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You may have heard of frankincense but what exactly is it and how does it smell? If you have always wondered what does frankincense smell like, you’re in luck. In this post, we will delve deep into what frankincense smells like, what it helps with, how it differs from myrrh and what the frankincense oil smell pairs best with.

What Does Frankincense Smell Like?

How does frankincense smell?

Frankincense has a distinctive smell, not often comparable with the smell of any other compound. Because frankincense is used in a variety of settings for relaxation and is even mentioned in the Bible, this resin is a very popular and well-known choice for various peoples and cultures around the world.

So, what does frankincense essential oil smell like? The frankincense smell can be described as citrusy, smokey and woodsy. Again, the scent is not like any other, though some may compare it to the sharp woodiness of rosemary with a hint of citrus.

Even then, this doesn’t quite capture the full revelation of the frankincense scent. It is difficult to describe yet easy to recognize.

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About Frankincense

Frankincense is derived from the sap from Boswellia trees, and the act of harvesting can be a slow and rigorous process. Boswellia trees can be found in places like the Ariabian Peninsula, Africa and India.

In order to harvest Frankincense, harvesters must strike the tree several times over the course of the year to yield the sap they are looking for. As they slowly scrape away from the tree over time, they will eventually be able to collect the frankincense resin they’ve worked so diligently for.

What does frankincense help with?

Like most other essential oils, frankincense can be used for a variety of reasons from healing to relaxation. Here are a few of the most common ways in which frankincense can be used:

  • Banish Acne
  • Help With Asthma
  • Alleviate Stress Through Aromatherapy
  • Heal the Gut
  • Lower Anxiety
  • Reduce Nausea
  • Lessen Fatigue
  • Improve Oral Health
  • Make Perfume

While none of this has been scientifically proven, some people have reported success using frankincense for the aforementioned ailments. Before trying essential oils for healing purposes, be sure to speak with a medical professional first. This is also true when considering the application of essential oil directly to the skin or for internal use.

Bear in mind that essential oils, frankincense included, can cause burns to the skin and can negatively affect your health if ingested in many cases. To prevent health impairments, always use essential oils only as directed, make sure that they are 100% pure and do not use essential oils directly on skin without first mixing them with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut.

Never use oils on pets and children without doctor approval first! Neglecting to do so may cause severe burns, rashes or allergic reactions.

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Frankincense Versus

What is difference between frankincense and myrrh?

Frankincense and myrrh actually come from trees of the same Burseraceae family, but can smell different depending on the location, climate and other factors.

Myrrh comes from the Commiphora while frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree. Both are from tapped tree bark that then secretes either frankincense or myrrh.

What smells better frankincense or myrrh?

Similar to frankincense, myrrh has a distinct smell. Some describe myrrh as having a distinct earthy and slightly licorice scent, while others would describe it as warm and darkly reminiscent of a fruit, like plum or fig.

With that in mind, it will depend on your preference for scent as to which you’ll prefer when it comes to the frankincense oil smell and myrrh oil smell. When blended together, however, they seem to be a perfect match!

What does frankincense and myrrh smell like?

The blend of frankincense and myrrh can be found in the Bible, and remains a popular blend, even today, throughout the world. When frankincense and myrrh are combined, they let off a smell reminiscent of incense, with earthy pine coming from myrrh and citrus smoke coming from frankincense. The result is an out-of-this-world combination that is perfect for the holidays, church and relaxing.

Does frankincense smell like sandalwood

Because frankincense smells like citrus and woods, and sandalwood smells sharp like pine woods and spice, the truth is that though the scents might seem vaguely similar, they do not smell the same. Each fragrance, frankincense and sandalwood, have their own unique scent. Each scent may be interpreted differently, depending on who you ask.

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What Scent Goes Well With Frankincense?

Can you mix lavender and frankincense?

One of the most exhilarating things about experimenting with essential oils for the purpose of aromatherapy is blending scents to create something new, unique and enthralling. Depending on your taste, the type of fragrance oil that will best pair with frankincense will be largely subjective.

Nevertheless, if you were wondering, “Can you mix lavender and frankincense?”, the answer is YES! Lavender and frankincense are a wonderful aromatic combination that are often used in perfumes.

Other common oils often mixed with frankincense scents include floral Ylang-Ylang, citrusy lime, lemon or orange, Clary sage, rose, sandalwood, cinnamon and of course, myrrh!

To summarize, frankincense is world-renown in terms of fragrance and usage, although its harvest is not an easy feat. Nevertheless, frankincense remains one of the most sought after resins and essential oils around, and provides useful and practical methods of application for healing, health and aromatherapy.

Remember, you should only apply frankincense and other essential oils with a carrier oil to skin, and always speak with a health professional before using essential oils to help with health ailments. Never replace your routine medication with essential oils before speaking with your provider first.

For a more in-depth look at the benefits, uses and background of frankincense, check out this overview of frankincense.  To learn how to use essential oils, such as frankincense, to create your own unique and skin-healthy castile soap, check out How to Make Liquid Hand Soap With Castile Soap.