Homemade incense is the ideal mood maker at home: this natural product gives a nice scent to any room and can help to relax and improve your mood. You can of course buy incense, but it is fun and not that complicated to make it yourself.
The advantage is that you know exactly what's in it, and you can choose the scents that you like. Frankincense has a positive effect on body and mind. Put your creativity to work and make your own natural incense with this manual.
Why should you start making incense yourself?
Scents affect the most primitive part of our brain. They can therefore have a lot of influence on our mood. For example, almost everyone feels a summer feeling of relaxation with the smell of mowed grass, or the smell of sharpened pencils or apple pie makes you nostalgic. Because scent has such a profound effect on us, you can tap into it by burning incense.
The different scents can help you relax deeply, sleep better or boost your concentration. But it is important to use incense that is free of harmful substances. Some incense contains chemicals that are released when you burn the stick and that can cause respiratory complaints. Therefore, pay attention when you buy incense that it is of good quality. Or just make your own incense!
How to choose a scent for your homemade incense?
If you want to make incense yourself, you first have to think about what kind of scent it should have. On the one hand, you can go by your own preferences: you probably have a favorite scent, for example cinnamon or roses. Commonly used scents are patchouli, myrrh, cedar wood or lavender.
But you can also take into account the purpose for which you want to burn incense. As mentioned, frankincense affects our emotions and physical well-being. For example, if you want to relax or meditate, you can choose a different scent than when you have to concentrate.
Types of incense and what they are good for:
- Meditation: Sandalwood, lotus
- For anxiety and stress: Frankincense, ylang ylang, chamomile
- Relaxation: Lavender, rosemary, sandalwood, cedar wood
- Purifying Air: Myrrh, Citrus, Cedar wood
- Sleep better: Lavender, jasmine, vanilla
- Breathing: Eucalyptus
- Concentration: Musk, lemon-grass
- Improve mood: Rose
Let your intuition and feeling guide you in your choice. You can use a single herb or several.
Necessities to make your own incense
Step 1: The basics
The base is a fabric that ensures that the incense stick burns evenly and quietly. You don't want your stick to go out after a few minutes, so it's important to choose a good base fabric. You can use something that also has an aroma or is odorless. Generally, a base of woody plants such as sandalwood or willow is used, but charcoal is also an option. You crush this with a blender, mortar or food processor, so that it becomes a powder.
Step 2: Liquid
A little of liquid ensures that you can turn your ingredients into a paste. This can be plain water (the cheapest option), but a herbal oil or tincture is also possible. You then add extra aromas to your incense. Note that more scents are not always better.
Step 3: Color
As a third step, you can add a dye, which you can use to give your incense a nice color. This is not necessary, but can provide something extra. Use food coloring or herbs with beautiful pigments.
Step 4: Binder
With binding agent, you ensure that your incense sticks take shape and become firm. This substance must of course be combustible. What you can use for this are natural resin, bark or gum.
You will also need:
- Multiple bowls
- Measuring cups
- Wooden cutting board
This is how you work
Once you've collected your herbs or spices, make sure they're dry first. How many you need will depend on how many sticks you want to make. Usually it starts with 1 or 2 tablespoons of herbs. Grind them with a blender (or mortar) and turn them into a powder. You can put the herbs in the bowls and use a measuring cup to measure/weigh accurately. Now take your base (the substance that causes your stick to burn up slowly) and take 1 part of it and 2 parts of the herbs. Mix the base with the herbs. It is best to let this mixture rest for a few hours.
Now add the liquid. The division you use is 3 parts liquid to 5 parts of the spice mixture with the base. Then slowly, little by little, add the binder. This is not an exact science: how much binder you need depends on the herbs. You can first stir well with a spoon and then knead with your fingers. It will now become a dough-like substance.
You can now determine the shape yourself: for example, cones or the well-known stick. In that case, roll it into a narrow, flat tube that is only a few millimeters thick. If you want your incense on a stick, first place a bamboo stick in the center of the piece of dough and roll it in. Now let the sticks dry for four to five days on a wooden board and turn them twice a day. And then you can enjoy your homemade incense.