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Labdanum. Fresh, hand-harvested and Wild Crafted Labdanum oleoresin. Cistus Creticus, Crete.

An ancient and well-known perfume and incense ingredient, Labdanum has been used as the base for Amber type fragrances for many centuries.

Labdanum is often a core ingredient in Chypre, and Oriental style perfumes.
Some consider it to be the "Balm of Gilead" referred to in the old Testament, since Labdanum also grows in the ancient territory of "Gilead" in Israel.
Labdanum is also thought to be one of the ingredients in the sacred temple incense, "Ktoreth".

As described in my blog post, http://apothecarysgarden.com/2013/07/02/labdanum-beard-grooming-babylonian-style/, Labdanum has been in use for thousands of years for fragrance, medicine, incense and grooming. No one can resist a beard that has been touched by Labdanum.

2 types of Labdanum are currently available on the global market, the western Mediterranean Cistus Ladanifer, and the Eastern Mediterranean, Cistus Creticus.
The "Spanish, or Eastern Mediterranean type is most often grown as an annual plant and cut to the ground late summer, early fall. The whole branches are boiled and the raw resin floats to the top of the barrel where it is collected and shipped elsewhere for processing.
Much of the Labdanum on the market is from this source, most often bought by consumers as a resinoid after solvent extraction even though it is usually sold as the essential oil of Labdanum. The resinoid will only dissolve readily in Benzyl benzoate which is most often the solvent of choice in the industry.

This fresh Labdanum oleoresin from Crete is collected in an entirely different manner, in the wild and without harming the shrubs.
Using a traditional tool called a "Ladanisterion", (See photo above from a 1700 woodcut), made of numerous thongs strung from a bar at the end of a pole, local villagers gather on the hottest days in August and head out to the hills to collect the resin as it beads on the leaves from the intense summer heat. As the thongs of the tool are passed over the sticky bushes, the resin collects on them and is periodically stripped off by running pinched fingers, or an improvised tool down their length.

The resin from each thong is then rolled into a ball and added to the collection before careful storage and preparation for sale or distillation.
This shipment arrived yesterday from Crete and it was indeed made up of many small "pinched" balls of Labdanum stuck together. It was so fresh that I was able to separate most of the original balls.
I felt a thrill, being so close to the harvest and source of this ancient fragrance without actually being in the Cretan hills. I, (obsessively), separated the balls and packed them in tins as they came, with a minimum of intervention since most were close to 5 grams each.

This harvest is an ancient practice that has withstood the temptation of industrialization and mass production. It has little impact on the environment and provides a traditional income for the local village.
This product supports cottage industry, the local economy and is 100% sustainable. These harvesters are the stewards of the plants and the hills.

Caring for the income and needs of traditional harvesters/gatherers is the most direct way for us to protect our wild medicinals and aromatics around the world.
Those who collect Frankincense, Labdanum, Myrrh and many other traditional wild harvests, are ideally suited and positioned to care for our fragrant and medicinal natural resources. We have badly managed them till now and they are quickly declining all over the world, even as our consumption increases. By purchasing from traditional harvesters we can contribute to a responsible and sustainable model of economics and ensure that these natural treasures are thriving still in decades to come.


-------------------------------------------What customers have said about my Labdanum-----------------------------



"Divine! Dealing with Dan is always a genuine treat. He makes his customers feel cared for.

Shipping was fast, communication was great and this may be the most wonderful labdanum I have ever used. A tiny dab goes a long way and scents the skin for more than 24 hours. Absolutely incredible stuff; great by itself or as a base for layering other scents and oils to ground or deepen them. Do not hesitate-BUY SOME!"

"As always, a very high quality product."

"First time buying this product but not the first time buying from this great seller. Did not disappoint. Excellent quality!"

"Sensational! Thank you so much!"

"This product is wonderful. So fragrant."

"Labdanum is my all time fav and this is the real deal. My order arrived fast and safe. Packaging is great and customer service is top notch. I would not hesitate to order from this shop again. Dan and his son Nathan go out of their way to make customers happy."

"Great stuff. Richer than the oil, as it should be. It's nice to able to smell and experiment with the whole oleorsin."

"Amazing scent, very fresh. Very carefully packed. Received very quickly. Happy repeat customer. Thank you!"

"amazing stuff! one of the best stores on etsy!"

"Super happy with this, thank you!"

"I can't stop smelling it! Playing around with it to use as a base for some natural perfumes."

"I had only smelled labdanum in more processed forms, and this is fantastic. Very nice resin for incense making. Shipped very quickly."

"C'est un échantillon de grande qualité."

"Gorgeous! Thank you for the beautiful material <3"

"Divine! Dealing with Dan is always a genuine treat. He makes his customers feel cared for.
Shipping was fast, communication was great and this may be the most wonderful labdanum I have ever used. A tiny dab goes a long way and scents the skin for more than 24 hours. Absolutely incredible stuff; great by itself or as a base for layering other scents and oils to ground or deepen them. Do not hesitate-BUY SOME!"

Labdanum. Cistus Creticus, Fresh Wild-Harvested oleoresin, Crete

$6.00+

Overview

  • Handmade Supply
  • Materials: Labdanum, oleoresin, essential oils, resin
  • Ships worldwide from Canada
  • Feedback: 1055 reviews
  • Favorited by: 132 people