Benzoin Incense or Jawi Incense
Benzoin Incense or Jawi Incense has been known since ancient times in the islands of Indonesia. It was used as incense and as a medicinal substance. The Yemeni merchants took some of its trees to plant in Hadhramaut after falling for its smell that was similar to Frankincense, so they called it Java’s Frankincense “referring to the island of Java”. This product comes from Hadramout, in the southeastern part of Yemen.
Like Frankincense, Myrrh, And Gum Arabic, it is extracted from tree trunks after they have been tapped. A tapped tree will produce a sticky sap that condenses with exposure to the air to form solid pieces that are cultivated manually as lumps.
Over the centuries, additionally to Agarwood, they have become a mainstay in the aromatic and medicinal repertoires of the cultures along the spice route.
Jawi/Benzoin Incense is characterized by its pleasant sweet aroma that has a touch almost like the smell of natural vanilla sticks mixed with the smell of frankincense, which makes it pleasant to use, soothing and likable when burned as incense to offer a sweet, warm, and rich aroma.
Unlike Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gum Arabic, we find that Jawi/Benzoin Incense comes in the form of large and medium lumps or chunks that are broken out to be used. It may also be ground into a powder, but this powder will begin to harden with time.
Jawi/Benzoin Incense is used by taking small pieces of it and placing them in the charcoal incense burner, electric incense burners can be used too.
Jawi/Benzoin Incense naturally comes in three colors, depending on the tree species from which it is extracted:
- Red Jawi/Benzoin Incense: It is easy to burn and has a strong smell that lasts for an extended time.
- Black Jawi/Benzoin Incense: Its fragrance is less permeable compared to red and white Benzoin.
- White Jawi/Benzoin Incense: It smells good, but it is less intense and durable
NOTE: Please consult with a certified qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products for mediational purposes, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.