THE THREE wise men may have brought it as a gift to baby Jesus, but now a Lostwithiel firm is to distill the oldest perfume oil in the world – frankincense.
It may be more widely known from nativity celebrations but Green Cart Farm Perfumery near Lostwithiel is distilling high grade frankincense essential oil which could command the highest prices in the world market
The essential oil of frankincense - an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia native to the tropical regions of Africa and India - is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin.
The distillation facilities and laboratory at Green Cart Farm are one of only a handful in England that can produce such a superior essential oil and extract additional enhanced products.
Green Cart will be assisting the Somaliland cooperative Asli Maydi Ltd to enhance and diversify the product lines, oil yields and boswellic acid extracts from their precious frankincense resin.
“We have teamed up with a Somaliland cooperative that is passing on the increased value of the perfume oil and boswellic acid products to the tribal families who harvest and sort the resin,” Ben Hands of Green Cart Farm said.
“We are a carbon neutral company, any venture we enter into has to fit our strict self-sustaining model; a cooperative in Somaliland wild-crafting renewable resin from 50 year old trees in order to support tribal families is a perfect alliance for us.
“On the surface we may seem worlds apart yet once you distill our aspirations and interests you find common visions and shared concerns as small farmers, harvesters and people tied to the land, whether it is the lush green fields of Cornwall or the arid cliffs of Somaliland.”
Green Cart’s distillery , perfumery and laboratory operates seasonally from May to September, processing English field crops of Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium, Lemon Balm and wild-crafted crops of Honeysuckle and Water Mint.
The nature of an essential oil farm is very seasonal - this new venture will enable the distillery and laboratory to operate and employ throughout the year using facilities that are normally closed during the winter months.
Barkhad Hassan of Asli Maydi Ltd said his company shares a common vision with Green Cart Farm.
“We share a common vision in that sustainable product enhancement is the best way to achieve the maximum possible return for the small farmers, harvesters and distillers at the heart of this process,” Mr Hassan said.