1) A brown, sticky, aromatic resin obtained from the liquidambar trees, such as Liquidambar orientalis, native to Turkey. Storax contains triterpenoids (oleamonic acid, storesin) along with Styrene, stryacin, and cinnamic acid with a pleasant smell like ambergris. In 1839, E. Simon noticed that a white solid formed in the steam distillate obtained from storax. This solid obtained from styrene is now known as Polystyrene. Storax resin is sometimes used as a mounting media for microscope slides.
2) An archaic name for a brown, aromatic resin obtained from the Styrax officinalis trees, native to upper Egypt. This resin is now called Benzoin.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Liquidambar orientalis; liquid storax; Levant storax: styrax; benzoin; Styrax officinalis; benzoino (It); gum styrax; gum benzoin; balsam storax; gum benjamin; liquid ambaer; copalm balsam
Physical and Chemical Properties
Soluble in ethanol, ether, acetone, carbon disulfide.
Resources and Citations
- A.Lucas, J.R.Harris, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd., London, 4th edition, 1962
- M.Kaufman, The First Century of Plastics, The Plastics and Rubber Institute, London, 1963
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000