Several resins generically known as ‘dragon’s blood’ from different botanical and geographical sources were characterised non‐destructively using Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy. Genuine ‘dragon’s blood’ resin (Dracaena spp.) as found on Socotra Island was the probable source in antiquity. The spectra of recently collected Socotran resins from different sites were compared with fresh ‘dragon’s blood’ resins from Aden and Australia and a commercial source of Daemonorops draco from south‐east Asia. All resin samples were freshly collected. A means of identification of the resins from their Raman spectra is proposed. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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