Making Your Own Incense
Things You’ll Need
Herbs, woods and resins
Mortar and pestle
Incense is used in many cultures for purposes such as accents in religious ceremonies or aromatherapy. The process to make incense sticks is fairly simple and can be very rewarding to those interested in creating their own scent.
1. Decide what kind of incense you want to make and purchase the proper ingredients and supplies.
2. Research different incense recipes based on the scents and herbs that you prefer and gather these materials along with tools to prepare to make stick incense.
You will need at least 3 ingredients: an herb, a resin and a wood. You will also need binding materials such as gum Arabic, makko (an incense powder ingredient derived from tree bark), and charcoal to make the mixture combustible.
3. Gather your ingredients, according to your preferred scent strength, along with bamboo sticks and prepare to mix.
4. Crush your herbs or solid ingredients in equal parts to make a smooth powder. Use a mortar and pestle for best results.
5. Combine all dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Add makko.
6. Allow the mixture to sit overnight.
7. Prepare distilled water or fragrant hydrosol and add to your incense mixture slowly.
The mixture will need to be pliable, not runny and able to adhere to the bamboo sticks.
8. Knead the incense dough thoroughly.
9. Roll your mixture onto the bamboo sticks, allowing the mixture to coat the stick evenly.
10. Lay the sticks on a drying rack to enable them to dry evenly.
11. Allow your incense sticks to dry for 1 to weeks prior to attempting to use them.
Keep incense sticks out of direct sunlight and heat while they are drying.
Experiment with different herb, wood and resin combinations until you obtain a mixture that is most pleasing to you. Also, try other methods of incense making to become familiar with the mixing process and learn how to use the ingredients.
Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while you mix ingredients and form them onto incense sticks.
Depending upon which scent you choose, sandalwood versus frankincense for instance, you may need only 10% of makko added to the mixture.
Break up incense sticks that didn’t produce the expected end result and try the process again.
Never attempt to dry incense by baking or microwaving it as this creates a fire hazard.
Don’t allow incense to burn unattended. Always burn incense in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children.