Halmaddi is a type of resin which is harvested from a tree in a similar fashion as amber, frankincense, or myrrh. These resins are essentially dried out soap which is sticky when first harvested and then dries into a brittle material. Halmaddi is most commonly used as a binding or fragrance sealing agent in the incense manufacturing industry. This resin is most commonly used in nag champa and similar incense varieties.
Although halmaddi is such an integral part of the popular nag champa incense, it was traditionally used as a binding agent and wasn’t thought to lend much fragrance to the material. However, it’s association with nag champa remains quite strong. Nag Champa is usually a combination of plumeria and sandalwood although there are some other variants available as well. Other variants are known to incorporate the magnolia or nagkeshar flowers.
It’s unfortunate but due to supply and demand Halmaddi is becoming harder to obtain. The government used to protect these trees in the 1990s but lessened restrictions due to supply demand. The tree itself is being over-harvested, causing prices continue to soar every year, causing many nag champa manufacturers to begin using less in their formulations.
This article was last revised on 02/26/2020.