What Does Frankincense Smell Like? [Unveiling The Facts]

Written By Nabila Lisha

Often we find some accords that resemble unique aromas in the perfumery world. Frankincense is that kind of ingredient.

Because of its strange name and powerful olfactory appearance, people always look for the actual scent of frankincense and its origin.

If you seek the same, look no further, you have come to the right place!what-does-frankincense-smell-like

After a thorough analysis, I’ve compiled every fact of this luxurious element and via this content, I’ll share my findings with you.

So scroll down!

What Is Frankincense?

Frankincense is a solid gum-type, resin element that comes from the Boswellia tree’s stem. Its soothing aroma helps to reduce anxiety and the oil improves the skin. For this reason, frankincense is often used in perfumes, skincare, and aromatherapy.

Frankincense is also known as olibanum in the Eastern world. It’s the most expensive and demanding product in the perfumery world that has been used for thousands of years.

Its interesting name originated from the French word “francencens”, which means high-quality ingredients. As frankincense was used in traditional incense it is even mentioned in biblical stories.

This isn’t just any ordinary ingredient – frankincense has a rich history that spans centuries.

Let’s know about the origin of olibanum or frankincense:

Rich History of Frankincense

Its journey starts from ancient times when the three kings gifted three precious presents to baby Jesus, frankincense in one of them and the other two gold & myrrh.

That’s why people consider frankincense oil the King of Oils in the fragrance world.

This luxurious element comes from three different types of Boswellia trees and Boswellia carterii is the most renowned one. Others are, Boswellia frereana, Boswellia neglecta, and Boswellia rivae.

In modern times, these trees are found in Southern Arabia, Eastern Africa, and India.

The frankincense obtained as a solid resin forms that have a distinctive warm woody aroma. After harvesting the milky white resin manufacturer converts the semi-transparent large chunks into small golden-colored resinous forms.frankincense-history

Just like vintage times, it is still popular all over the world and people use frankincense for its amazing benefits and very sophisticated aroma.

What Does Frankincense Smell Like?

Frankincense is a complex yet harmonious fusion of woody, earthy, herbaceous accords layered with a sweet resinous, and citrusy-piney undertone. It’s a perfect combination of several strong aromas that work as a relaxing and calming element in perfumes.

Overall, you can say it’s a multidimensional scent that unfolds different smells with time.

Frankincense has a very grounding aroma with its rich and warm touches. It offers a cozy, calming nature to the scent that makes it feel almost therapeutic – which is also explained in several religious novels.

There is a very woody, somewhat smokey, and slightly spicy tone to the aroma of frankincense. There are some touches of pine, which makes it feel really clean and refreshing.

This sort of explanation gives you a solid reason for why it is used in colognes and fragrances so often.

Whether it’s perfumes, colognes, candles, or other scented products, the incorporation of frankincense makes the fragrant trail even more captivating and relaxing.

Frankincense or olibanum is most commonly used as a base and heart note in modern perfumes.

That’s because it provides a rich and warm background for the floral, citrus, and woody scents to add sophistication and elegance to perfumes.frankincense-smell-like

In a word, perfumers love to use frankincense’s complex aroma to achieve a desirable seductive aura, which also radiates an erotic perfume projection.

Nonetheless, people are also confused between olibanum and myrrh because it also holds a hype from ancient times and looks pretty similar. But they are totally different. While myrrh spreads a bold, smoky aroma, frankincense reveals a soothing and piney-like smell.

Perfume Accords Paired Frankincense Smell Amazingly

As we all know, frankincense has a mixed aroma that combines other accords differently and enhances the overall scented journey.

I must admit, this ingredient is amazingly infused with other notes. Still, in the perfume world, there are some significant notes, which complement this accord more finely.

Well, let’s take a look at those accords that paired perfectly with frankincense:

Lavender: Frankincense has woody, balsamic notes with a subtle sweetness that combines effortlessly with the herbal, floral tone of lavender and elevates the overall scent together.
Bergamot: The fresh citrusy smell of bergamot infused with the spicy, slightly zesty tone of frankincense, brings a clean, stimulating vibe to you.
Geranium: Frankincense adds some soft, balsamic, woody tone to the rosy, spicy, citrusy nuance of geranium that helps to boost your mind instantly.
Sea Notes: The aquatic, sultry effect of sea notes, softens the warm woody, herby tone of frankincense and offers a soothing, tranquilizing feel.
Red pepper: Frankincense and red pepper both accords carry a sweet pungency that is enhanced distinctively after combining them.
Patchouli: A mix of woody, musky smell of patchouli amazingly layered with the sweet, balsamic essence of frankincense and makes the overall scent more sensual and dense.

Basically, these are the notable accords that are often paired with frankincense and uplift the aroma even more beautifully.

What Are The Uses And Benefits Of Frankincense?

Over the years, frankincense has become a reliable and popular name in the fragrance world. Not only in perfumery, but this multifaceted aroma also earns huge recognition in other sectors.

Let’s know the uses & benefits of frankincense smell:

Frankincense is massively used in skincare and cosmetics. Its pure essential oil works amazingly in the anti-aging process and keeps your skin soft & glowing.

Along with the beauty product, the woody-earthy, soothing aroma of frankincense is highly recommended in meditation & aromatherapy. The frankincense oil helps to calm your mind. It reduces stress and brings positive thoughts to you.

Additionally, frankincense oil has been used in candles that exude wellness molecules and purifying properties. Its smooth smoky essence gives a fresh and spiritual aura.

