Incense, whether it is part of a spiritual function or burnt for its scent or effects is a part of the lives of many people.
There are several forms of incense:
Is the most popular and commonly used incense and widely available. You can purchase scented sticks in just about every flavor imaginable or you can purchase unscented sticks and scent them however you like. All you need to burn a stick is a simple stick burner and, of course, a lighter
Is the second most popular form. The same as stick incense only shaped as a cone. However burn time is slightly shorter. Cones also come in a variety of scents or unscented. You simply need a cone incense burner which is widely available and often times paired with a stick burner.
comes in a variety of shapes. The burn time is much longer compared to stick or cone incense. You will need a specific hanging or plate coil incense burner which both come in all shapes and colors. Coil burners are usually slightly more expensive than cone or stick burners but the designs are more interesting. Coils come in many sizes with burn times ranging from hours to days!
Is poured into a heat resistant burner or sprinkled atop charcoal.
Is incense in its pure form. It is the actual sap from the tree or the bark from the tree. Resin will not burn on its own like sticks, cones or some powders. You will need a heat resistant burner and charcoal to burn resin incense. Also, only a little bit is needed. Too much will create a lot of smoke. To use, you place a heated charcoal tablet (do not use Bar-B-Q charcoal) inside a heat resistant plate or burner. You can place sand in the burner and place the tablet atop the sand if you desire. You then grind the resin into a powder and sprinkle a small amount of the powder on top of the tablet.
Includes raw or dried herbs, leaves and plants. This must also be burned atop charcoal.
Is made of herbs, resins, and oils twisted up in very thin paper. Nepalese incense is one example of this form.
Is the India word for a blend of spices and/or herbs, such as those used in making curries or other food dishes. Masala incenses are made by blending a number of solid ingredients into a paste which is then rolled onto a bamboo core stick. Masalas usually do not contain liquid perfumes which can evaporate.
Dubars (and Champas)
Are wet-process incenses which frequently contain ingredients entirely unfamiliar in the West. They are usually very slow burning and quite sweet and spicy in bouquet. They can amalgamate solid and liquid perfumes in a gummy base which never quite dries, making the sticks themselves soft to the touch. All are rich and highly fragranced.
There are nearly as many scents of incense as there are people who burn them. Some of the most famous scents are Nag Champa, Sandalwood, Rose. Many countries have their own forms of incense which can be identified readily. In Japan there is a ceremony called a Kodo Ceremony which takes nearly 40 years to master. The Japanese also play incense games called Kumiko.
Many religions use incense to prepare a space for worship. The incense is thought to purify the area and call in beneficial forces.