Opoponax Perfume Ingredient: What is It? What Does It Smell Like?

Opoponax is a gum resin from the Commiphora tree family which features woody, oriental smells, with hints of honey and incense.

This perfume ingredient has a smoky profile, lending a bold, exotic touch to an array of unisex perfumes. Its distilled oils have been prized for centuries for their medicinal properties, as well as the intense, earthy perfume they give out.

What is Opoponax?

It’s an oleo-gum-resin found beneath the bark of the Commiphora guidotti tree subspecies. Also known as Commiphora erythraea, this resinous perfume has been used for centuries in Somalian traditional medicine and culture.

The resinous substance goes through a steam distillation process to extract its essential oils while preserving the unique perfume. Today, the same perfume is used in many acclaimed oriental fragrances for its hypnotizing, warm perfume properties.

What Does Opoponax Smell Like?

Much like other perfumes obtained from the Commiphora species, the odor profile of this gum resin features opulent oriental accords. Often nicknamed sweet myrrh or bisabol myrrh, its perfume is balsamic and woody, with a sweet, honey-smelling aroma.

This deep, resinous perfume is occasionally associated with bitter caramel or even mahogany shavings. Its hints of smoke are reminiscent of incense, creating the ideal base perfume to complement more exotic, fruity scents.

The unique perfume has been acclaimed since biblical times when King Solomon praised it for being “the noblest of all incense gums.”

What Scent Family is Opoponax?

Along with other earthy tones like frankincense, this beautiful fragrance belongs to the oriental perfume family. 

Opulent and rich, this type of perfume has been symbolizing elegance and mystery for centuries.

This incense-scented perfume is also part of the woody oriental subfamily, which also includes earthy aromas like sandalwood. This perfume category is often softened by the sweetness of vanilla or toned down by warm, amber hints.

What are the Benefits of Opoponax?

Besides its use in perfumery, opoponax oil is also renowned for its health benefits:

Improving the Respiratory System

This resinous perfume was found to reduce respiratory problems caused by flu and common colds. More precisely, it can reduce spasms which appear as an inflammatory response to the respiratory system.

Reducing Muscular Discomfort

Applying this natural product directly to the skin can reduce local inflammation caused by injuries or exercise. It might be equally effective in reducing joint pain as a result of chronic illnesses like arthritis.

Promoting Relaxation

Both opoponax and its close perfume relatives, scented myrrh oil and frankincense, are used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety. One of its components, called b-ocimene, has relaxing properties that amplify calmness, thus reducing the long-term risk of mental illnesses. 

Is Opoponax Feminine or Masculine Scent?

Since this perfume is part of the oriental perfume family, its bold, opulent fragrance often inspires masculinity. In this case, perfume manufacturers often mix it with a more exotic perfume like orange or mandarin, to create a seductive, elegant atmosphere.

Since it also smells like resinous materials, though, this perfume brings out the flower-scented delicacy found in many feminine scents.

Best Perfumes with Opoponax Notes 

This deep, unforgettable perfume has enraptured some of the biggest names in the perfumery universe. It can be best enjoyed in many a perfume, including:

1. Henry Jacques Rose Oudh

This perfume is an ode to oriental aromas that take you on a sensual, yet romantic journey. The top perfume, consisting of geranium and violet leaf, provides a sweet scent washed by earthy scented materials, including amber, and a deep agarwood perfume that becomes evident in the dry-down.

The resulting mix inspires nostalgia and warmth, turning the perfume bottle into an autumn daytime favorite.

2. Kenzo Flower

The simplicity of this full bottle encapsulates sweet, floral notes of Bulgarian rose and hawthorn, complemented by exotic citrus. 

Incense embraces the middle perfume of sweet myrrh and jasmine for a voluptuous yet delicate perfume.

3. Diptyque Eau Lente

Described as a bold amber perfume, this option has been a delight for both genders ever since it was launched in 1986. Its cinnamon top note is amplified by spicy middle accents, which make it an ideal perfume for both day and night. 

Contrary to its simple formula, this perfume emits mystery and elegance like no other.

4. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

A modern olfactory approach, this award-winning 2001 perfume has fast become a luxury consumer favorite. A testing strip is more than enough to detect the exotic top perfume of Turkish rose and ylang ylang. 

The award-winning formula then continues with earthy, sensual scents of white musk, and a base note of patchouli, all sweetened by a delicate vanilla perfume.

The Bottom Line

Opoponax is a resinous perfume material extracted from underneath the bark of a Commiphora tree subspecies called Erythraea. Traditionally used in medicine, this perfume has been acclaimed for its exotic, oriental hint, which gives a sense of both elegance and opulence.

Today, people still use its extracted perfume as a natural remedy for anxiety or muscle soreness. The perfume also has calming properties that ease anxiety, while creating a remarkable olfactory experience.