We all know, people love to make their own perfumes and oils. And luckily you can make your desired composition by blending frankincense extract with other aromatic oils, such as lavender, rosemary, &, etc.

Besides their innovative fascination, people also admire the olibanum incense regularly as a home decor element.the-health-benefits-of-frankincense

Its tranquil aura brings a serene vibe and soothing atmosphere to the home.

Over the years, from Catholic Mass, where it’s burned as a symbol of sanctity and purity, to religious rituals in the Middle East, frankincense is a staple in many cultures’ spiritual customs.

These are the most notable sectors where frankincense is used on a regular basis. However, its uses and benefits are not limited to this.

Apart from these segments, frankincense is highly popular in the traditional and modern medical sectors.

Here are the health benefits of frankincense:

  • Frankincense’s antioxidant and nourishing ingredients help to boost the immune system.
  • The essential oil and resinous smell improves the digestive system. Even though it’s not edible, the soothing aroma is used as a natural remedy.
  • The serene and relaxing essence of olibanum or frankincense helps to reduce anxiety.
  • In traditional medicine, frankincense is used to improve asthma and respiratory health.

So, there you go, that pretty much sums up all the uses and benefits of frankincense.

Does Frankincense Smell The Same on Different Note Formation?

Along with frankincense’s diverse use in different sectors, this ingredient is also included in various types of scents, such as men’s colognes, unisex, and feminine perfumes.

Apart from that, the earthy, spicy resinous smell of frankincense can uplift the summer and winter perfume noticeably.

For example, when frankincense appears in the opening and exudes a striking, woody-spicy tone, it resembles the vibe of winter fragrances.  Because the spicy boldness gives a warm and cozy feel in cold snowy weather.

Conversely, whereas frankincense comes across as the base note, it leaves a sweet, balsamic-woody combo that is perfect for summer and spring perfumes.

Most of the time, the nuance of frankincense blends impressively with the unisex fragrances.

However, during the extensive research of frankincense in several perfumes, I found its herbal, timbery effect also suits amazingly on masculine colognes.

Sometimes, you can even feel its presence in feminine perfumes, but at that moment it plays a supportive role in the complete scented journey.

What Are The Best Frankincense Fragrances?

From modern scents to traditional fragrances, frankincense has been incorporated in different forms of aromas to add a woody, eccentric, and rich feel to them.hugo-boss-elixir-parfum

After the descriptive analysis of frankincense, it’s high time to describe some magnificent scents that present frankincense as their main ingredient. So that you can understand the smelling tone better.

Let’s check out the exclusive fragrances:

Frankincense Uniform

In 2023, Uniform composed an amber woody scent with the prominence of frankincense also named “Frankincense”.

From the first sniff of this perfume, a mixed, woody-earthy aroma of olibanum shines brightly and stays as long as the perfume lasts on your skin. Along with the frankincense, a warm, leathery combo appears at the top, and soft, fruity-floral blends in the core.

Finally, a caramelized woody essence mingles with the sweet, balsamic note of olibanum, making the dry-down more comforting and passionate.

Overall, its smoky, intense vibe gives a mature and sensual touch that increases your confidence and desire.

Boss Bottled Elixir Hugo Boss

The next fragrance on this list is Boss Bottled Elixir. It is the updated rendition of Hugo Boss that appeared in 2023 in the perfume realm, with a prominent frankincense aroma.

The opening of this masculine beast is full of the woody, earthy, slightly citrusy essence of olibanum with a subtle spicy hint.

Frankincense’s uplifting aroma stimulates your olfactory experience from every whiff of this cologne with the dry, grassy, woody smell of vetiver & patchouli.

At last, the cologne leaves a warm, musky trail with the earthy, balsamic tone of frankincense.

Due to the marvelous woody, earthy combo users always search for other colognes similar to Boss Bottled Elixir Hugo Boss.

Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir

The last fragrance on my list is a men’s cologne that has a lot of pleasant frankincense in its base notes, and it is Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir by Versace.

In this cologne, frankincense is at the heart of the cologne.

All thanks to frankincense, the scent transitions from a soft, spicy-citrusy opening and finishes off with a passionate, woody-smoky touch.

Not only does it add a lot of depth to the fragrance, but it also makes the other notes, particularly the spices, play out really well.

It’s a very pleasant, sensual, spicy aroma that is perfect for a confident gentleman. That’s why multiple perfumers also produce colognes similar to the Versace Oud Noir.


What scent is similar to frankincense?

Frankincense smell is very similar to the earthy scent that appears with some woody, herbaceous twists. Along with the earthy one, it spreads a pine sap, rosemary & sweet ambery smell.

Why is frankincense essential oil so expensive?

Frankincense essential oil comes with a hefty price because the demand for this essential oil always exceeds the supply.

Do frankincense and myrrh smell the same?

No, frankincense and myrrh smell differently. Whereas myrrh spreads an earthy, bitter aroma, frankincense offers a warm, sweet essence.

Wrapping Up

After reading this whole write-up, I hope now you have all the information about the frankincense you strive for.

This one luxurious element shines amazingly in the fragrance and aromatherapeutic world with its marvelous soothing aura. Frankincense has multifaceted aromas that act distinctively in different climates and energize your mood continuously.

That’s all about the frankincense’s scented story. If you’ve heard anything interesting about it, let me know through the comment box.

Till then, adios!

About The Author
Hello, I’m Nabila Lisha, an avid perfume enthusiast, and a devoted fragrance reviewer. I’m trying to pen content about branded perfumes on a regular basis because I’m fascinated by fragrances. I don’t write for perfumes as a hobby, they are something I’m truly passionate about.

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