Olibanum is a gum produced by several species of the Boswellia tree (sacra, papyrifera, frereana), with Boswellia carterii being the source of most Olibanum products for perfumery.
The tree grows mainly on the northern coast of the Horn of Africa, in Somaliland between Djibouti and Puntland. It thrives in arid climates and at medium altitudes (1,000 m) on the slopes leading down to the indian ocean. Production (tapping, gathering, sorting, etc.) takes place in the dry summer months. Olibanum production is handled by clans and families, the collected gums are sorted in the villages before being sent to Somalia's ports (Bossaso, Berbera) for export.
The best quality Olibanum gum forms small yellow drops with a pale or translucent color.
The production of Olibanum gum is estimated at 3,000 tons per year for the "burning" qualities (church incense, etc.) and 500 to 600 tons per year for use in perfumery.
Biolandes distills its essential oils from gum supplied by well-identified sources in Somaliland, closely monitored through a local partnership that also supplies us with myrrh and opoponax.
In 2008 this partner was granted certification as an organic supplier, which will allow Biolandes to launch an organic essential oil of Olibanum in 2009.