Cistus Creticus/Incansus.

What Is Cistus Incanus?
Cistus incanus, or pink rock rose, is a low-growing flowering shrub with pink flowers that belongs to the family Cistaceae. It is sometimes known as Cistus creticus. Pink rock rose has other names in various regions of the world, including rock rose, hairy rock rose, and soft-hairy rock rose. It is native to southern Europe and the area around the eastern Mediterranean but has been transplanted to and naturalized in other areas of the world, such as California in the United States.
This plant and at least one other closely related species have been prized since ancient times as the source of the substance labdanum, also known as ladanum. This sticky resin, derived from the sap of Cistus incanus has been used for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes and incense. Today, it is still a popular and important component of many perfumes, scented soaps and bath products, and flavorings for candies and other foods.
Ancient peoples used a unique method for collecting the resin from these plants. Goats were allowed to graze among the Cistus incanus shrubs, and the resin would adhere to the hair of their coats, which was then shorn and boiled. The resin, which is not soluble in water, would eventually rise to the surface and would be skimmed off for later use. This complex and time-consuming process made labdanum a rare and highly prized commodity among ancient peoples. Today, modern techniques have made this process much more efficient.
Gardeners and landscapers favor the pink rock rose for its beauty and toughness. Cistus incanus is known for its ability to thrive in poor soils and in dry conditions. Its roots are known for being very resistant to fire, and it is often one of the first plants to sprout anew after fire destroys the vegetation in an area where it grows. It prefers uncultivated soils and does not require much water.
Pink rock rose flowers have five petals surrounding a center of bright yellow. The petals, which may range in color from deep pink to pale pink, purple or even white are usually wrinkled in appearance. Its foliage, traditionally used to make tea in some regions of Greece, is often described as hairy or fuzzy and is covered with fine, soft hairs.
Cistus incanus makes a good ground cover, as it will gradually form a thick, lush layer that bears pink flowers in great numbers in the spring. As an evergreen, its attractive foliage can be enjoyed year-round. It will not tolerate extreme cold and only grows in areas where winter temperatures do not drop below 10 Fahrenheit (about -12 Celsius).

The plant Cistus Creticus spp. Creticus belongs in the family Cistaceae and is synonym:
1. Cistus Incanus.
2. Cistus Villosus.
3. Cistus Polymorphus.

Labdanum from cistus creticus is the myrrh Old Testament.

"The Adoration of the Magi" El Creco Dominikos Theotokopulos(He comes from area of labdanum).

Myrrh is mentioned in the Bible (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 4:14) and is believed to have been a mixture of myrrh and the oleoresin labdanum. One of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:11) was myrrh. Myrrh gum resin was also used as a stimulant tonic and is even used today as an antiseptic in mouthwashes as well as to treat sore gums and teeth.



Sises Rethimno Crete Greece Mediterranean Europe.

Area in Northern Crete

Sises is a village in northern Crete where there is produces ladanum only of all the world with the following characteristics:
1. Labdanum or ladanum produces from the plan Cistus Creticus.
2. Also It produces with an ancient and traditional way.

Labdanum or ladanum from this plan (Cistus Creticus) and with the impressing traditional method of produce has THE BEST quality.

It exists in the Municipality Milopotamoy and the Municipality Malebizioy. 



"In ancient times the valuable aromatic gum ladanum was gathered manually from Cistus creticus subsp. creticus, especially in Crete and Cyprus. The gum is exuded from glandular hairs on the leaves and young stems, especially under hot sunshine. It was gathered by allowing goats to graze on and among the plants; the ladanum adhered to their beards, which were then cut off. Alternatively a device called a ladanisterion or ergastiri, with long thongs of leather, was drawn over the plants by hand during the hottest part of the day, when the ladanum was at its runniest and stickiest.. The leather thongs became caked with ladanum, which was then scraped off and formed into lumps of various shapes. A very small amount of ladanum is still gathered in this traditional way in a small area surrounding a village in northern Crete."



The collection labdnum is really difficult work.

The collection labdnum, with the old ancient way, is really difficult work. It becomes under boiling hot helium of summertime.

