APRC logo
Boswellia tree with frankincense resin




Boswellia is primarily grown in Somalia, Southern Arabia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and other African countries. Each species has a unique chemical profile when distilled, as well as distinguishing botanical factors.


Each species of Boswellia has a different harvesting cycle. Resin is harvested by making cuts into the bark of the tree and collecting the resin that seeps out.


The harvesters of frankincense have multiple buyers across the world. Sustainability of the species is dependent on buyers demanding sustainable practices from their suppliers.


Boswellia forests in Somaliland face the challenge of decreasing trees and an increase demand in frankincense. In many communities throughout the growing region, frankincense harvesting is the only, or by far the dominant, industry. Taking pressure off the frankincense trees will require alternative opportunities in the long term.


Frankincense, the resin from Boswellia trees, has been a significant export since biblical times. Already a rare commodity, the demand for frankincense from the essential oil industry has pushed frankincense species to a near threatened level.

Pile of frankincense resin

Our Work

Dr. DeCarlo has worked with growers in Somaliland and Ethiopia to determine the issues that face the frankincense trees and the opportunities for growth. Finding several over-harvested trees, Dr. DeCarlo saw that the trees are dying due to the increased demand for the resin. Her proposal for sustainable frankincense requires implementing forest protection and enforcement.


Frankincense Adulteration

Frankincense Adulteration

we’d like to share the GC-MS results for the frankincense oil we adulterated as well as its original oxidized state.

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo: Part 2

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo: Part 2

And then, of course, we spend a lot of time with the local communities. We go out to the communities because you can’t just talk to them on

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo

And frankincense, really, has needed modernization. Desperately. Especially now with the demand for it more and more because it’s such good

Blog Posts



APRC® engages with a diverse group of clients with a variety of backgrounds and needs. We are committed to providing a wide range of aromatic plant product analyses in addition to producing top-notch research and developing new technologies.

We look forward to sharing our groundbreaking discoveries as we progress in our mission to produce uncompromising research, analysis, and testing services to the broader essential oil, extracts, and products produced from aromatic plants from around the world.

© 2021 by Aromatic Plant Research Center

Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC) is a state-of-the-art laboratory that utilizes a variety of methods to detect adulteration and confirm the purity of natural products. Our executive advisory board is internationally renowned for quality control testing and expertise within the aromatic plant industry.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


Aromatic Plant Research Center

230 N 1200 E. 

Suite 100

Lehi, Utah 84043


Thanks for submitting!