Benzoin resin

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A dark, pleasant smelling oleoresin obtained from trees (primarily Styrax benzoin and Styrax officinalis) growing in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Benzoin resin contains triterpenoids along with Benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, vanillin, coniferyl benzoate, styrol, and styracin. It was used as early as the 16th century as a spirit varnish for paintings. Benzoin resin is also used as a plasticizer for varnishes and lacquers, a perfume, an antiseptic, and a deodorizer. Storax is also called benzoin resin.

Note: Benzoin resin is not the same as the chemical Benzoin.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Styrax benzoin; Styrax officinalis; gum benzoin; resina de benzoína (Esp.); benzoino (It); gum benjamin; Siam benzoin; Sumatra Benzoin; styrax benzoin; resin benzoin; storax


Gum Benzoin, Gettens 100.B02.TIF

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in warm ethanol and carbon disulfide. Insoluble in water.

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 777
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Paintings Specialty Group, Painting Conservation Catalog, Wendy Samet (ed.), AIC, Washington, DC, 1998
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 4608

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