Boswellia socotrana is one of six Boswellia species unique to the Yemen/Socotra. The gum-resin appears similar to darker forms of B. carteri, often tan and golden with larger pieces containing still fresh, sticky resin inside. The species is quite rare, with many populations showing signs of decline. The Socotran government tightly controls the harvest and export of this rare resin. Native Socotrans make a definite distinction between two forms known as "Ṣama àno" and "Tilī'ǝh". The exact difference is quite confusing to botanists, and still a matter of debate. We appear to have Ṣama àno (Zama'ano), but this has yet to be fully verified. While collecting resin is acceptable for personal use, it is polite to seek permission before harvesting large quantities, especially if the trees are going to be cut open. Wide birth is given to groves of Boswellia and other species on the islands as they are considered the home of jinn and dangerous spirits. All species of Boswellia are considered to shelter various harmful animals, and care should be taken when approaching any of them.
This Frankincense smolders in a similar manner to B. carteri when placed upon a hot charcoal. The resin releases most of the essential oils first and then chars towards the latter half, making it important to remove the black lump from the coal during the burning cycle. The aroma is almost identical to B. carteri, though it does seem to have some sweeter notes with slight earthy characteristics some of the time. For optimal aromatherapeutic purposes, use an indirect heating source such as an electric heater or a hot plate.
Outside of incense, the species of Socotran Boswellia find numerous uses as sources of food, medicines, building materials and in various religio-ritualistic purposes. The new growth, buds, flowers and roots of young plants may be eaten by people and animals alike, as they provide both a source of food and quench thirst in the arid desert regions. Chewing the gum is thought to be strengthening for the teeth and gums, sweeten the breath and produces a tonic for stomach complaints which is also useful to increase lost appetites. B. socotrana is known to be an important source of pollen for the local honey bees, with the bees also making hives within hollow parts of the trees. Locals note that goats who forage on large amounts of Boswellia leaves often produce Frankincense flavored milk and meat.