What Does Myrrh Smell Like: Unveiling the Aromatic Enigma

Written by: Igneous Products



Time to read 3 min


Myrrh, a resin with a rich history dating back centuries, has fascinated humanity with its alluring scent and versatile applications. In this article, we delve into the question "what does myrrh smell like?" and explore its aromatic profile, cultural importance, and practical uses.

What Does Myrrh Smell Like?

Normal myrrh typically refers to various species of the Commiphora genus that produce resin with a more traditional myrrh aroma, characterized by earthy, balsamic, and resinous notes. Sweet myrrh, on the other hand, specifically refers to Commiphora erythraea, which has a sweeter, more balsamic, and slightly fruity scent compared to other myrrh varieties. It's important to note that the distinction in aroma comes from the different chemical compositions of the resins produced by these plants. Imagine stepping into a tranquil forest, where the scent of pine mingles with a warm, balsamic undertone. Myrrh exudes a comforting aura that's simultaneously grounding and spiritually uplifting. Its fragrance is often described as:

An image of myrrh resin in a rustic bowl surronded by flowers charcoal and incense burner

Normal Myrrh Resins:

Earthy and Resinous:

Normal myrrh resins carry a distinct earthy and resinous aroma, evoking images of ancient forests and natural landscapes.

Balsamic Undertones:

These resins often feature deep balsamic undertones, adding a layer of complexity to the fragrance profile.

Sweet Myrrh Resins (Commiphora Erythraea):

Sweeter Notes:

Sweet myrrh, also known as Commiphora Erythrea, has a sweeter scent profile compared to traditional myrrh, with hints of fruitiness and warmth.

Accentuated Balsamic Sweetness:

One of the defining characteristics of sweet myrrh resins is the accentuated balsamic notes that interact seamlessly with its inherent sweetness.  This particular combination of balsamic richness and underlying sweetness gives rise to a fragrance that not only delights the senses but also has the potential to invoke a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

Exploring Myrrh: Uses and Applications

Myrrh's distinct scent has made it a sought-after ingredient in various products, from perfumes and incense to skincare and traditional medicine. Here are some of its intriguing applications:
An image of myrrh resin in a rustic bowl


Myrrh's captivating scent has a rich history of use in religious ceremonies and meditation practices. Its myrrh scent is believed to purify the air and create a sacred ambiance.


Perfumers treasure myrrh for its unique ability to elevate myrrh perfumes, adding depth and complexity to fragrances. It serves as a base note that enhances the overall olfactory experience.


Myrrh boasts potential skincare benefits, with its soothing properties often harnessed in moisturizers, serums, and creams. It's believed to promote healthy-looking skin.

Traditional Medicine:

Throughout history, myrrh has been used in traditional medicine for its potential therapeutic properties. It has been associated with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

The Cultural Significance of Myrrh

Myrrh's significance extends beyond its fragrance; it holds cultural and historical importance in various societies:
An image of myrrh resin in a rustic bowl

Ancient Rituals:

Myrrh has played a role in religious rituals and ceremonies in cultures across the globe. It was a precious offering in ancient times.

Gifts of the Magi:

In Christian tradition, myrrh is one of the three gifts presented to the baby Jesus by the Magi. This symbolic gesture underscores its value.

Egyptian Legacy:

Ancient Egyptians used myrrh in embalming rituals, associating it with preservation and transition.

FAQs about Myrrh's Fragrance

An image showcasing a magnifying glass focused on myrrh resin, symbolizing the reader

Is myrrh a perfume?

Yes, myrrh's complexity allows it to be used as a standalone fragrance, with its balsamic sweetness adding a comforting touch.

Is myrrh's scent overpowering?

While myrrh has a strong scent, it's not overpowering. Its earthy and resinous notes create a balanced and soothing aroma.

Can myrrh be used as a standalone fragrance?

Yes, myrrh's complexity allows it to be enjoyed on its own. Its balsamic sweetness adds a comforting touch.

Does myrrh's scent change over time?

Like many natural fragrances, myrrh's scent can evolve subtly as it interacts with the air and your skin.

Can myrrh be blended with other scents?

Absolutely, myrrh blends well with citrus, floral, and woody notes, offering endless possibilities for fragrance creation.

Is myrrh scent gender-specific?

Myrrh's versatile fragrance is not limited by gender. Its earthiness and warmth appeal to a broad spectrum of preferences.

Is myrrh safe for topical use?

Generally, myrrh is considered safe for topical application. However, it's recommended to perform a patch test and follow product instructions.


Intrigued by the captivating aroma of myrrh? Its earthy, resinous, and balsamic notes combine to create a fragrance that's both ancient and timeless. Whether used in spiritual practices, perfumery, skincare, or traditional medicine, myrrh's aromatic enigma continues to inspire and captivate. Explore the world of myrrh and uncover the secrets behind its alluring scent.

Myrrh resins packet by igneous products