I am turning over a new leaf.. trying to send more posts. I have several articles that are appearing in magazines (such as the Nov/Dec Issue of Spirituality & Health) in the next couple of months in response to my book, The Incense Bible, so I would like to talk a bit about how to burn Authentic raw incense. This is the difficult part of using raw incense, and is definitely why incense sticks and cones are more popular (because of their convenience). If you would like to know more about what is real raw incense, please visit: www.organo-leptic.com or check out The Incense Bible. But in short, it is the actual resins, leaves, bark or other plant parts themselves, that are dried and burned directly, without synthetic additives, like potassium nitrate (salt peter), or fragrances, synthetic glues, etc. (these things are most commonly found in incense sticks). So, once you find some nice incense resins you would like to burn, how do you burn them? That is what I would like to talk about here. To simply, the options you might choose are as follows:
Charcoal for incense burning comes in different qualities and from different sources. Organo-Leptic.com (my incense store) offers two types. Both kinds are used the same way. The first is larger than the other, and may be easier to hold while lighting. Either type of charcoal should be held with tweezers on one end while lighting, as they get hot quickly! Hold a flame up to the other end of the charcoal until you see a glowing red in the charcoal. Make sure to place the charcoal on a fire-proof surface, as it will get quite hot and may start a fire if you place on wood. Once your charcoal is lit, you may then begin dropping pinches of loose incense (whether resins, bark or leaves) onto the charcoal, and enjoy the smoldering scents.
*Swiftlight Charcoal. This type of charocoal is more common and also more “crude”. You may notice a slight charcoal odor when burning.
*Bamboo charcoals. These are made specifically for incense burning, and are cleaner and more natural. They are also smaller, and more appropriate for small spaces.
2- An “Incense Stove”.
Soon, Organo-Leptic.com will be offering its exclusive candle-powered incense stove, you may make your own stove, or you may find electric incense stoves available from Shoyeido. These stoves are nice because they produce little to no smoke, and cause the incense to burn very slowly, thus releasing the scents very slowly. Incense stoves are particularly good if you are studying scents or if you have asthma or extreme sensitivity to smoke.
3- Other Ideas.
Natural Incense may be burned using other methods. One of my favorites is on a hot rock. If you are sitting around a campfire, a rock that is warmed in the fire may act as a little incense stove on which to burn incense. Do this at your own risk, though, as some rocks explode when placed in fire due to their content of water.
Enjoy experiencing real raw incense in a new way, and please let us know your experiences first hand.
All the Best,