|Pterocarpus Indica (Wikipedia Commons; CC by 3.0); Forest & Kim Starr|
Genuine Dragons Blood, Fake Dragons Blood, what's the Difference?
Or--The Truth about Dragons blood, that your Mother was Afraid to tell You
For those that really care--which is indubitably the magick practitioners amongst us--dragons blood is not one particular substance, thus its fragrance is bound to vary dependent upon where it's bought. As a matter of fact, a resin, powder, or oil can be made from any one of the following, and it is rightfully called dragons blood: Croton plants, Dracaena trees, Calamus rotang (rattan palm), Pterocarpus trees, and Demonorops draco plants.
The resin is supposed to be red, but may not naturally be--it may be color enhanced. When powdered, it is often extended with similarly fragranced powders. Beyond the aforementioned, there are some, well you could call them counterfeited versions of dragons blood... where an item is sold as dragons blood but is actually entirely red sandalwood mixed with frankincense (typically this would describe powders, but a resin can be manufactured in this way). Though it technically seems counterfeit, it literally has all the properties of a dragons blood resin, and is commonly used as a substitute in many applications. To clarify--in theory, for dragons blood to be genuine, the sandalwood added would be in resin form, not powdered wood or bark form.
And as a matter of fact, red sandalwood is a genus of pterocarpus (pterocarpus santalinus); this means that dragons blood resins, oils, and powders, are as genuine when produced in the aforementioned so called counterfeit way. The truth is, that given all this, there is no "true" dragons blood--only the energies that a bonafide representation of it encapsulates--which is that of the color red, one of these trees or plants--which provides a connection to the energy of a dragon, raw energy, and pure magick.
|Calamus gibbsianus; By Eric in SF - Own work, GFDL|
It is commonly held that the most valued of all dragons blood resins, is that of the Dracaena draco tree; however, a far more abundant source, is that of the Demonorops draco. So while one the first is the ideal, the second is commonly seen as "genuine," this based upon the rarity of the first kind, as well as upon the need to define one type as being genuine. As for dragons blood oils, it's hard to know what you are getting for sure. If you are buying oil, make sure it's labeled which of these plants it is derived from, or it literally could be anything. And when it comes to the powders, in a lot of cases you are getting frank and sandalwood.
Which leaves me to ask--will the real dragons blood please stand up?
With this all said, to those that intend to work with dragons blood--I know that the bulk of us intend to keep it clean and pure, at least, as much as we are able to given our sources; and that's good enough for me.