In the Russian Church, benzoin is chiefly employed.
The idea held by several writers, including Niebuhr, that frankincense was a product of India, would seem to have originated in a confusion of that drug with benzoin and other odoriferous substances, and also in the sale of imported frankincense with the native products of India.
Besides these aromatic substances named in the Bible, the following must also be enumerated on account of their common use as incense in the East; benzoin or gum benjamin, first mentioned among Western writers by Ibn Batuta (1325-1349) under the name of lubdn d'Javi (i.e.
The produce of the Eastern Islands is also collected at its ports for re-exportation to India, China and Europe - namely, gold-dust, diamonds, camphor, benzoin and other drugs; edible bird-nests, trepang, rattans, beeswax, tortoiseshell, and dyeing woods from Borneo and Sumatra; tin from Banka; spices from the Moluccas; fine cloths from Celebes and Bali; and pepper from Sumatra.
It occurs naturally in some resins, especially in gum benzoin (from Styrax benzoin), in dragon's blood, and as a benzyl ester in Peru and Tolu balsams. It can be prepared by the oxidation of toluene, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde and cinnamic acid; by the oxidation of benzene with manganese dioxide and concentrated sulphuric acid in the cold (L.
Besides this there are bois de cannelle, olive-tree, benzoin (Croton Benzoe), colophane (Colophonia), and iron-wood, all of which are useful in carpentry; 1 See Geog.
Pepper, nutmegs and cloves were long the objects of the most important branch of Dutch commerce; and gutta-percha, camphor, dammar, benzoin and other forest products have a place among the exports.
Large quantities of benzoin are used as incense.
At marriage they burn benzoin with nim seeds (Melia Azadirachta, Roxburgh) to keep off evil spirits, and prepare the bride-cakes by putting a quantity of benzoin between layers of wheaten dough, closed all round, and frying them in clarified butter.