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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

The Spice Market in Dubai

by Andrea Butje on May 26, 2014

Goods at the spice market in DubaiEarly one morning, we took a small boat across a canal in Dubai to reach the spice and herb market.

This is not your ordinary market—the spice market is filled with the aroma of burning frankincense resins, and with the colorful, aromatic presence of the herbs and spices being sold. Every few steps someone is doing their best to get you to come into their area and buy their goods. It's loud, confusing, and chaotic—but it smells great!

another booth at the spice market

In some places, there are different kinds of burners sitting atop the spice bags, filled with charcoal, herbs and resins, creating the smoke that fills the market with the rich aroma of the United Arab Emirates. We saw huge cinnamon sticks, dried lavender and rose flowers, turmeric, ginger, dried lemons, cloves, salt, frankincense and myrrh resins, and so much more.

Shelves at the spice marketI bought a ceramic resin burner (see the picture below) and some charcoal to burn the resins I was given at the frankincense distillery the day before. For the next two weeks, we burned the resins every day in the Seychelles Islands to keep the mosquitoes away at dawn and dusk—it worked great! We stayed in an open-air room and slept with the doors wide open, so the resin smoke was a huge help in keeping the bugs away . . . not to mention the aroma was divine.

I bought one of these ceramic burners and some charcoal.

I've never seen so much frankincense resin before! Most of the merchants at the spice market bought their resins from the distiller we visited, and they import it all from Somaliland. There is a wonderful distillery in Vermont, USA that also imports all their resin directly from Somaliland, and they distill the most beautiful certified organic Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils. This is the link to their company called Boswellness.

So much frankincense for sale at the spice market!

Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: distillers, Essential Oil Distillers, Aromatherapy Education, Essential Oils, Our Distiller Trips, Frankincense, Myrrh, travel

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