What are the different kinds of bakhoor?
Ramadan Kareem! We hope that the first few days of Ramadan have been joyous! In this weeks’ Daily Ramadan Routine Blog, we will be looking at the various different types of bakhoor, and at the end there will some amazingly unique beauty regime tips and recommendations that you can implement, using bakhoor! So stay tuned!
Originating from the lands of Arabia, are 3 main types of bakhoor:
- Frankincense, which is called Luban in Arabic
- Oud, or Aloeswood/Agarwood in English
- And finally the well know Myrrh
Of course, we have all heard of these types of incenses, in religious tradition, whether it is in the story of Jesus and the 3-wise men or the Magi along with their frankincense and myrrh, or the stories we hear of these and oud in Islamic traditions. But what are the differences between them? What makes them so unique?
Frankincense, otherwise called olibanum, is produced by a specific type of tree, called the Boswellia tree, which only grows in certain parts of the world, including India, Africa and the Middle East.
Frankincense, of course considering its origin, is very woody, but can have lemoney facets to its scent and in places like Oman and Yemen, it is used as a form of tea. Apart from this, it has been used within Ayurvedic medication for many years, since some say that frankincense offers medicinal benefits, including things like improved joint pain and help in treating symptoms of asthma.
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What makes frankincense so unique? The Boswellia tree can only grow within certain environmental conditions, which of course the countries within which it is gorwn, can accommodate. This means that there is a limited and short supply of this particular species of trees and this of course naturally produces a higher demand for frankincense, which is produced by this tree. It is said, that in the ancient times, frankincense was responsible for making the Arabs some of the richest people on the planet, as it was more valuable that gold! Imagine that! Today, Somali frankincense is one of the most prized frankinsence in the world.
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Today, oud is one of the most sought-after woody resins in the world! This is now a very rare commodity to get hold of, and as such it has become one of the world’s most expensive fragrance and bakhoor ingredient ever! Oud is today’s liquid gold, but why is it so rare? The reason for this is because not only is the agar tree, from which it is produced (or the Aquilaria tree as its also called) is rare and in short supply but also because only 1 in every agar tree will be infected with a special fungus that actually produces the oud! The tree itself has to become infected in order for the oud to be extracted and used as a bakhoor or fragrance! How amazing is nature?!
Again like frankincense, these particular species of tree is only available in certain parts of the world, including some parts of Asia such as Cambodia, India and Bangladesh.
We think it is safe to say, that we know what makes oud so unique!
Myrrh is known to the wider world mainly through the Biblical story of the 3-wise men or the Magi, who carried with them the incense of myrrh, along with frankincense and gold. As of that that wasn’t special enough to make it a unique commodity, then the process of obtaining this prove its uniqueness! Like all incenses, myrrh is derived from a tree from certain geographical regions – in the same regions as frankincense and the two incenses are actually from the same family tree – not surprisingly! In order for extraction of myrrh to occur from the tree, which is called the Commiphora tree, it has to be damaged, without killing the tree shrub and once it has been wounded, it is the sap that the tree produces within the healing process, is what is myrrh! How interesting! This sap or gum is then removed and used as incense! Now, if that isn’t unique, then what is?!
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How to use Bakhoor in your daily Ramadan beauty routine:
Stepping away from the stereotypes of what we think frankincense, oud and myrrh should be used for (burning of course, what else, right?!) there are other ways that we can use them in our beauty regime, throughout Ramadan! What a wonderful way to connect with an ancient Arabian product, during Ramadan!
Frankincense in your Ramadan beauty routine: frankincense can help to brighten and tighten your complex, and it also has anti-aging properties! Who knew?! When using Frankincense essential oils, you have to dilute it in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil before being applied to the skin. When applied to the skin, the frankincense helps to heal cracked and damaged skin, including sunburn. Exactly what we need, during this summer Ramadan!
Oud in your Ramadan beauty routine: if you fancy using an ingredient in your beauty regime this Ramadan, which is more valuable than the value of gold then you have come to the right place! The fatty acids found in pure oud oil can be used to treat symptoms of acne, as well as providing good sun protection! Not only that, but oud can also help to promote collagen production in the skin! Time for a girl’s night in with some oud perfume, some oud bakhoor and some … errrr – oud face masks?!
Myrrh in your Ramadan beauty routine: It is said that Queen Esther of ancient Adar, had used myrrh in her beauty regime, prior to marrying the King of Persia! Myrrh has antioxidant properties that can help treat the modern day banes of our lives – stretch marks and even vitiligo! Myrrh essential oil, of course has to be diluted using coconut oil, or almond oil but unscented moisturiser can also be used.
Just yesterday, we launched a BRAND-new perfume, that captures the essence of a traditional Arabian bakhoor! And guess what it’s called? Yes, it’s called Bakhoor! Grab yours HERE! Limited stock available!
For now, happy scenting! Make sure you subscribe to our Blog, to be one of the first to know when the next one is published!