Powell's version differs from that in the Metamorphoses, in that Powell says Myrrha turned in to a myrrh tree as she fled from her father, who then killed himself, and that nine months later Adonis was born from the tree. According to Powell, Myrrha's incestuous love and its horrible consequences for Myrrha and Cinyras is the punishment allotted by Aphrodite in retribution for Cenchreis proclaiming that her daughter was more beautiful than Aphrodite. However, Myrrha gained Aphrodite's sympathy, and the resin from her tree is used at Aphrodite's altar. (156)
Grimal tells us that in some accounts of this myth, Myrrha is called Smyrna and her father is Theias. He also gives several variations for the birth of Myrrha's child. One is that the bark of the tree was split by the sword of Smyrna's (Myrrha's) father. Another version is that the tree was struck by a wild boar, foreshadowing Adonis's death. (13-14)
It is appropriate that Aphrodite's instrument of punishment is lust. Often the wrath of a god takes an extreme form of the power of the god's domain. For example, Bacchus punished mortals who spurned his cult by causing insanity and madness that often resulted in cannibalism, a perverted excess of the realms over which he has power, the life-force and rapture. Likewise, Aphrodite punished Cenchreis's arrogance through an aberration of her domain by causing the most vile of all loves to afflict Myrrha.