Shelheleth), the celebrated odoriferous shell of the ancients, the operculum or "nail" of a species of Strombus or "wing shell," formerly well known in Europe under the name of Blatta byzantina; it is still imported into Bombay to burn with frankincense and other incense to bring out their odours more strongly; saffron (Heb.
It was cut on the rocks by an Egyptian nobleman named Hannu, who states that he was sent by Pharaoh Sankhkere, Menthotp IV., with a force gathered out of the Thebaid, from Coptos to the Red Sea, there to take command of a naval expedition to the Holy Land of Punt (Puoni), "to bring back odoriferous gums."
The Jews were also in the habit of using odoriferous substances in connexion with the funeral obsequies of distinguished persons (see 2 Chron.
But the consumption of all manner of odoriferous resins, gum resins, roots, woods, dried leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds in India, in social as well as religious observances, is enormous.
Dioscorides refers to it as agallochon, a wood brought from Arabia or India, which was odoriferous but with an astringent and bitter taste.
The hard transparent resins, such as the copals, dammars, mastic and sandarach, are principally used for varnishes and cement, while the softer odoriferous oleo-resins (frankincense, turpentine, copaiba) and gum-resins containing essential oils (ammoniacum, asafoetida, gamboge, myrrh, scammony) are more largely used for therapeutic purposes and incense.
The civets, being celebrated for their odoriferous secretion, are likely animals to have been naturalized.