Botanical Name: Styrax tonkinensis
Country of Origin: Vietnam
Extraction Method: Solvent extracted
Plant Part use: Gum
Aromatic Scent: Sweet, Flora, Vanilla scent
Siam benzoin is a handsome tropical tree that grows up to 15 metres (50 ft) in height and is covered with a crown of alternate, ovate leaves which are smooth on the upper surface and hoary underside. The tree bears a flat hard-shelled fruit, measuring 2 or 3 centimeters in diameter, and attractive white flowers with 5 petals group in clusters along branches.
When incisions are made in the trunk of the tree it exudes a balsamic liquid which solidifies after exposure to air and sunlight, resulting in a reddish-brown gum. The balsamic liquid collects as ‘tears’ beneath the bark or around the incision cuts and although it is known as a gum, it is actually a balsamic resin.
Harvesting Benzoin Siam Gum
This process of cutting the bark of the tree to obtain the crude balsamic resin exudates is called tapping and is not usually employed until the tree is around seven years old. After tapping, the exudate is left to harden and dry before collection which will be 3 or 4 months later, after which it is sifted and graded.
The oil is extracted from the balsamic resin by means of a solvent, and because the resulting resinoid is still too viscous (thick) to work with at this stage, a diluent is added to the resinoid to make it mobile and easier to use. After this process, the oil is technically classed as a resinoid rather than an essential oil. The resulting oil has a balsamic, creamy aroma reminiscent of vanilla due to the presence of a component called vanillin, which also occurs in vanilla.
Benzoin Resinoid Properties:
Apprearance at 20°C: Viscous liquid
Color: Brown to dark brown
Density at 20°C: 0,000 - 0,000
Refractive index at 20°C: 1,5000 - 1,5300
Optical rotation: 0 / 0
Solubility: Insoluble in water/ Soluble in Ethanol.
Main constituents: Acid benzoic, Vanilin, Benzyl benzoat, Coniferyl benzoate
Benjoin Siam Uses:
Benzoin is a typical ambery-balsamic key ingredient for perfumery.
It can be used to boost oriental and ambery notes in composition.
Primarily used in incense making and as a fixative in perfumery.
The warm balsamic fragrance of benzoin resin is familiar to most people, and this ancient aromatic has been used in almost every culture around the world since records began in both incense and medicine. Its medicinal use throughout history is legendary, and the aromatic resin from the tree still remains in high regard within the world of perfumery and medicine.
Blends well with:
Neroli, Vanilla, Lavender, Agarwood, Cedarwood, Ylang ylang, Orange.