I love doing various forms of fire magick. However, as I was burning incense, I noticed some differences between the Walmart brand and the local brand from a small shop around my way.
The Walmart brand smelled nice in the pack but smelled like burning... stuff. I don't know how to describe it. When it burned, it burned my eyes. I... I don't think that that's supposed to happen. And sometimes, they don't burn down all the way. It's... weird. Also, they burned for about a half hour. But they deposited a LOT of dark soot and ash.
The local brand seemed a little better. The ash deposited a whitish color. The fragrance was also better. Now the amounts were uneven but I figured that's how homemade things look. They burned for about forty-five minutes. They didn't leave a grainy mist in the air.
Can someone tell me the BEST way to determine a better incense? I know the answer seems self-explanatory here, but before I buy and burn, how can I determine the better incense?
Ones you find at wal-mart are mass produced and will often leave you gagging unless you like that horrid perfume smell. The one Brysing listed is wonderful. Also hand made incense found at local shops or on reservations tend to be good. I actually suggest making your own. There are articles on how to in the forum somewhere. Making your own gives you more freedom of choice. You can use single herbs or make a mix for specific uses.
A lot of the really cheaply made incenses (like the ones you find at Wal-Mart) include materials no one would want to inhale. And I've found that they leave more smoke which clouds the area.
The incense I use in Senut (a KO daily ritual) is made locally by a pagan gentleman I've bought incense from for a few years now. Because I can ask him how he made it, I feel comfortable trusting him to make it with clean (and pure) materials. I can burn his incense several times a day and not get overwhelming smoke in my home, and it usually burns and lights better than the cheaper incense I have brought.
Honestly, I think determining a better incense depends on what you are wanting out of the incense. I've found Flaires' Hekenu incenses very nice (if you want to go the online way that is.)
What all of you said, that's what I figured. My mom loves the smell but I'm sitting there hacking and coughing. There's a local witchcraft shop who have nice incense. And the stall at the mall (also ran by a little old lady who makes her own) smells great and uses pure ingredients, FOR THE SAME WALMART PRICE AND AMOUNT. Plus it's not just mum and I inhaling this stuff. I have three familiars in one room with me. My dog and two cats have to inhale it and they're my children. But I'm definitely staying away from big corporation brands and checking out the stores that were suggested. I really appreciate it :D