One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A scented resin or balsam obtained from either of two trees of the family Altingiaceae, a Mediterranean liquidambar, Liquidambar orientalis and the rasamala, Altingia exelsa, of South-East Asia.
Mid 18th century. Origin uncertain; perhaps ultimately an alteration of Malay rasamala rasamala or a related word; compare quot. 1893 for use of the two terms synonymously, although some other late 19th-cent. sources deny any connection, and hold that the name is of European origin. The substance was certainly known by related names in Europe much earlier than the first appearance of the word in English: compare especially in the 16th cent. roça malha in Garcia de Orta, a Portuguese author writing in Latin. Some authors suggest a connection with post-classical Latin ros melleus manna.
rose malloes/ˌrəʊz ˈmaləʊz/
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