Homemade incense is trending, and it is no new to any of us that the fragrances produced by homemade incense have always stood upon other synthetic fragrances. Preparing incenses at home guarantees the quality of the product. Nowadays, industries and their way of preparing synthetic products have over shined most of the natural products and the benefits that come with them. Most of the popularity of the world look out for purity in their way of settling a life and living a natural lifestyle, but finding such products free from toxic excipients and unnecessary additives is becoming difficult day by day. For that reason, producing or preparing such products with your own hands in your home is a much better option to consider.

Qualities of Synthetic and Homemade Incenses

Knowledge is the best approach to identifying the difference between synthetic fragrances and natural homemade incense. Fragrances are complex structures composed of aromatic rings comprising different aromatic raw materials. As for synthetic fragrances, these may include 100% of scented materials, and there could be the addition of synthetic raw materials, or the fragrance could be 100% synthetic, without the addition of natural aromatic materials and inhaling such incense for an extended period could be harmful to you and can result in many severe health problems. Whereas the natural incense prepared organically comprises dried woods, resins, and pure essential oils extracted from plants, the incense prepared by these substances are fantastic and mind-relaxing in smell. Natural homemade incense is used extensively for meditation, and ceremony, to help treat pathological conditions, and to impress guests with rich and serene scents. No matter how pretty synthetic incense smells, do not fall for it!


Ingredients used in the Composition of Homemade Incenses

Fine natural incense-producing resins, dried woods, and herbs are the main components when preparing incense at home. These naturally occurring substances are extremely rich in perfumes and provide relaxing effects. The ancient art of preparing incense includes the usage of Frankincense, Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Storax, Cassia, Juniper, Mastic, and Lemon grass.

Frankincense – Milk-like Gum Resin

Frankincense is extracted from the trees of Boswellia and plays a significant role in perfumery. Frankincense, on burning, releases a psychoactive constituent responsible for providing mental stability, treating headaches, and helping uplift the mood. Frankincense may also cleanse the respiratory tracts, which allows deeper breaths, lung expansion, and relaxation during pathological conditions.

Frankincense resin in wooden bowl isolated on white background pile of natural frankincense olibanum incense

Red Sandalwood powder – The Sacred Spice

Sandalwood grows in the sacred forests of India. Sandalwood incense promotes good health and helps improve concentration, which is considered Sacred.

Chandan or sandalwood powder with sticks and green leaves

Cinnamon – The Historical Ingredient

Cinnamon is considered one of the world's oldest spices, has great significance in culinary, and has many health benefits. Cinnamon is known best for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Cinnamon extract incense in Aromatherapy relieves stress, depression, and insomnia and gives you positive energy if inhaled with the right fragrance.

Front view cinnamon sticks cinnamon powders pinecone anises on wood board on dark

Methodology – Homemade Art of Incense Making

Step 01 – Determine the type of Incense 

There are two types of incense available; combustible and non-combustible incense. Combustible incense is prepared by combining the mixture of the ingredients in the shape of cones or sticks. The incense releases grey smoke on the burning of these cones or sticks from the tip. In contrast, non-combustible incense is prepared by adding ingredients in a mortar and only grinding and mixing the ingredients. The incense is poured upon the hot burning charcoal, which releases the smoke. Non-com bustible incense making is comparatively easier than combustible incense making.

Step 02 – Heating of the Incense

Combustible incense is lighted by the tip of the cone or the stick using a lighter or a matchstick for 5 to 10 seconds until an orange flame appears, then blow out the fire and place it as you like. Combustible incense in cones or sticks can burn in bowls or cups. The non-combustible incense is heated by pouring the incense onto the hot smouldering charcoal, which releases the smoke. Non-combustible incense vessels include cups and saucers made up of wood or metal.

Step 03 – Get all the Tools Required

Before initiating the process, you should gather all the tools required for incense making in one place to avoid searching for missing tools once you have started the process. All the necessary tools in incense making are mentioned below;

  • Natural incense ingredients
  • Incense burner
  • Bamboo charcoal (For non-combustible incense)
  • Makko powder (For cone or stick making)
  • Tweezers
  • Distilled water
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stirrer or spoon
  • Lighter or matchstick
  • Drying cloth (Some recipes require drying)

Step 04 – Get all the Ingredients Required

While preparing homemade incense, you must maintain the quality of the incense ingredient. You must use only high-quality ingredients for making fine aromatic incense mixtures. Start by selecting the appropriate wood or resin as a base. For incense, try out new substances as you become familiar with incense-making over time. For initials, some of the popular resins, herbs, and woods are mentioned below:


  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon Chips
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Orange powder
  • Musk seeds


  • Acacia
  • Frankincense
  • Storax
  • Balsam
  • Myrrh


  • Sandalwood
  • Juniper
  • Pine
  • Aloeswood
  • Agarwood

Step 05 – Mixing of Ingredients

Start by adding your desired wood, followed by herbs in a mortar, and resins in another mortar, and start grinding them using the pestle; grind the ingredients to a finely ground mixture. Once you get in handy with the process, you can add ingredients of your choice. You should always pulverise your ingredients, starting with the wood, then herbs and resins. Mix pulverised woods and herbs in a mortar and other resins in another. Once both the items are pulverised correctly, mix the resins with the dried powder of herbs and wood, then crush them all for the final touch, which will blend the incense into one another. Because of the mucilaginous nature of resins, these can stick to mortar walls. For this reason, these are crushed in mortar other than wood and herbs. 

To prepare incense cones or sticks, you must add a step further to your previous process. You need to add an excipient called “binder” to your combustible incense, which will bind all the ingredients together, followed by moulding, which elicits the preparation of incense cones or sticks.

FAQS – Incense Making

How to mould the Incense?

For moulding the incense paste into any desired shape, you need to pour the hot incense paste into the moulds, and once the incense is congealed, the moulded incense will quickly get out of the mould. You can break the mould if the meld comes out on its own.

Why do we have to pulverise resins and wood in separate mortars?

Because of the gumminess of resins, these might stick with the walls of mortar and may cause difficulty crushing. We should crush wood and herbs in one mortar and all the resins in the second mortar.

What is the best way to pulverize the ingredients?

The coffee grinder is the best option for pulverizing the ingredients into powdered form because the grinder crushes the ingredients into fine ground powder without any mechanical energy. Using a Coffee grinder for grinding also keeps the ingredients fresh.


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