Nevertheless many times over participate also women.


Period of collection: MAY - AUGUST

Conditions of collection: sunlight with temperature above 30 C and it prevails stillness.

The microclimate of region of village Sises Rethimno is the mainer reason that prevails still this way in this point from the all world.


Tool of the ladanum or labdanum (ladanesterion).

In past.

1.Tool 1700 just as Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
The tool was constituted by leather leads by the season of Pedanios Dioskurides 1 century AC. and in order that describes the French botanist in his travel in Crete in 1700.

Today. With labdanum.

2.Tool today .
Today they have been replaced with plastic.

Weight : 2-4 Kgr.



Sises Rethimno
Cistus Creticus
In Sises exist big regions, where they flourish exclusively Cistus Creticus. ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE MAUVE flowers, produce labdanum. This regions are named labdanum place.

In the dues of roughly May each year, as soon as it begins that is to say the heat of summertime, Cistus Creticus are ready in order to begins the meditation labdanum. In order to we collect the labdanum from plant, we use a ladanesterio, a manufacture by timber that above we have tied up her plastic leads. Striking these leads on t o plant, plastic gathers the “sweat of” seces. This sweat when congeal and it becomes black.

In order to it is gathered labdanum it should it makes heat and it has sunlight. When it is gathered labdanum by a plant, is needed one-one-two days in order to introduce the characteristic sweat, that is to say the liquid of Cistus Creticus that is become labdanum. The work of meditation labdanum is very tedious and laborious, because labdanum men it should it goes up and down in the mountains in the heat and in very big temperature.

After finish the meditation labdanum and the light blue leads of a ladanesterio, they have blackened, that is to say the sweat of Cistus Creticus it has congeal then it should we take from the leads labdanum. Consequently we leave ladanesterio, enough hour under the sun in order to become soft the black pastry that is found on the leads.

The last stage of meditation labdanum is we take him above the ladanesterio. With the labdanum men we tighten lead and pulling, we gather labdanum. When it passes few hour the material that we gather, it becomes In order to we clean strap of ladanesterio and we gather labdanum, we use labdanum men. Labdanum men usually is combination from two locks.


Labdanum. Menu.

Cistus Creticus Incanus
Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the Cistus Incanus Creticus. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.

Goats with labdanum
n ancient times, the resin was scraped from the fur of goats and sheep that had grazed on the cistus shrubs. It was collected by the shepherds and sold to coastal traders. The false beards worn by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were actually the labdanum soaked hair of these goats. Later long poles with leather or cloth strips were used to sweep the shrubs and collect the resin which was later extracted. It was used to treat colds, coughs, menstrual problems and rheumatism.


Labdanumaus Wikipedia, der freien EnzyklopädieWechseln zu: Navigation
Ladanum oder Laudanum ist ein Harz, das im Mittelmeergebiet aus verschiedenen Arten von Zistrosen gewonnen wird. Im Sommer tritt unter Sonneneinwirkung das ölige Harz aus den Blättern und Zweigen, als würde die Pflanze schwitzen.

Schon im Alten Ägypten war Labdanum sehr beliebt. Das Harz wurde unter anderem auch als Räucherwerk verwendet. Wegen seines ambra-artigen, balsamischen, trocken-holzigen Duftes wird es heute auch als Rohstoff für die Parfumindustrie verwendet.

Die Bezeichnung Labdanum hat ihren Ursprung im syrisch-phönizischen Sprachraum. Dort wurde die Pflanze als "Ladan" (klebriges Kraut) bezeichnet. Es wurde zur Schönheitspflege sowie als Heilmittel benutzt.

In der Antike wurde vor allem das Harz der Kretischen Zistrose (Cistus creticus) verwendet. Zu dieser Zeit wurden zur Gewinnung des Harzes Ziegen durch die Sträucher getrieben. Anschließend wurde das an den Haaren klebengebliebene Harz herausgekämmt und zu Klumpen gepresst.

Heute wird es meist aus der Lack-Zistrose (Cistus ladanifer) gewonnen. Diese produziert bedeutend mehr Harz und kommt nur im westlichen Mittelmeergebiet (Südfrankreich, Spanien, Portugal, Marokko) vor.

