24 June 2011

Omumbiri - Namibian Commiphora wildii

Omumbiri, the name used by the Himba of Namibia,  is a resin from the Commiphora wildii, a species of myrrh tree. It has a lemony scent that actually reminds me more of Omani frankincense than myrrh.  

It's hard to tell from this picture but the colors vary from a creamy bright lemon yellow to a warm burnt amber to a deep red to black.  This was stored with ground resin so it looks a bit 'ashy'.

The resin is very dry to the touch and can be crushed easily into a powder. It becomes very light in weight and floats in the air so I suggest wearing a mask when grinding this up. I used the ground powder to tincture.

Omumbiri oil is also available from Aftelier (under the name Myrrh from Namibia). I diluted the oil to 10% and compared it to the tincture. What I found was the tincture had a cool, fresh and mild lemon-pepper scent while the diluted oil was warmer and more resinous, earthy.  On a scent strip the tincture faded quickly while the dilution lasted hours even becoming a bit stronger over time.  I can see both having a place in perfume blends depending on what I'm looking to achieve.  The resin can be purchased from African Aromatics.


Libby said...

I'm just waiting for you to invent the scratch 'n sniff screen. lol Sounds like a really pleasant scent. Based on what I've read, I would definitely prefer the more earthy fragrance.

Stone & Bone said...

I agree with Libby, about the sns screen, that would be amazing. I love anything lemony, this little power house seems divine.

Lisa BTB said...

It is nice and I can add some to an incense burner and it really freshens the air.