Monday, 18 January 2010


If there is such thing as a fourth wall in blogging then I am about to breach it. This is a direct appeal to my readers – first of all, thanks for reading and commenting and following me.

Now, I need your assistance with something:

I am going to make some of my own loose incense to be burned – as a mentioned a post or two ago – but have only a very rudimentary idea of what the hell to do. I have it in my head that to make a good incense you need a base 'woody' substance which isn't too fragrance to form the bulk of the incense to which herbs or resins can be added to achieve the desired aroma.

So, what forms a nice low fragrance base?

I have some myrrh and am going to get some frankincense soon as these are resins which I know I like. I am very fortunate that I have the Baldwins shop a five minute walk up the road.

The frankincense has a light, citrus scent to it and I have some benzoin too which although it reminds me of fly-spray in smell will be ideal to add an almost metallic twang to the overall aroma. Perhaps something else too, though as this is intended to be an incense for Taranis I shall have to work on it.

I have seen that honey can be used – the idea of a honey laced incense for Rigantona appeals – and also wine so I think when I am feeling more daring I will have a stab at using these. Oh and I have a sufficiently stocked spice cupboard so will be experimenting with ginger, mixed spice etc.

at this point it is over to you and your wise words and help.

oh, I also have some Palo Santo here too - bloody amazing on its own. i have some powdered too so no doubt some will find it's way in.


Deiniol said...

Creating my own incense is something that I've not done since I was a wee Wiccaling, but I do remember that cinnamon and nutmeg at least do not work well when burned. Dried ginger is nice, but it made me sneeze. Appropriately, word verification is "achit"- the sneeze you make after burning a particularly ill-compounded incense...

Potia said...


I don't make incense myself as I can't use it in the house (other half hates it) but here's an article written a few years ago now by a dear freind of mine that may help you.

and an aditional bit on making a Yule incense:

From those that do make their own incense I understand that the fun part is in the experimentation but keep a note of things as you try them so you can re-create a good one. Good luck :)

Ancestral Celt said...

When I learned to make "loose incense", I was warned against putting too many herb/wood ingredients in the mix, otherwise it just smells like something burning. I was encouraged to use a generous portion of resins and a maximum of 8 drops of oils in the mix, too.

How do you feel about copal? Gum arabic has no real smell, but helps in the binding of the other ingredients into a consistent powdered incense.

Katherine said...

Oak works well in incense blends or you can use herbs such as orange flowers which are woody and impart a honey note to the blend.

Lee said...

awesome stuff, thanks:)

i do have some oak so will be sure ot include some of that.

i have bought some red sandalwood whihc seems to be excellent as a base as its is largely fragraneceless. as soon aas it arrvies i can do some experimenting.

Katherine said...

I'm guessing you may already know this with incense blends which contain oils but just in case... I have found with experience (in some cases bitter experience) that incense blends which contain oils need time to mature as the oil soaks into the other dry ingredients and the scent will alter over a small period of time.

For example I find that one of my blends which contains Spikenard oil will mature and have a softer muskier base note if left for a month in the jar, yet when freshly made and burnt the Spikenard over dominates the blend.

Lee said...

didnt know that katherine, but now i do :)

i have some Oak leaf Moss oil at home whihc is wonderful, and is something i do want to incorporate inot a blen i will be making. thanks for the advice, i shall keep it in mind.