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Bo’khoor البخور


Have you ever came across people that are holding an object that produces a thick smoke -probably smells wired to you- and they are literally trying to saturate themselves with that smoke? If you seen this before, congratulations! you have been in Gulf for too long; just kidding. But really, ever wondered what is that?

Bo’khoor is a fragrant aromatic wood, that is highly used in the gulf in many occasions. As it can be seen in the picture, Bo’khoor is basically tree stems of certain special trees. Those stems then go through natural and artificial processes to gain particular qualities qualifies them to be used as Aromatic substance/agent.

These trees grow mainly in East Asia in many countries like: Indonesia, Malaysia, South China, and India. The appropriate tree for Bo’khoor must be 20-30 years old years old tree-sometimes older-. Believe it or not! these stems develop their fragrant properties as a result of fungal attack, which transforms the white wood color to darker shade of brown (color is an indicator of Bo’khoor quality grade).

Ok! am not gonna bore you with the processing details. Let’s jump to the sensorial characters, shall we!

You already know this thing comes from wood, you are expecting the woody aromas, right? those notes are there, but that’s not all. First you need charcoal or a special instrument so stems start producing the aromatic smoke.

This Blue-ish white cloudy smoke will contain mainly the following aroma notes in different concentrations:
Agarwood (patchouli like aroma), woody, Sandalwood, some burnt notes, cinnamon hints.

As many ladies use it to fragrance their hair, clothes, and personal belongings; they like to personalize the aroma as well by adding some oils like: Amber, Musk, jasmine -floral scents; or add some spices or powders like: Saffron, sage, and Arabic Gum. It is used also to spread scent to the room, hall, or furniture. In Western region they even use it to perfume cups to serve water and juice for special guests.

It might smell weird and intense for you at first, but once you mingle in any gulf culture, you will smell it’s hints everywhere. As it holds very sentimental value to the region. It reminds us of our holey occasions, weddings, spiritual gatherings, grandmah’s house! and because it used to be (and some kinds still are) expensive, you will only smell it in the very important events.


Would like to highlight one last fact before closing, Bo’khoor is totally different from Incense. might be same in concept, but source and aroma are nothing alike.

So tell us, have you came across Bo’khoor before? How was your experience?

Hope you liked the article!

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