The Difference between Frankincense and Myrrh

It's that time of year again, when holiday songs play 24/7 on the radio and people start wondering what, exactly, frankincense and myrrh are and why they make good gifts. LECO placed these two oils in a Pegasus BT 4D to see the difference.

Frankincense (from the boswellia tree) and myrrh (from the commiphora tree) are both resins which are commonly used as perfumes and incense and have been for thousands of years. Essential oils extracted from these resins can be analyzed using gas chromatography, which is precisely what the scientists at LECO did.

By extending the analysis to a second dimension using the GC×GC analysis of the Pegasus BT 4D, even more information can be gleaned from the samples extracted from these substances. GC×GC analysis also inherently produces structured chromatograms where chemically similar analytes tend to elute in ordered bands through the GC×GC separation space. This provides context for identification and allows for rapid visual characterization of the compound classes.

 

Chromatogram of Frankincense and Myrrh

 

For a more detailed breakdown of the analysis of these oils and how the GC×GC separation provides a huge advantage in the characterisation and comparison of these samples, check out our latest APPLICATION NOTE.