Making Herbal Incense

Learn about making herbal incense, including information on the differences between dough incense and loose incense, ingredients in incense, tools and how to store your homemade incense.


  • Besides its place in ceremony, incense is often used to evoke a mood or create an atmo­sphere for shopping, entertainment, romance or home relaxation. It’s a mental stimulant that can bathe ordinary events and activities in a special glow.
    Photo By Fotolia
  • Making herbal incense at home is easy using these simple steps.
    Making herbal incense at home is easy using some simple steps.
    Photo By Fotolia/NorGal

  • Making herbal incense at home is easy using these simple steps.

The basics needed for making herbal incense at home.

Herbal Incense Recipes

Tibetan Incense Recipe
Romantic Incense Recipe
Japanese Incense Recipe
Indian Incense Recipe
Christmas Incense Recipe
Frankincense and Lavender Incense Recipe
Lavender and Rose Incense Recipe
Charcoal Briquettes Incense Recipe

Incense Basics

I can only imagine mankind’s earliest use of incense. Was it the same day that fire was discovered, or was it the day after? Since that beginning, the fragrant smoke of ancient fires has risen in rhythm with the sun, the moon, and the tides: the heartbeats of life on earth.

The burning of sweet gums, resins, woods, and plants has taken hundreds of beautiful, diverse cultural forms, many of which persist today. Ancient Egyptians burned offerings to the sun god, Ra, on his daily trek across the heavens. Frequent references to the use of incense in the Old Testament suggest that the Jews have used it since very early times. Modern Hindus burn camphor and incense before the image of Krishna. The Greeks burned sweet incenses to make sacrifice and prayer more acceptable to the gods. Little use of incense is evident in Islamic traditions, and incense was unknown in early Buddhism, opposed as it was to external dogma. However, public and private use of incense has now become widespread among Tibetan, Japanese, and Chinese Buddhists. By the fourteenth century, it had become part of most of the established Christian rituals, and is still used for such ceremonies as high mass, processions, and funerals. Modern pagan and neopagan practices also involve highly developed ritual uses of incense. In Native American religion, sage, sweet grass, yerba santa, uva-ursi, cedar, and tobacco are burned ceremonially for purifying oneself and one’s environment, for sending up prayers to the Great Spirit, and for connecting with one’s spirit helpers—the unseen forces that assist humans.



Besides its place in ceremony and religion, incense is often used simply to evoke a mood or create an atmo­sphere for shopping, entertainment, romance, or home relaxation. It’s a mental stimulant that can bathe ordinary events and activities in a special glow.

Incense makes use of many botanical products which cannot be liquefied or distilled into a perfume. Tree barks and saps, gums, resins, roots, flowers, fragrant leaves, and needles can be combined in myriad ways to create a rising, mood-enhancing bouquet of fragrant smoke. The botanical ingredients may be purchased, grown, or gathered from the wild.



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