Galbanum is an aromatic gum resin, the product of certain umbelliferous Persian plant species, chiefly Ferula gummosa (synonym F. galbaniflua) and Ferula rubricaulis. Galbanum-yielding plants grow plentifully on the slopes of the mountain ranges of northern Iran. It occurs usually in hard or soft, irregular, more or less translucent and shining lumps, or occasionally in separate tears, of a light-brown, yellowish or greenish-yellow colour, and has a disagreeable, bitter taste, a peculiar, somewhat musky odour, an intense green scent, and a specific gravity of 1.212. It contains about 8% terpenes; about 65% of a resin which contains sulfur; about 20% gum; and a very small quantity of the colorless crystalline substance umbelliferone.
It also contains a-pinene, b-pinene, limonene, cadinene, 3-carene, and ocimene.Galbunum has been used as a medicinal and aromatherapeutic ingredient since ancient times. References to galbanum may be found in the Old Testament, in the writings of Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) and in Pliny’s Natural History. It was used primarily as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antiseptic agent, and as an anti-spasmodic treatment for women during childbirth. The ancient Egyptians imported mass quantities of galbanum from Persia, to use in their religious ceremonies, in embalming and as a therapeutic healing aid.Galbanum has an intense green fragrance with woody and balsamic elements. Often described as earthy or forest-like, this fragrance compound is valued for its ability to impart a rich, spicy green scent.
Perfumers use galbanum both as a strong top note in "green" fragrances and as a base note in combination with musk and/or chypre elements such as oakmoss and pine.Fragrances for women that feature the perfume ingredient galbanum include Chanel No. 19, Guerlain Vol De Nuit, Cartier Must, Balmain Vent Vert, Fresh Galbanum Patchouli, Prince Matchabelli Cachet, Il Profumo Chocolat, Bill Blass Nude, Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d'Amour, Molinard Les Fleurs: Fleur de Figuier, Issey Miyake A Scent, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Chloe Eau de Fleurs Capucine and Azzaro Couture.
Men's fragrances featuring galbanum in their scent composition include Etienne Aigner Private Number, Serge Lutens Borneo 1834, Aramis Devin, Miller Harris Patchouli, Laura Biagiotti. Galbanum essential oil was holy anointing oil and was highly treasured for spiritual use going back to the time of the Egyptians. Use it for meditation and increasing spiritual awareness through the heart and crown chakras.