How to Burn Incense

Incense Sticks

The most popular and common form of incense by far, this is made by applying an incense mixture onto a bamboo stick. To burn these sticks, carefully light the very tip of the incense covered section of the stick. You can do this with a match, lighter or even your gas cooker. After a few seconds the tip should begin to glow a gentle orange. As soon as this happens, gently blow or waft out the stick. The smoldering tip should begin to release it's fragrant smoke. The first 30 seconds or so after lighting your stick can smell a little like burning, so don't expect to enjoy the real fragrance of whatever you have for a good minute or two. You should burn your incense sticks in a burner, although you can burn them wherever you can safely stand their sticks. Plant pots work very well for all-natural incense sticks.

Incense Cones

Almost as popular as sticks, incense cones are where the mixture is formed into a cone, pyramid or some other stand-alone shape. These cones generally release a little more smoke than incense sticks. To light an incense cone, just light the very top of the shape, wait a moment for the gentle orange glow and then blow or waft out your incense. As the entirety of these cones are burnt, the should be placed in a small heat proof bowl, although a metallic or ceramic bowl with a layer of ash or sand to help heatproof them can work just as well.

Frankincense Resin, Loose Incense & Incense Powder

Unlike the two other forms of incense we've just looked at, frankincense, loose incense and incense powder can't really burn on their own and are actually burned on a smoldering piece of charcoal. These charcoals can be standard charcoal discs or more natural coconut shell charcoal, it doesn't matter too much. Start by lighting the edge of your charcoal, you can do this with a match or lighter, and hold the flame until it begins to glow. After the charcoal is lit, leave it for a minute or two to heat up properly. Blowing and wafting your charcoal can speed up this progress. Once it's giving out sufficient heat, carefully place your resin or incense into the center of the hot coal. As with cones, the entirety of the charcoal is burned. Heat proof dishes or bowls should be used, although a bowl lined with sand or ash can be just as reliable.

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