At Floracopeia, we love introducing you to new botanicals with ethical backgrounds from all corners of the earth.
And in a little corner of Somaliland, on the Horn of Africa, a hot, dry climate is home to Frankincense Occulta, a wild frankincense species that is abundant in a very small area— yet hasn’t been found anywhere else in the world.
In fact, although used locally in resin form as a traditional incense, this unusual plant had been misidentified and was only recently determined to be an incredibly rare species of frankincense.
We’re thrilled to bring you the story of this brand-new oil from this natural rarity that grows from the limestone rocks of Somaliland. While it shares the same beloved skin-soothing, clarifying, ceremonial traits of more common species of frankincense — it has a scent all its own… delightful, well-balanced, and perfumey, thanks to its remarkably rare composition.
Unusual Compounds & Perfume-Like Scent
Frankincense Occulta boasts a unique composition. It’s primarily comprised of methoxyalkanes, a group of ethers that are naturally very rare, having only been found in the essential oil of one other plant. In fact, Boswellia occulta also produces large amounts of novel sesquiterpenes like 4,10-di-epi-guaiol, and diterpenes like serratol, contributing to its remarkably complex and pleasant scent.
Ethically Sourced from Locally Abundant Trees
With protective sourcing methods, this Frankincense Occulta Essential Oil offers a sustainable economic opportunity for local communities while bringing an exceptional botanical to Floracopeia’s offerings.
In the frankincense trade, harvesters and trees often suffer because of unscrupulous business practices and exploitation of local communities.
Harvesters rarely receive fair wages and proper benefits from their work. In an effort to produce enough product to make a living wage, they often overexert trees, ignoring best harvesting practices and threatening the plants.
With our ethical sourcing partners, we’re helping to break the cycle of the unsustainable frankincense trade, dictated and run by middlemen and unsustainable businesses. We’re proud to invest in local communities to create fair trade and living wages, while protecting these rare trees and ecosystems.
Through small-batch distilling of this artisanal frankincense, we’re able to help local communities develop, provide economic opportunities, support a stable, fair market for harvesters — and monitor these rare, valuable trees to keep them thriving.
We then get to share the powerful benefits of Frankincense Occulta with you, while helping local communities realize the benefits of their work in the sustainable frankincense trade.