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Arabian Frankincense


Muscat, Oman

The start of Arabian Frankincense Distillery

Young Living is proud of our history of collaboration in distilling and exporting Omani Sacred Frankincense™ essential oil and bringing it to the Young Living community. Young Living Founder D. Gary Young and Co-Founder Mary Young traveled to Oman in 1995 and learned the rich history of Boswellia sacra—the tree species famous for producing frankincense—that has been harvested in this unique region over the past 5,000 years. Gary was determined to build a distillery, and with the help of Dr. Mahmoud Suhail and his family of frankincense growers and harvesters, Gary established the Young Living Arabian Frankincense Distillery to help Young Living bring Sacred Frankincense essential oil to our global community.

After visiting many Middle Eastern countries, Gary decided to build his distillery in Salalah, Oman. He soon met Dr. Suhail, and the two became friends and business partners. They built the distillery, starting with a single distilling chamber in January 2010. Five months later, they added a second extraction chamber, making their facility the first large commercial distillery in modern times devoted to extracting Sacred Frankincense essential oil.

Demand for the oil grew so much that Dr. Suhail started a larger facility in Muscat, the capital of Oman, where it would be easier to expand operations. Oman also offered more options for testing and collaborative scientific research and placed the distillery in a good position to import supplies, export oil, and stay up to date on the latest government regulations.

Seed to Seal® quality commitment

Essential oil is extracted from frankincense resin through a process called hydrodistillation. This distillery’s new facility in Muscat boasts 17 extraction chambers that can operate simultaneously, running for 24 hours a day, six days a week, if necessary. Dr. Suhail is currently designing a new hydrodistiller that will further increase the distillery’s capacity to help keep up with demand for this beloved essential oil.

Oil highlight

Frankincense is extracted from the resin produced by the Boswellia sacra tree, a native to southern Arabia. The name frankincense is derived from an old French word that means “pure incense.” Frankincense has enjoyed widespread use and was valued as a royal gift across several ancient cultures, including in Greece, Rome, and China.

Did you know?

The limestone cliffs of Oman’s Dhofar Mountains provide ideal conditions for frankincense trees to grow.
The Dhofar region, home to abundant groves of frankincense trees, belongs to the Hadhramaut, the ancient kingdom ruled by the fabled Queen of Sheba.
The first two distillers and Gary’s original distillation instructions are well-maintained and kept in the Gary Young Memorial inside of the distillery facility.
Frankincense and myrrh are two ancient aromatics often associated with the newborn Jesus.

Our focus on conservation

Developing reforestation areas. The original Salalah distillery is working with the government to restore Oman’s rightful place as the frankincense capital of the world. Together, they are developing reforestation tracts to strengthen the frankincense industry. Local farmers work several hours a day to care for the trees in these areas.

Relying on ancient methods to produce sustainable frankincense. For the past 5,000 years, resin collectors have harvested resin from the trees of this special Boswellia species using the same methods and schedule as their ancestors. Each frankincense tree can be harvested only once every 12 months, which requires strict monitoring and care.

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