The essential oil of olibanum (frankincense) is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. The oil’s chemical components are 75% monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoles, sesquiterpenols and ketones. It has a good balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell.The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, such as alpha-pinene, Limonene, alpha-Thujene, and beta-Pinene with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.
Olibanum or Frankincense Essential Oil CAS 8016-36-2
[Frankincense or] “Olibanum appears as pale yellow or pale amber- colored, tear-shaped or drop-shaped, eggshaped or almost round lumps, varying from pea-sized to walnut-size. Other grades may be orange- yellow, orange-red or brownish in color, and the tears may be agglutinated into large lumps.
Olibanum Oil is a mobile liquid, pale yellow or pale amber-greenish in color. Its odor is strongly diffusive, fresh-terpeney, almost green-lemon-like or reminiscent of green, unripe apples (peel), but not terebinthinate. A certain pepperiness is mellowed with a rich, sweet-woody, balsamic undertone. Depending upon the method of distillation of the oil (time, vapor pressure, etc.) the odor is more or less tenacious with an almost cistus-like, ambre-type, balsamic dryout note.”
Arctander, Steffen . Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin