Incense Making

Posted on Wednesday 8 October 2008

The use of incense dates back at least five thousand years. One of the original uses for incense was to mask unpleasant odours. It has a long history in religious ceremonies and magical rituals, where different resins, gums and herbs are used for specific purposes. In modern times incense is commonly used in meditation and to create a pleasant and fragrant environment for everyday living.Making your own incense at home is fun and easy and as part of a great spring ritual you can cleanse your home with these naturally fragrant blends.To create your own incense the main thing to remember is that you need four main components

  • Base (eg. Sandalwood Powder, Sawdust)
  • Binder (Tragacanth Gum, Acacia Gum, Xanthan Gum)
  • Liquid (eg. water, floral water)
  • Aromatics (herbs, spices, resins, essential oils, fragrance).

The ratio will vary from combination to combination so feel free to experiment!To make a combustible incense the most common ingredient for ignition is Salt Peter (potassium nitrate). This used to be available in garden centers and hardware stores. However, in modern times, it is a little more difficult to come by (and eyebrows may be raised) if you are shopping for Salt Peter. A more simple method is using a charcoal block as your combustion point. Ignite the charcoal block and add the incense ingredients separately, or make an incense block from the below recipes to burn on your charcoal.Always remember to place your incense in a non-flammable container to reduce fire hazard. The charcoal blocks will cause a large amount of smoke if you are simply adding the individual ingredients to them, so please take care if asthmatic, have children, pets or smoke alarms.

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