Opoponax (aka. Sweet Myrrh)is an hard opaque resin that varies in shades of deep orange to dark brown. While many websites claim that Opoponax is the preferred myrrh species for incense making, we still prefer resins from C. molmol/myrrha. Opoponax generally requires more experience and 'know-how' before it provides an optimal aroma. We generally allow our blends that use this resin to sit for at least a year. The resin produces a quite unique and rather unusual aroma when smoldered upon a hot charcoal. The resin smolders in the same way as most other Commiphora resins. Opoponax's superior aroma truly shines when the resin is heated indirectly on a hot plate or other similar device. While the aroma can be harsh and very latex-y when burned on a charcoal, Opoponax has quite a nice semi-spicy apricot-like aroma when heated indirectly. Smoke from this species of Commiphora (as well as many others) has traditionally been used as a 'bathing perfume' by women throughout tribal Africa. Opoponax is associated with the Water element and Mars is thought to be its celestial body.
Extracts from the leaves are useful for their insect repellent properties. The presence of Germacrene-D along with other organic hydrocarbons in the leaves is thought to contribute to the insecticidal properties of various members of the Burseraceae family, including Bursera copallifera, B. excelsa, B. fagaroides, B. graveolens, Boswellia sacra, Commiphora holtziana and C. myrrha. In recent studies, this chemical has been found to be repellent to not only herbivores (beetles), but also mosquitoes, aphids and ticks.
NOTE: The research on Commiphora holtziana is ongoing. We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information on our products. Please expect the above information to be revised as more information becomes available. If you have further information about this species or if you wish to submit a correction to this page, please feel free to contact us here
As of 2016, we have decided to majorly simplify the taxonomic structures of the species collection. Due to the numerous systems available, and many species being disputed and in a state of flux, we feel that most of our audience will be better served with a easier to understand condensed listing.
• Noge, K. and J. X. Becerra. Germacrene D, A Common Sesquiterpene in the Genus Bursera (Burseraceae). Published in Molecules, 2009, 14, 5289-5297. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2015, available from http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/12/5289. Accessed on 27 Aug 2015.