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.

3 comments:

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.