valuable throughout time and is a necessity to have within the home.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to pamper yourself or are looking for a delicious scent to fill the home during the holidays, Frankincense is an incredible option.

This resin has been documented throughout history for its stunning, comforting, fresh scent and its medicinal properties. And it is still worth trying out today.

With undertones of citrus and sweet amber, Frankincense may be the new fragrance you fall in love with this fall.

Although, we highly recommend lighting your Frankincense all throughout the year so you never miss out on its gorgeous aroma.

You can even purchase Frankincense scented lotions for your skin care routine!

Andrea Daehma
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