|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 can be derived from specific genera of any one of the following plant types, and be called dragons blood: Croton, Dracaena, Calamus rotang (rattan palm), Pterocarpus, and Daemonorops.
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Dragons blood resin is supposed to be red, but may not naturally be; a product derived from it may be color enhanced, but as well could be reddish brown. When powdered, it is often extended with similarly fragranced powders. Beyond the aforementioned, there are some, well you could call them counterfeit versions--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-like product could be manufactured in this way). Though it technically seems counterfeit, such a blend literally has all the properties of a true resin, and is commonly used as a substitute. To clarify--in theory, for DB products to be genuine, any sandalwood added would be in resin form, not powdered wood or bark form as such. Keep on reading to see how sandalwood fits in at all, in the production of dragons blood products.
As a matter of fact, red sandalwood is a genus of Pterocarpus (Pterocarpus santalinus); this means that dragons blood resins sourced from it are genuine; and powders are at least to some degree genuine, when produced in the aforementioned way (they embody the right energies, at least).
|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 Daemonorops draco. So while 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 oils, it's hard to know what you are getting for sure, because dragons blood technically defined, is a resin; period.
If you are buying oil, make sure it's labeled which of these plants it is derived from, or it literally could be anything. Even if it is sourced from one of these plants, it is not necessarily bonafide dragons blood oil, as it may not embody the energies of red--which is important--as if you are using it to make, let's say cone incense, then for it to be genuine you will also need to add some red sandalwood, to have it present the correct energies. And when it comes to the powders, in a lot of cases you are getting frank and sandalwood. Furthermore--and it goes without saying really, when buying dragons blood in any form, pay attention to what you are buying--as in which type of resin or oil it was derived from, and also to which kind you prefer. This will help you shop more efficiently in the future.
Which leaves me to ask--will the real dragons blood please stand up?
Right now I have some Daemonorops draco resin burning, and it is a joy to watch; as it burns the chunk melts down to a cyclamen colored blood-like liquid. And the smell, is simply exquisite.
Now you know why it is that there's no singular "true" dragons blood--and how even the "counterfeits" need to at least embody the cluster of energies that dragons blood resin should rightly possess. Said energies include: resonance of the color red, of one of these trees or plants (which provides a connection to raw, dragon energy), and that of pure magick.
With this all said, now we are each suitably armed with knowledge, which will allow us to buy the real McCoy--to the best of what's available to us in our respective locale at least.
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