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Commiphora erythrea

Much confusion surrounds the origins of this oil. Despite its name, it is not derived from Ferula opoponax, a member of the carrot family that exudes a milky substance which, on drying, turns into a resinous gum. This is the gum most often referred to in the antique literature on the subject. (Dioscorides describes its appearance and healing properties at length.) This Opoponax oil, sometimes also known as sweet Myrrh, actually derives from a tree that belongs to the 'gum tree family', the burseracae, which also counts Frankincense and Myrrh among its more prominent members. Opoponax trees are at home in the dry climate zone of Somalia and Eritrea, where they have long played role in medicine and ritual. The properties of this resin are similar to those of Myrrh, and thus both the resin and the bark have been used in a similar way, as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. In particular, they have played a role in women's initiation rites - to help heal the physical scars of female circumcision and to cleanse, disinfect and tighten the womb after birth. In high class perfumery it is used as a fixative and to add a balsamic base note to exotic, oriental fragrances. Use with caution as this oil may be skin sensitising.

Opoponax oil can be used for cleansing and purification rites. It may also help guide a confused soul to find its path and to connect the spirit with the core self. It is a good oil to reconnect, accept and trust the guiding principles of the universe, and to help let go of the ego-desire of control.

A woody, balsamic, resinous scent. Blends well with Benzoin, Cypress, Clary Sage, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver, Geranium and Palmarosa.