Incense is a collective term for herbs and other aromatics that are burned for their smell. It is available in many shapes: sticks, cones, resins, and loose herbs. Most kinds of incense contain one or several basic elements, such as aromatic materials and a binder (gum or resin). Not only are there several kinds of incense available, the different smells also each have their own history and meaning. In our webshop, there is a fitting product for every occasion!
Each kind of incense has its own composition. Often, incense sticks consist of a combination of natural ingredients and materials such as resins, aromas and charcoal for combustion. The smell is created with herbs, spices and essential oils. Incense may give off a single aroma or a combination. An example of an aroma combination is the most famous ‘nag champa’.
Everyone has its own preferences when it comes to smell, for both outdoors and indoors. Amongst others, you can choose from:
For more options, you can take a look at all our incense aromas.
You can buy incense online, in all kinds of different forms. Every type of incense has its own combustion and symbolic meaning. These are the available forms:
Burning incense is quite an undertaking, because each different kind has its own way of burning, smoke production and intensity. It may come in handy to delve into this before you choose a variant. To get you started, we have listed different kinds of incense and how you use them below. This way, buying incense online is a lot easier!
Incense sticks are burned vertically, or slightly slant. You light the tip of the incense, wait until it smolders, and then blow out the flame. Sticks generally burn for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the length of the stick and in what environment it is burned.
Incense cones are burned on a fireproof surface, such as a stone or metal dish. You light the cones at the top and then blow them out, like with an incense stick. Smoldering cones give off an aroma for about 20 minutes.
Incense cubes should be burned on a special evaporator that reaches the right temperature for the release of an aroma. There is no ash and the amount of smoke is limited. Cubes generally burn for about 45 minutes until an hour. In comparison, this is quite long. Afterwards, a black, hard chunk remains that can be disposed of with biological waste.
Incense resin consists of grains or chunks of resin, with or without added herbs. They can be melted on coals in a metal burner, or they can be heated indirectly on a sieve or oil evaporator. When you choose to use coals, a relatively large amount of smoke will be released, along with a strong aroma. In small amounts, it can be melted easily on a special sieve burner or oil evaporator, with aluminium foil over the tray.
In case you enjoy pure aromas or like to make mixes yourself, loose incense is recommended. The native and exotic plants and powders are pure. For example, loose herbs can be used for their medicinal or spiritual qualities during wicca or other shamanic rituals. The dried herbs are burned on a sieve or on coals.
What kind of burner you need, depends on the kind of incense you use. On some burners, multiple variants of incense can be burned, and others have multiple functions. For example, in incense boxes, sticks can both be burned and kept. Often, they also contain a recess for cones. Whatever the burner looks like, you can always base your decision on these three criteria:
These holders are not in direct contact with burning material, but only collect the ash that is released. For example, think of wooden incense holders on which a slant incense stick can be placed, or ceramic dishes that are suitable for Japanese or Tibetan sticks.
These holders are suitable for ways of burning whereby the smoldering material is in contact with the burner. This happens, for example, when using incense cones, but also with smoldering coals with herbs or resin on top of them. For these instances, you can buy loose incense burners or incense burners made of metal. Preferably, add a layer of sand to prevent the burner from becoming too hot; this way, the surface will remain intact. When you hang the holder or leave it to lie around like a censer, it is an entirely different story! Are you looking for a spectacular effect? In that case, the backflow burner might be just what you need!
Actually, these are not really burners, but heaters that keep the material that create the aroma away from the flame. Thus, you burn something with the heat of a tea light, not with the fire itself. This is what happens in the case of sieve burners or particular evaporators meant for incense cubes. It causes the oils and resins to be released slowly, before the smoke develops. This can be beneficial in the case of herbs and flowers, because otherwise they would be consumed before they even give off an aroma.
Did you know that incense can also be burned outdoors? Our garden incense is especially meant to be burned outside. Most garden incense is extra long and thick, which causes them to burn longer. They are perfect for long summer nights in the garden or on the porch. They create a lovely aroma, but they also keep mosquitos and other insects at a distance. These incense sticks perform optimally when there is no wind.
Spiru has something for every nose. We call ourselves the incense specialist. No idea what kind of incense you want? In that case, reading our blog ‘Choosing Incense’ might be helpful. In our webshop, incense of the brands Satya, HEM en Darshan can be bought. However, we also have traditional Tibetan or Japanese incense. Furthermore, for the herb fans especially, there is also the opportunity to buy natural incense. Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of sage and palo santo incense in our webshop. Thus, you could, for example, use smudge to cleanse your house with white sage. Whatever you choose, your incense adventure starts at Spiru!
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