Everything you need to know about Bakhoor
What is Bakhoor?
Bakhoor/bakhour/bukhoor; this is the name given to unique wood chips which are soaked in fragrant perfume oils or other natural ingredients from flower oils to resins. These chips are then burned in special charcoal burners in order to unleash the deep and rich woody fragrances throughout the entire vicinity. This tradition is common in Arabian culture and often performed on special occasions or even as a form of relaxation throughout the house. The Bakhoor is often passed among guests within the main living area(majlis) as a signal of respect and hospitality
What is Bakhoor Made Of?
Generally, when we refer a woodchip as Bakhoor then it means the chip encompasses muattar, mamool and mabthooth. Mabsoos/Mabthooth is generally referred to specific term for when shavings of oud wood are also used and soaked in fragrant oils and they are often combined with other botanical sources of fragrance such as herbs. Bakhoor is made mainly of natural ingredients and every creator of bakhoor has their secret recipe that distinguishes her/him from others. Some of these makers inherited the art of making Bakhoor from their great ancestors and still keep the secret from generation to generation. In Yemen, Oman and other Arab countries, it’s called Bakhoor while others in the Gulf countries it’s known as Bukhoor. They are the same but in Yemen and some Arab countries Bakhoor is hand-made using “cooking method” (on fire) while other countries use “baking method” where resins are made by baking (similar to clay where direct fire is not used). The longer the Bakhoor kept on a closed glass jar, the better the scent become. Mastery of bakhoor making may take years and sometimes the skills are brought down for one generation to the next.
How to Choose Good Quality Bakhoor?
If you’re a newbie or haven’t used the Bakhoor before, you need to pay attention to pick the right quality bakhoor chips.
Bakhoor is often sold in low quality forms with minimal agarwood content in order to reduce its price. This however also reduces its quality as agarwood oud is the reason for the high price tag on most bakhoor due to its rarity and potent scent. The bakhoor market can easily fool you into purchasing bakhoor with low quality or minimal oud content bakhoor in exchange for a more reasonable price.
However, there are manufacturers who indeed value the process of incense-making and manufacture the high-quality Bakhoor using top grade Oud, incenses and natural perfume oils. Though their products are expensive than the rest available in market. This why we suggest exploring other forms of the same scent such as our bakhoor scented oil which is more suitable for people who wants to experience the fragrance but in a much more concentrated and direct format that can be applied as perfume rather than to the entire atmosphere. Our Bakhoor attar oil has a remarkably similar scent to bakhoor despite having no agarwood content allowing us to share the bakhoor fragrance with people of all budgets.
How to Use/Burn Bakhoor at Home?
The most effective way to burn bakhoor and distribute is wonderful scent through large areas is by burning it. This is the most common way and for good reason as the bakhoor oil is realised into the atmosphere and diffuses to every corner of the room.
To burn Bakhoor at home, you will require to keep below things handy:
1. bakhoor chips
2. Incense burner
3. charcoal discs
The bakhoor is then ready to be burned by these following steps:
· Place a charcoal disk inside the Incense burner
· Apply fire to the plate till you see sparkles along the coal
· Soon after, you’ll observe grey ash over the top which means the disc is ready.
· Now place the bakhoor on disc and you’re ready to experience the fascinating bakhoor aroma
Let the smoke of fragrance fill the air of the place but not too much since this can take much oxygen from the room. The fragrance stays there after the smoke goes away. Don’t open the windows till the room is saturated with the fragrance carried by the smoke of Bakhoor.
To perfume the clothes with Bakhoor, just expose the cloth directly to the smoke of Bakhoor for a good 5 minutes.
Please be careful not to make fire when using charcoal and incense burners at home also it is safe not to burn Bakhoor while there is somebody sleeping in place since this can take some oxygen from the room (open windows after the room is saturated with the fragrance smoke).When you are done with process of burning bakhoor, cowl the mabkhara with a clay dish to stifle the coal plate and only wipe out the coal once you are sure that it’s absolutely cold.
History of Bakhoor
The extremely wealthy ancient Chinese used to make their coffins out of this aloeswood while in Buddhism, the most precious Buddhist string of beads numbering to 108 is made of agarwood. The burning of fragrant wood chips to perfume homes and clothes are prominent among Chinese nobleman. Agarwood also has been associated with the Chinese tradition of Feng shui, a discipline of governing the flow of energy in a particular place, and the Oud wood and fragrant incense has been associated with producing good luck and positive energy wherever it is placed.
It was the eminent Queen of Yemen, Arwa Suleyhi, who would send large wooden boxes of Bakhoor to Najaf, Karbala and Egypt.When it was burnt the atmosphere of the sacred cities became very pleasant and people knew that the gift from Yemen has reached its destination.
