DIY: Natural Incense Making

Hey Folks,

This is a quick diy guide on natural incense making. My favorite local pagan bookstore, Phoenix and Dragon had it as one of the classes. I have been previously to their vision board class but had not been back in a while.  This class seemed too good to miss. I love incense, and I love natural ways to make things. I had to go!

The teacher was Carl Neal. He wrote a few books on incense, one being, Incense: Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents. He was Oregon based. His class was simple and very easy to follow.  He explained that most incense are made of synthetic and can in some cases emit formaldehyde in some . Any kinds that say dipped/double dipped is a code for synthetic incense.

4 Ingredients to Natural Incense Making-

We gathered our materials. Starting with the dry materials.

Base Material

In this case, we used sandalwood. The base material acts a heat source so that everything will burn. It provides a basic scent to work from. You can get sandalwood from India, but make sure it is not poached. He mentioned that much of the sandalwood is being poached. Australia is an alternative but they their sandalwood is a little green. However, it is NOT endangered.

Aromatic Component

This component is the smell. You can use resins and herbs. This is where the incense names come from. In the West, we name them by the smell, but in the East, they are named by the feeling.  In this case, we used Lavender.


The binder is the glue that holds everything together. You can use gum or wood binders. Wood binders are not quite as strong. You can use Makko wood. Gums are strong and easy to worth with. We used guar gum.

Water ( Can be salt water/ wild water/ distilled)

We mixed all the dry ingredients together, and then added the water.

I rolled everything into a ball. Let me mention that I used gloves for this. Non-latex gloves.

After this, I just rolled little cones. I made sure there were no cracks, and that it was not too gummy.  These are two different types. The second one was made with sage.

Hope you were able to make your own incense!

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