Friday, February 03, 2012

Frankincense Friday - Hojari, Howjari, Howjary

I'm beginning a weekly series about frankincense for a number of reasons:

1.  I love the resin warmed in an incense heater.
2.  I love the essential oils from all the various species.
3.  It was probably the first plant harvested for its fragrance, for incense.
4.  It was probably the first plant made into unguents, and used medicinally.
5.  It is, according to some sources, on a path towards endangered status, for various reasons.
6.  My friend Trygve, of Enfleurage NYC, lives in Oman, takes hundreds of pictures, and has shared them with me, and I'll share them with you.  PS. She makes frankincense ice cream!
7.  I have a tiny sapling of Boswellia sacra, and I call "him" Baby Franco.  I'll chronicle his growth here.
8.  Two types of frankincense, an oil and a resinoid, form the base of my Light perfume.  The frankincense highlights and bridges the various citruses used in Light, and makes for a seamless, long-lasting cologne.

Here are true "hojary" or "howjary" trees, regarded as the finest quality frankincense.

Trygve's note: These crazy creatures are up a wadi called Jufa. It's the beginning of the "howjary" area. 

Jufa frankincense

Photo credit:  Trygve Harris

Did you know that the resin is only collected during the deciduous season (when the trees are leafless)?

In future posts, I'll write about the history, cultivation and processing of frankincense, but right now, I'm just enjoying the visuals of this historic fragrant plant.  Stunning raw beauty!

Do you have a reason you love frankincense?  Please leave a comment. 


  1. Thank you... I too am in multifaceted love of this ancient gift. Crisp, slightly sweet acrid citrus how you take mt thoughts and spirit to higher planes. Many thanks to Katlyn Breene(mermade magickal arts), for introducing and supplying high quality Hougary Tears here in vegas and across nations. Ohm shree maha lakshmeyei swaha! Namaste!...

  2. Dear Lady:

    Yes, Katlyn sources the finest materials!
    I'm so glad you have a chance to experience the beauty of it.


  3. The appearance of the trees reminds me of a story I was taught in school: If you're walking down the street and you see a disheveled, smelly homeless person, treat them as if you would God, because God could be in that disguise, testing you. How many would walk by the frankincense tree, squat, peeling bark, misshapen branches and trunk? Well, I think God resides in the frankincense tree.

  4. "The scented person is surrounded by angels". I feel this to be particularly true for frankincense. It is a scent that I had to get used years ago when entering the Catholic Church, but subsequently have found that it calms and focuse my mind and stills my breathing. I have managed to get frankincense from the ancient groves in Somaliland and it is thought that the gift of frankincense given to the baby Jesus, came from those groves. Just the thought of it, makes me work with reverent care when using this oil.

  5. Yes, frankincense is truly wonder-full, it grows out of stony ground and when it is cut it weeps and from those tears we get a wealth full of natures blessings! Emotional/energetic and therapeutic. Supreme Love:))


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