Whilst lavender is thought of as the queen of essential oils frankincense is often referred to as the king. My first memories of its familiar scent are from my early years being raised as a catholic, personally it brings me back to school, to childhood and invokes a strong sense of belonging. I also recall when I first started studying aromatherapy back in the early noughties its was lauded as a skincare saviour. Since then, I have seen its popularity increase and it can be found in a multitude of products from soap to perfume and even in pet-care products. Our love of this most sacred oil is more evident than ever.
Sadly, our demand of ever-increasing volumes of this precious oil has unfortunately and inadvertently caused a hugely damaging effect. Allow me to walk you through it.
Frankincense is a resin harvested from the Boswellia tree by making small incisions in the trunk of the tree. Upon being “tapped” the tree forms a scab to protect itself, (rather like a cut does when we hurt ourselves) this scab is the frankincense resin. The “tapped” resin is collected by the harvesters and then steam distilled or put through a solvent extraction process. These methods collect the precious essential oils that are used by the beauty and perfume industry.
The Boswellia tree species is located in the red sea region and North East Africa. Often the trees are harvested by the poorest communities, who have no choice but to excessively tap the trees. This activity in conjunction with deforestation and ecosystem degradation are creating the perfect storm that is putting the Boswellia tree in jeopardy of survival. It is the case that our love of this is essential oil and our carelessness of our planet could result in its extinction.
As a business that is committed to sourcing raw materials both ethically and sustainably, we can no longer provide our customers with products that contain Frankincense.
The only product we make that contains this most precious of oils is our luxury vegan beauty balm. We are currently in the process of using up the last of our Frankincense essential oil to make our remaining batches. Once our stock of frankincense is depleted, we will continue to make our luxury vegan beauty balm as before, but sadly without this ingredient.