It’s fun to make incense from scratch. It can be a home hobby, a holiday gift-making tradition, or even the beginnings of a home business related to “scentrepreneurship” as our affiliate The Sweet Smell of Success describes it.
This article shows now to make your own incense that you can shape into cones if you choose.
To make incense from scratch easily and quickly, use a
substance called makko as the base. It can be ecologically harvested and
comes from the bark of an Asian evergreen. With just powdered makko and
warm water, you’ll have a great base binder for making incense. Makko
powder is sometimes sold in bulk herb stores or health food stores, or
can be ordered online from various sources including Mountain Rose
Herbs. To this makko base, you add any dried or essential oil
ingredients you want. Here is a beginner’s recipe for getting used to
using makko and simple ingredients in the kitchen including cinnamon,
cloves and cardamom.
When making incense, remember scent
lies in the nose of the beholder, so if this scent doesn’t do it for
you, once you grasp the basic idea, the sky’s the limit for your
experimentation, including herbs you grow on your own farm. Just try to keep the makko a little less than the
total amount of other dry ingredients. For example, 2 teaspoons of makko plus 3
teaspoons other dried spices or herbs.
Mix 2 teaspoons of
powdered makko, 1 & ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground
cloves, and 1 teaspoon cardamom into the mortar.
Grind up very fine.
Add warm water a few drops at a time, mixing thoroughly with each new amount. You want a soft, moldable, dough-like texture. Crumbly is too dry, so add more water. Sticky is too wet, so add more dry.
Form mixture into cones that are flat on the bottom and about an inch high. The base shouldn’t be more than a half inch thick.
cones upright on wax paper until sides are dry, then lie them down so
the bottom of the base can dry. Each area may take anywhere from hours
to a few days to dry, so don't rush things.
and enjoy. If you feel there’s too much of one scent and not enough of
another, you can grind the cones up again, adding new spices or herbs with a
little more warm water.
Never leave burning or smoldering objects unattended.