As long as man
has prayed to his gods, fragrant smoke has risen to the heavens. Sweet
herbs have been used as offerings to the Egyptian sun God, Ra, and
temples, palaces, churches and cathedrals have used incense to please
the deities and purify the air.
Today we use incense
in our homes, far less with religion in mind than the pleasure that
is created through the aroma of the fragrant smoke rising in the air.
own incense is really quite easy once you decide which type you want
to make. For our purposes, we will discuss some of the more popular
methods such as dough incense and loose incense.
is the least complicated type of incense to make and is generally used
a teaspoonful at a time, either in an incense dish or thrown on top
of a smouldering fire. Here is a sample recipe to get you started:
|75 grams /
3 ounces powdered frankincense
|50 grams /
2 ounces powdered orris root
|25 grams /
1 ounce powdered cloves
|25 grams /
1 ounce sandalwood shavings
|A few drops
of your favorite essential oil
all of the dry ingredients together and sprinkle the essential oil
on top. Store the mixture in a cool, dark place for 8 to 10 weeks at
which time the aroma will have matured.
type of incense that is relatively easy to make is dough incense. However,
it requires a blender, bowls, a wooden spoon for mixing, and a little
experimentation! Here is a recipe that doesn't require a specific amount
of each ingredient. Just mix them all together with the goal of making
a smooth paste which can then be formed into shapes (such as cones).
- sweet smelling
dried herbs or spices
- half the
amount of the above herbs or spices in scented wood bark shavings
- food coloring
reduce to a powder and combine, the dried herbs and/or spices with
the dried scented bark. Then mix the potassium nitrate with a little
bit of water. Add tragacanth powder and mix into a smooth paste, adding
more water if needed. Continue to add dried herbs/spices, water and
tragacanth powder as required to make the amount of dough desired.
If the scent is not strong enough, a few drops of essential oil may
be added. If desired a few drops of food coloring may also be added
to color the mixture. This dough can then be shaped into cones, cylinders
and coils or can be rolled onto bamboo skewers (leaving the end portion
bare so that it can be inserted into an incense holder).
shape you choose, let the dough incense dry thoroughly and store the
incense in an airtight tin to preserve the aroma.
you can see, with a little effort and creative experimentation, incense
is a great way to invigorate the senses and fragrance your surroundings!
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