Saturday, July 18, 2015

Types of Incense

For a very long time now, many people from different regions have used incense for spiritual or religious, therapeutic and artistic reasons. For the same purposes, it still happens today. Another reason why it is done today is for the creation of a lovely atmosphere and scent to improve a home’s environment for instance through overcoming bad smells and repelling insects. 

Incense has grown to become of different types as well as forms in terms of its scent, its shape as well as how it burns. The forms that incense take differ with the culture underlying, and have greatly changed with technological advances and increasing diversity within the reasons for its burning.

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Direct Burning Incense 

Also known as combustible incense, it is directly lit by flame. The glowing amber within the flame continues to smolder and burn away the remaining incense with no continued heat application or flame from an external source. Direct burning incense may either be pressed into forms, extruded, or coated onto some supporting material. This incense category is made from some mold-able substrate of finely ground fragrant or liquid incense material as well as an odorless binder. Such composition has to be adjusted to deliver fragrance within the suitable concentration as well as make sure of even burning. 

Examples of different types of incense within the direct burning incense category include the following: 

Coil – They are extruded and shaped to look like a coil with no core. They can burn for a lengthy period, for instance, hours or days. They are mostly produced and used by the Chinese culture. 

Cone- These types of incense burn comparatively fast and they were invented in the 1800s in Japan. 

Stick Incense - This kind of stick incense uses bamboo as a supporting core. Higher quality varieties of such type have aromatic sandalwood cores. Its core is coated with some thin layer of incense material, which burns away with the core.  

Powder - Loose incense powder for making indirect burning incense may at times be burned with no further processing. They are packed into long trails above wood ash by use of a stencil and burned in incense clocks. 

Paper - paper pervaded with incense, folded in accordion style then lit and blown out. 

Solid Stick - Stick incense is made almost everywhere, but there are differences in stick incense. 

Masala based sticks are considered better in quality, however, some are created with poor synthetic oils with some chemicals added for easy burning. 

Charcoal based sticks are another type. Charcoal has a good flammability while it holds oil well. Punks are charcoal sticks, which are unscented with chemicals added to them to assist in burning. However, they are intended for fireworks. They are cheap but cause headaches.  

You can also find different woods like the one at It is a wood incense that comes from dead trees and it is very natural. Other natural alternatives can be white sage or sweet grass. 

Indirect Burning Incense

Noncombustible happens to be an aromatic ingredients’ combination. They require a separate source of heat because they do not, in general, light a fire capable for burning itself while they may not at all ignite under normal conditions. Such incense may vary in terms of durations of burning with the material texture. 

Whole chunks or coarsely ground material are consumed gradually since they have a smaller total surface area. On the other hand, finer ingredients burn relatively faster. Glowing embers or charcoal are traditionally the heat sources. Within the West, the famous incense materials of indirect incense include the Myrrh and Frankincense, probably because they have been mentioned numerously within the Christian Bible. In the real sense, within most European countries the word frankincense refers to any type of incense. The following are some different types of types of incense within this category :

Granulate/Powdered - The incense material gets broken down to finer bits. It burns firster and offers shorter period for intense smells. 

Whole - The incense material is directly burned in its raw form on charcoal ambers

Paste- Powdered material gets mixed with a sticky and flame-retardant binder, for instance, dried honey, fruit or some soft resin then molded into small pastilles or balls. These may be given time to mature under a controlled environment within which the scents can commingle as well as unite. 

Most Arabian incense is of this kind and is as well called Bukhoor. Japan is associated with kneaded incense of the same method. In the Orthodox Christian tradition within the East, raw incense material is ground to become a fine powder then mixed with different sweet smelling crucial oils.

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