Siam Benzoin (Styrax Tonkinensis), Laos

In the mountains of northern Laos, on the highlands, the tears of Benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis) are collected by climbing in the tall trees of Styrax. The production of Benzoin Siam is established on a cycle of 7 months, and is broken down into 2 stages: the first step is to gem on the tree and then collect the dry resin 6 months later. These two steps require precision and sustainable techniques to allow a good development of the trees. Resin production also depends on the age of the tree, between 6 and 9 years the trees are very productive. The resinous exudate is then sorted and graded from A to D. The largest tears are cream in color and the smallest are often amber.

As part of our supply chain, Jean GAZIGNAIRE – Groupe MUL is committed to sustainable sourcing of a mixed grade thus guaranteeing the best possible valorization of all the products of the harvest. Benzoin is then extracted in our workshops in Pégomas, an ethanol extraction to obtain infusions or resinoids with a soft, sweet and vanilla profile.

At the heart of many socio-environmental issues, the identification of a local partner and native of the Luang Prabang region, allows us to offer today a Siam Benzoin sector entirely traced from the Benzoin resin collection plots. The program results in the contracting with 304 producer families (Khmu and Hmong). A scheme that also relies on responsible collection practices (depending on the age of the trees and the collection areas) in order to protect threatened forests and ecosystems in a region with significant biodiversity, by implementing replanting programs for Styrax tonkinensis.