For thousands of years Benzoin has been used in the east for incense, inducing meditative states and warding off evil spirits! More recently it was an ingredient in ‘Friar’s Balsam’, referred to as gum Benzoin, a component in a traditional cough medicine. Today it is used as a fixative in perfumes.
The Benzoin tree is cultivated in Java, Samatra and Thailand. The sap is extracted from the tree, by making a deep incision into the bark, catching the resin as it oozes out. Therefore it is not strictly an essential oil and more of a resin, with a warm, creamy vanilla like aroma.