- benzoin, the dried gum of a tree, imported from Java and used sparingly as an ingredient in the spice mixture called wangen. It is sold in the form of irregular lumps that look, upon casual inspection, like pieces of porphyry, in which a mass of dull, white, angular fragments are imbedded in a mass of smaller yellowish-tan crystalline materials. Used more as an ingredient of medicines than as a spice. There are three species of Styrax in SE Asia, of which S. benzoin is the most common in Java. It is a small to medium height evergreen tree with simple spirally arranged leaves and fragrant white flowers in a panicle. The fruits are drupes, oblately spheroids, about 2-3 cm. in diameter. The bark exudes a sweet smelling balsam when bruised.