Oil of GALBANUM
By Nicole Perez
Copyright: ©Nicole Perez 2005
Note: This article or part of it cannot be reproduced in any form or means without the consent of the author.
The name Galbanum (Latin Gal’ba*num) is said to
Plant of ferula galbaniflua
Ferula galbaniflua is native to Persia (Northern India and Afghanistan
particularly) but nowaday the gum mostly comes from Iran. The plant
grows spontaneously and produces large flowering heads that resemble
the heads of Angelica archangelica or fennel. Until recent years, plants of ferula Galbaniflua have been in abundant supply in the wild, however, concerns have been raised that it may soon become an endangered species. The good news is that this beautiful and ancient plant can be cultivated, but I wasn’t able to find anything much on its cultivation. Angelica archangelica
Exodus 30:34 & 30:35
- ‘And the Lord said unto Moses: - take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight.
A unique and sophisticated scent
The odour of Galbanum essential oil is totally unique, a bit overpowering and at first not very pleasant, but in common with other intense essential oils’ scents, it grows on you. At first, a ‘greeness’ akin to the the sap of evergreen shrubs dominates all olfactory sensations, but as its full fragrance expands and mixes with the air, it reveals many, complex and convoluted trails. The air becomes sweeter and fills with the comforting scents of balsam, spice and wood and slowly discloses hidden intimations of musk. And so it goes, other scents unfold creating new scented trails until one is unable to smell anything further.
Not surprisingly, Galbanum is greatly appreciated and used in fine perfumery as it gives a natural scent of ‘green-ess’ to a fragrance and will also be a fixative for the other scents. When blended with other scents, Galbanum adds a touch of leafy outdoor to the overall fragrance. The secret of using Galabanum succesfully in an Aromatherapy blend is to use very little, as often one drop may be almost too much.
Galbanum oil is preferably used in conjunction with lighter, refreshing and less complex essential oils such as Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit and also Rose unless making a more voluptuous fragrance where it can be added to Ylang-Ylang, Frankincense, Jasmine, Palmarosa, Cardamon, Tuberose or Lotus.
Galbanum is a very important scent for certain psychosomatic problems such as panic attacks caused by stress. Some people have suggested that it can be helpful with claustrophobia and agrophobia because of its earthy nature and may be good for S.A.D. or for people who are confined indoors.
Marguerite Maury, specifically recommends it for mature skin in a blend of Elemi, Galbanum, Violet leaves and Lemongrass.
Care should be taken not to apply it neat or blended to young skin, open wounds or cuts as it can be a skin irritant.
Main Chemical Components: