A box of incense resins called a Frankincense Myrrh from Oman— the world’s only genuine source of hojari frankincense, mentioned in the Bible.
Puneet K Paliwal
So I went to Oman... just for a day. No obstacle to the conspicuous souvenir hunter, as my rapidly depleting bank balance discovered. For a nation that shuns excess and prides itself on restraint, Oman offers surprisingly rich pickings. From terracotta coffee cups that looked more like candle stands to traditional daggers framed in oversized glass cases, from camel milk chocolates to Omani halva— nothing escaped my hawk-like gaze, or my bottomless satchel. The pinnacle of my loot was this astronomically priced pyramid of incense resins (₹1,600 for dhoopbatti?). True to its Biblical antecedents, it’s called a ‘Frankincense Myrrh and Gold Gift Box’, although the only gold I could find was the lettering on the box (just as well—I’d hate to run afoul of the folks at Customs). It does contain a very special variety of frankincense, harvested from the Boswellia sacra frankincense trees of southern Oman. These are the world’s only genuine source of hojari frankincense, mentioned in the Bible and by Marco Polo and Herodotus. The ancients called it ‘the tears of heaven’. Even though its resin d’être is to burn, the thought of consigning this priceless resin to the flames was enough to bring tears to my eyes.
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