Auch in der Bibel wird es erwähnt (Gen 37,25 EU, Gen 43,11 EU)


Gomme résine aromatique fournie par quelques plantes et principalement par le ciste de Crète. Les Égyptiens récoltent le ladanum en frappant l’arbrisseau avec des lanières de cuir. La masse noire et visqueuse ainsi recueillie est employée en médecine comme stimulant ainsi qu’en parfumerie.


Products 1. Labdanum resin 2.The first time Labdanum concret - labdanum absolute and 3. Solutions (labdanum from Cistus Creticus)

A. Labdanum resin is a natural product.
All products of Cistus creticus & labdanum

The First Time

B)Labdanum concrete – Labdanum absolute. Solvent extraction.
Labdanum from Cistus Creticus.
a.Method working: Solvent extraction.
Method steps : two.Product: Labdanum concrete – Labdanum absolute. 

The first step:
Α solvent such as hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide is used to extract the oils. Extracts from hexane and other hydrophobic solvent are called concretes, which is a mixture of essential oil, waxes, resins, and other lipophilic (oil soluble) plant material.

The second step:
Prep for all highly fragrant, concretes contain large quantities of non-fragrant waxes and resins. As such another solvent, often ethyl alcohol, which only dissolves the fragrant low-molecular weight compounds, is used to extract the fragrant oil from the concrete. The alcohol is removed by a second distillation, leaving behind the absolute.

b.Modern method : CO2 Extraction

CO2 extracted oils are high quality oils extracted using carbon dioxide in liquid form, as the solvent. When carbon dioxide is converted to liquid by using low temperatures and high pressure, it becomes a very safe and effective solvent that allows all the desireable active constituents of a plant to be collected without the risk of heat degradation. Once the extraction is complete, the carbon dioxide is allowed to go back to its natural gaseous state, leaving behind only the extracted essence of the plant. CO2 extracted oils are the closest representation of the natural plant ever achieved.

Two types of oils are obtained using this method of extraction:

CO2 Selects:
Selects are oils which are extracted at lower pressures and contain only the volatile, CO2 soluble components. The heavier waxes, resins, and color compounds are left behind. The viscosity of a select oil is generally thick but pourable. These oils closely resemble steam distilled oils in composition, however, they may contain more volatile components that are not extracted during steam distillation.

CO2 Totals:
Totals are oil that are extracted at higher pressures and contain both the volatile and non-volatile CO2 soluble components of a plant. These oils contain the essential oil of the plant plus the heavier waxes, resins, color compounds, making them very similar to the plant itself. CO2 totals are generally thick and pasty but are soluble in essential oils and vegetable oils (although some may need gentle warming).


DESCRIPTION : Labdanum is also known as the Rose of Sharon and is mentioned in the Bible in several locations. An essential oil of this plant is also produced. It is typically called Cistus essential oil. The most important for use in natural perfumery is Labdanum Absolute. Labdanum Absolute is refined from Labdanum Gum in a 2 step process. First a concrete is made using a solvent such as hexane or heptane. Next the Labdanam Absolute is extracted from the concrete. Labdanum Absolutes can vary dramatically depending on how they are extracted and by which solvents are used during the refinement process. The best Labdanum Absolutes are lighter in color, more pourable, more soluble in fixed oils, and blend with other essential oils

Labdanum concrete.
Labdanum concrete.

Labdanum Absolute

Labdanum Absolute.
In the same results we reach if we cut branchs.

C) Solutions
1. With pure alcohol. 2.with olive oil.

a.With pure alcohol. 
The laudanum is dissolved completely in alcohol.

b.with olive oil.
The laudanum is dissolved completely in olive oil.

Labdanum is dissolved more in water when we boil it.



Flega "mitato" at Galinus Sises Creta.

Flega - spring

Beach of Gallinus.

Goats with labdanum. Unique point in the World even today.

Goats with labdanum. Unique point in the World even today.

Goats with labdanum. Unique point in the World even today
Stone House in Gallinus. "Mitato".