‘LUBAAN - Ancient Resin'
Lubaan is the Arabic term for Frankincense, Frankincense is an aromatic, congealed, resinous sap from a specific variety of trees in the genus Boswelia. Most of the trees in the Boswelia genus are aromatic, and many of them produce a scented resinous sap, but only one tree, Boswelia sacra produces the highest grade of frankincense, also known as “true” incense.
Frankincense use dates back centuries, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and many other cultures used frankincense in variety of rituals from burials rights to celebrations. Frankincense was such a commodity in demand that some believe it was the driving force of the first global economy from 500 BC feeding global trade for well over a thousand years.
The aromatic qualities of frankincense have been used in a variety of ways over the centuries, to release its scent the frankincense is either burned or smoldered over hot coals, chewed on, soaked in water over night for a refreshing and rejuvenating drink the next morning. The smoke from burning frankincense is effective in driving away mosquitoes and other insects.
The quality and type of lubaan is based on several factors, which include colour, purity, aroma, clump size, age of the tree, season of harvest, and also the geographical location of the plant source. Sahaz xarfi , Sahaz serbi , Sahaz kidi , and Sahaz estebi are the four types of gums known in Jibali Arabic, collected during four different seasons from eastern Dhofar, of which Sahaz xarfi , the gum collected during the monsoon season, is considered to be the best quality, followed by Sahaz serbi , the gum collected during the months following the monsoon. Sahaz kidi and Sahaz estebi are the gums collected during the summer and winter seasons, respectively, and are of inferior quality compared to the two former types.
Omani lubaan is commercially available in four grades, under the local names Hoojari , Najdi , Shathari , and Shaabi. Hoojari , the first grade resin having the lightest colour and a larger clump size, which is collected from the trees growing in the north of the Samhan mountains. Najdi, the second grade resin having a pale yellow colour, collected from the plateau behind the Dhofar mountains. Shathari , the third-grade resin, which is darker in colour and collected from the northwest of Dhofar. Finally, Shaabi , the fourth-grade lubaan, which also has a darker colour and is collected from the valleys.
Frankincense is an important oleo-gum resin used in several industries including pharmacy, food, flavor, liqueur, beverage, cosmetic, and perfumery industries. Frankincense has been treasured for its sacred and ceremonial uses since long, even before Biblical times and is essentially a mixture of essential oils (5 – 9%), EtOH-soluble resin (65 – 85%), and H 2 O-soluble gums. The essential oil of frankincense is one of the most commonly used oils in the aromatherapy practice and used against respiration disorders. It eases breathing and is useful for asthma patients. In perfumery, frankincense oil is used as a fixative and for its fresh balsamic, dry, resinous, somewhat green note in Oriental bases, ambers, florals, colognes, and male fragrances.
Here we are offering the Hoojari Frankincense, which is the highest quality frankincense that comes from Oman, these were collected in the last monsoon season June-September 2018. We have stored them in sealed containers for 12 months allowing them to mature. In the olden days the Lubaan used to mature in the journey from the fields to the markets, on camel back and sea voyages. This process is unfortunately missed in the world of commercial planes. In order to restore this key step, we aged the resins in house for a more refined experience.
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“Composition and Antibacterial Activity of the Essential Oils of Four Commercial Grades of Omani Luban” Salim H Al Saidi et al ,
“The Story of Frankincense” MEI