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Come and burn an incenses

Incenses in whatever form they are, seeds, roots, resins, leaves or wood, we advise you to use charcoals, at the end of this guide there is also a brief explanation on how to use them.

To understand how to burn incense correctly we must make a distinction between RESINS on one side and all the other types we have listed on the other; in fact, while the former can always burn directly on charcoal the same thing may not be true for other types of incense. To clarify, let’s start by looking at the resins:

RESINS: Contrary to what is commonly thought, the resins are not all the same but can be divided into two main groups:

Resins that burn off leave residues: belong to this type all those resins that do not burn completely but leave residues, this fact is mainly due to impurities present, that they are woods or other is not very relevant, in fact when we burn one of these resins we will see that once the combustion process is finished, remains remain on the charcoal. Some examples are MIRRA, the resin of BOSWELLIA (all types), BORENA, etc … The problem with these resins is that the residue of the combustion tends to carbonize and produce an unpleasant “Burned” smell. There are some tricks that can help to limit this problem: rnrnrn
Clean the charcoal, using a simple teaspoon, before the grains carbonize and produce the bad smell. This can be done as many times as you want, as long as the charcoal lasts, and will always ensure a good smell.
By reducing the resins to the powder, the phenomenon of carbonization, even if always present, is less relevant and the smell of burning will be less evident. However, this presupposes that you work with a mortar or other to reduce the grains of the powdered resin. The contraindication in this case concerns the conservation, in fact the powdered resins lose their aroma before they leave whole. It may be advisable to pulverize the resins just before using them rather than stockpiled pulverized resin.

Resins that melt completely: belong to this type all those resins that in contact with the heat will melt. An example is the GOMMA MASTICE, the BENZOINO DEL SIAM, the DAMMAR etc .. This type of resins does not present the problem of carbonization as melting completely leaves no residue. The problem with this type of resins is that once placed on charcoal it is not possible to remove them until they are completely burned. While with the others if I want to change the resin just remove the grains that are burning, with these you can not do it. It is therefore important not to overdo the quantities and always put little resin at a time, moreover, in general, these resins produce much more smoke than the others.


To burn these types of incense it is good to have some precautions that always apply:

All these incenses produce residues when they burn and therefore produce a “burnt” smell towards the end of the combustion. Reducing incense into powder helps to contain this problem.

The perfumes of these types are generally more delicate than resins, in case you want to create mixtures it is good to have this fact in mind in order to balance the quantities.
Not all these incenses can burn directly on charcoal, for some a preparation helps to get better results. An example is the CARDAMOMO that if burnt whole will produce an excellent fragrance but if you first grind it, free the seeds from the shell, the result will be even better.
These types of incenses should always be burned after being DRIED. An example would be ROSEMARY, if you burn it fresh you will notice that it tends to produce a very fast burning smell; if it is dried and then burned, the scent produced will be more intense and the smell of burnt much less.


They come in the form of self-igniting carbon pods which, when lit, burn by themselves. The incense should be placed on the burning charcoal so that it can release its aroma. The charcoal have the great advantage of being easy to use and being suitable to burn all types of incense, whether they are plants, resins or other, thanks to the high temperature they reach. There are two types:

1) fast combustion: these pods, thin and slightly rounded, with a thickness of about half a centimeter, turn on very quickly and last on average 20/25 minutes. Since the fast ignition obtained thanks to a greater proportion of sulfur and saltpeter, at the time of ignition a considerable quantity of smoke will develop. It is advisable to turn them on near an open window or directly outdoors.

2) slow combustion: they light up slowly and do not release as much smoke as the others; on average, a charcoal lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.

ATTENTION: the charcoal develops a very high temperature so it should NOT be placed on supports that could be damaged. AVOIDED: glass, plastic or metal ashtrays if thin (as well as glowing, they will burn the one on which they are placed).

You can use all those supports that do not fear the heat as: stone ashtrays, incense burners, burning stone or metal essences.

The best support for using charcoal a thurible or burning incense.