Myrrh

Famously, myrrh was one of the three gifts brought to the infant Jesus by the Three Kings.  But long before that, myrrh was among the very first perfume ingredients used in prayer – as well as perfumery itself:  as far back as 3,700 years ago, priests and believers believed that the smoke of incense was the only thing which could cross the barrier between earth and heaven.  (Leading to the original name for perfume:  per fumum, or ‘through smoke’…)  Myrrh was a key ingredient in the ancient incense kyphi, used to fumigate ancient Egyptian temples.  Then later, it was ‘discovered’ by (and became popular with) Greek and Roman perfumers.

What is it?  A gum resin, tapped from the True Myrrh tree, or Commiphora Myrrha which originates from parts of Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia;  the resin’s produced by tapping the tree to make small incisions, from which small teardrop-shaped droplets emerge – and are left to harden into bead-like nuggets, which are then steam-distilled to produce an essential oil.

Myrrh gets its name from the Hebrew ‘murr’ or ‘maror’, which translates as ‘bitter’. It’s earthy. It’s resinous. It’s intriguing.  And it’s still a key ingredient in many sensual and iconic Oriental perfumes today…

Smell myrrh in:

Agent Provocateur Eau Provocateur
Amouage Amouage Gold pour Femme
By Kilian Sweet Redemption
Caron Parfum Sacre
Czech & Speake Frankincense & Myrrh
Diane von Furstenburg Diane
Dior Bois d’Argent
Diptyque L’Eau Trois
Guerlain Myrre et Délires
Illamasqua Freak
Jovoy La Liturgie des Heures
L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu
Pierre Balmain Ambre Gris
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
Yves Saint Laurent Opium

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