Agarwood in the Bible

Agarwood tree (Aquilaria agollocha)

Agarwood tree (Aquilaria agollocha)

Agarwood is mentioned five times in the Bible. Four times in the Old Testament (Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8, Proverbs 7:17, Song of Solomon 4:14) and once in the New Testament (John 19:39). It is sometimes referred to as aloes or aloeswood in these passages, which has  nothing to do with the aloe vera plant that we know of today.

In the Numbers passage, Balaam the prophet was also a sorcerer (Numbers 24:1). He was talking to Balak the king of the Moabites who wanted him to curse Israel, but he blessed them instead. He was speaking about Israel by metaphorically comparing Israel to aloes, also suggesting that God was speaking through Baalam. Aloes trees grew in India and China, and were included with other plants to make good spices, it seems. It is possible that this tree could have been cultivated around the Jordan valley during this time.

Sugar Cane Juice with Rose Tea & Lime

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What is tincturing?

Tincturing is when you take flowers, fruits, herbs, leaves or any other plant materials (fresh, not dried) and soak them in undenatured alcohol for a long period of time so that you can extract and capture their scent. The alcohol solution is usually stored in a clean, sterilized wide-mouth jar in a cool, dark place and at regular intervals - for… Read More

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Borough Market

Have you ever been to Borough Market? These are some photos I took last July during my visit there. Besides being London’s oldest market – it dates back to the 13th century - Borough Market is the busiest, you’ll find it on a large site near the famous London Bridge. On a Saturday – the day that we went –… Read More

Rum caramels from Agapey Chocolate Factory

A visit to the Agapey Chocolate Factory  is on my must-do list this year. This locally-based artisan chocolatier produces single-source, richly flavoured chocolate bars from high quality cocoa beans and natural ingredients sourced locally and throughout the region. They use three types of cocoa beans in their chocolate – rare criollo, trinitario and nacional cacao – the characteristics of each of these three… Read More

Sugar Cane Soaps

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Rose de Granville

This video by the House of Dior describes how their plant researchers have developed their very own species of rose – Rose de Granville – which they breed and cultivate exclusively for the fashion house in the Loire Valley, France. The rose is grown organically in the Dior Gardens, under special climatic and horticultural conditions which… Read More

A soursop perfume?

Soursop is well-known as a fruity-food product in the Caribbean, used to flavour punches, ice creams, desserts and juices. Although not as easy to come by these days, it remains an important part of local culinary heritage. But how would it translate as a fragrance? One of the natural chemicals that gives soursop its lovely… Read More