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Known as the king of essential oils, frankincense is produced from the resins of trees from the genus 'Boswellia'. We love it for its sweet woody aroma and for its stress-relieving properties, but as the longest continually traded natural commodity known to humanity, frankincense has a much deeper history that goes back about 6,000 years! The ancient Egyptians used it for religious ceremonies and in their embalming process, and it’s been used as incense during religious ceremonies among Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Christians. Cultures around the world have used it medicinally due to its amazing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo shares her expertise on this fascinating perfume ingredient with us in this podcast episode that sheds light on the topic of ethical sourcing. For us at Heretic, it's critical for us to make sure we're blending our fragrances with natural materials that are harvested in a way that respects both the earth and the communities working at the start of the supply chain. In this conversation, Anjanette dives into the social and environmental challenges facing the frankincense species, and explains how she's been able to use blockchain and empower communities to ensure responsible sourcing and sustainability.

frankincense sourcing

Anjanette received her doctorate in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Vermont. She is a Lecturer on supply chains and anthropology at several colleges, and the Chief sustainability Scientist at the Aromatic Plant Research Center. Her work as the founder of the Save Frankincense initiative is what led us to her. Save Frankincense is a project aimed to protect the frankincense economy and ecosystem in Somaliland. Her work has been featured in publications like National Geographic and New York Times

We use sustainably sourced frankincense extracts in many of our perfumes and candles, like Dirty Hinoki, Hinoki Temple, Smudge, and The Herbalist. 


 Frankincense Trees

Images provided by FairSource Botanicals.

Our podcast can also be found on Spotify or iTunes.