Romans and Greeks are also known to have used Bakhoor in religious rituals. It would be transported over thousands of miles up to the Mediterranean, before it could be traded on to Europe. Bakhoor was also used in vast quantities by the ancient Egyptians. History holds vast evidence of the uses of Bakhoor in Biblical literature too. It was one of the fragrances presented to the infant Nabi Essa and is always used during religious ceremonies. After the fall of the Roman Empire the newly established Christian Church adopted several ceremonies – including the ritual burning of Bakhoor. It is well recorded that it was the practice of all king of England once a year to offer Bakhoor and Myrrh on the Feast of Epiphany (Jan. 6th).
In addition, Bakhoor was widely used for important ceremonies, such as the consecration of churches and bishops. Then of course Spain was ruled for centuries under Muslims, again giving a magnificent opportunity to spread the Muslim customs in those regions. Later on, the Ottomans promoted the cultural heritage of Islam in the west through their military expeditions, whose evidence still remains visible today. According to the valuable sources of “Qaratees al Yamaniyah”, during the period of Suleyhi Power, first from Sana’a and later Zeejiblah, a large quantity of costly Bakhoor along with other fragrances were regularly presented to the Al Haramyn al Sharefyin, Kabah and Rauzat al Nabawi.
What are the benefits of Bakhoor?
Bakhoor is often associated with its ability to instill calmness and relaxation in the nervous system, its ability to maximise focus and alertness when used and, as some say, the positive effect it gives to one’s libido system when used regularly. Bakhoor is indeed an aromatherapy, is not gender-specific and can be enjoyed by both sexes, though some females may prefer a blended version of Bakhoor due to the strong potent smell of the pure Oud Bakhoor. In the Middle East, men and women burn Bakhoor to fragrance their houses and also their clothes so that the lasting scent will permeate the whole garment.
Saudi women walk around the house holding the burner to scatter the smoke in every room. They also wave their abayas and clothing above the smoke so that it picks up the amazingly very long-lasting scent. Other Saudi women use Oud and Bakhoor as body perfume by applying ‘dehan‘ a ‘spreadable form’ on their hair. They put some of the dehan on the tip of their fingers and run it through their wet hair, or they just wave themselves, their clothes & hair over & around the smoke coming out of the Bakhoor burner.
It then perfumes the home, clothing & upholstery such as curtains, Sofas & carpets, with a rich thick scented smoke that is very long lasting. This procedure is commonly practiced in many Arab homes, on special occasions like weddings, the special day of Jumma Friday, or when expecting guests. It is also popular to use bukhoor when wanting to eliminate stubborn odours like Tobacco, pet smells or cooking smells, fried foods or especially after having cooked something as strong smelling as fish.
Having said that though, Bukhoor is not completely alien to the rest of the world. Christians are frequently seen using bukhoor & burning it in the same method as the Arabs do, during church services and at Christian homes as well, for blessing.
Specific types of Oud inhaled in certain quantities, is also used to traditionally treat asthma, chest congestion, colic, nausea, kidney problems, thyroid cancer, lung tumours, and post childbirth. It is also a general tonic in China, India and Japan.
The use of Oud oils, wood chips and bakhoor is ancient beyond memorial
since the time of the Sanskrit, Toral, Gospel and the Moslem scriptures. Bakhoor calms the body and mind, invoking a feeling of harmony and vigour.
The benefits that are involved with Bakhoor are vast, ranging from psychoactive and spiritual, to therapeutic and medicinal. Keep in mind that the information we share below is only for your general information and is not to be relied for diagnostic and treatment purposes.
Bakhoor calms the body, removes destructive and negative energies, provides enhanced awareness, reduces fear, invokes a feeling of vigour and harmony, and enhances mental functionality
Bakhoor eases neurotic and obsessive behaviour and helps create harmony and balance in our home
Bakhoor is highly psychoactive
Bakhoor is highly effective for meditation, enlightenment, bringing deep tranquillity and relaxation
Bakhoor is suggested by proficient masters for giving inspiration and the imperative affection for meditation
Buddhists deploy oud woods for transmutation of ignorance. Tibetan monks utilize it to convey energy to wind down the mind and spirit. The Sufis and Japanese shamans use agarwood oil in their esoteric rites.
Bakhoor helps to improve mental clarity, opens the third eye and all of the upper chakras while calming the whole entire spiritual system.
Medically, Oud Bakhoor is a tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, relieves epilepsy, antimicrobial, carminative, anti-asthmatic.
Cleanliness, uplifting scents with tranquil atmospheres are always appreciated
in spiritual and prayer places.
Bakhoor creates a peaceful, tranquil, refreshing, uplifting & inspiring atmosphere
Bakhoor opens one mind to spirituality & diverts from worldly impurities
Bakhoor keeps the mind alert and gives the mind leisure when it is busy
Age does not affect the efficacy of Bakhoor & its habitual use causes no harm
Burning Bakhoor is a soothing & uplifting activity in itself
Bakhoor is a good haemostatic, antiseptic and a good healing agent
Bakhoor dispels malicious & distressing psychic forces
Bakhoor when used frequently may improves memory