Styrax benzoin typically is a crude resinoid collected from the trees and then solvent extracted and offered in various grades and degrees of purity. My favored Styrax, tonkinensis resinoid is obtained through molecular distillation. It is from a wild harvest in Laos, Southeast Asia. This is the more refined Benzoin that has the lovely sweeter balsamic aroma. Benzoin has a “heart note” which carries a pleasant, warming scent reminiscent of Vanilla. It has great value as a fixative in natural perfumery or as I prefer to say parfum. The sweet vanilla-ish scent is soothing to the heart both physically and emotionally. Experiencing this aromatic delight will often evoke euphoric mind waves that ease tension, calm nerves and allow an aphrodisiacal sensation. This resin is used traditionally as an incense in fumigation to dispel negativity and malevolent entities.
Batuta is the first European writer to mention Benzoin in the fourteenth century.To the present day Benzoin has been an established article of materia medica. This balsamic botanical has been recorded for the medical value as a skin reparative and as a styptic to close wounds. “Friar’s Balsam” is typically known as tincture of benzoin that is used clinically (in a diluted base ) to heal wounds, inflammations and burns.