Styrax tonkinensis, Solvent extracted from resin, Thailand. Known as Benzoin Siam.
• Thick and sticky
• Balsamic and sweet
• Anchors perfume blends
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Benzoin is, in my opinion, best used in the aromalamp, it gives a sense of warmth, comfort, and welcome. Blended with Orange or tangerine it is a sweet and comforting delight, a bit of a euphoric. Benzoin has a wonderfully warm scent. Tony Burfield states “a fine sweet balsamic, almost chocolatey odour. Drydown is Balsamic, vanillic and sweet. I don’t recommend using it in the diffuser simply because of its thick texture; cleaning the nebulizer can be a nightmare, but in the lamp it is a delight.
WARNING: The International Fragrance Research Association has pages of references of dermatological testing showing incidences of sensitization following use of Benzoin on the skin, especially on irritated or broken skin. However, Robert Tisserand advises a low risk of skin sensitization. Caution with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and children under the age of 2. Dermal maximum use 2% is best-practice estimate for skin safety.
There are some aromatherapy “authorities” who recommend it for such things as healing chapped skin, cracked nipples, etc. It is my belief that using Benzoin Absolute on the skin gives you the opportunity for temporary healing, while risking life-long sensitization. Inhaled, Benzoin is recommended for treating bronchitis, asthma, coughs, and laryngitis. It is a sweet and soothing addition to any blend to treat bronchial problems.
Please note that like Beeswax Absolute and several of our CO2 extracts, our Benzoin is also quite thick, perhaps the consistency of molasses at room temperature. If you warm the bottle a bit it will make the Absolute easier to work with.
Pure Benzoin Absolute is a rock hard solid, impossible to soften by warming or to blend into a carrier oil for massage, etc. We have chosen a “pourable” Benzoin, diluted with 50% Benzyl Benzoate. Whenever you see a Benzoin marked pourable know that it has been diluted with a solvent of some sort. Wisdom indicates investigating what solvent has been used. This was the safest alternative we could find, the alternative being a phthalate based diluent.
Because of its thick, molasses-like texture, we are packaging it in 15 ml jars, rather than our usual Cobalt bottles. Please remember to store in a cool, dark place.