Frankincense (also called olibanum) comes from trees of the boswellia family that grow in dry regions of north-east Africa in often rocky, sandy soil and usually reach a maximum of 6m tall. There are a number of varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different resin with varying characteristics. The trees grow in a variety of odd looking shapes, making them distinctive and easy to spot. The resin is extracted by making a small shallow incision in the trunk or branches and then the resin hardens on contact with air and is collected by hand.
Frankincense resin is light coloured and yellowy and when burnt it produces a rich, dense fragrance. It's one of the best fragrances to burn for cleansing and clearing, as it can clear and refresh even the toughest and worst atmospheres. It's good for clearing a room of other people's left-behind energy, or a new house if you're about to move in and make it your own.
It's also particularly good for people who are working on their spiritual progress and want to clearly open up to higher spiritual elements, as it can help communication on a higher plane. Additionally, it has warming and relaxing properties and is a good choice for dealing with stress.
Frankincense is notably mentioned several times in the Bible, and it was one of the gifts taken to the baby Jesus by the three kings. In Judaic and Islamic faiths frankincense mixed with oils is sometimes used to anoint newborn infants as frankincense is seen to represent life.