Benzoin can be a little confusing as there are different types, which derive from different trees and countries. Siamese Benzoin comes in the shape of tears or almonds, while regular Benzoin usually comes from Sumatra or India and has the appearance of crumbly chunks that are mostly greyish brown and speckled with white streaks. Benzoin crumbles easily and when burnt does not melt. Instead, it evaporates leaving very little residue. It has an intense, sweet vanilla-like scent, but if burnt alone it can be choking.
Benzoin is traditionally used as a base, especially for joss sticks and can be combined with many different herbs and oils for a variety of purposes. It is sacred to Aphrodite, Venus and Mut. Most commonly Benzoin is associated with love, prosperity, astral travel and shape shifting.