How to Make Incense

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Various incense techniques by various people with some explanation on what there best use.

How to Make Your Own Incense:

I make a lot of loose incense to use in my spell work. I prefer to make my own as I find it is more powerful than store bought varieties. Anything you make yourself will give you better results.


  • A mortar and pestle
  • The herbs you want to use for the incense. (according to needs)
  • Gum resin to use as a base (benzoine,arabic gum, dragons blood)
  • Essential oils (according to needs)
  • Jar with a tight fitting lid
  • Plastic bag

1. Take the mortar and pestle and place the resin gum into it.

2. Grind the resin base up until it looks like granulated sugar.

3. Add the herbs, spices and woods (whatever you are using). Quantaties will depend on your own personal preferences. Grind these until very fine and blended together.

4. If you are using essential oils put them in now A DROP AT A TIME. Remember, blending incense is a very important step. Make sure everything is blended together very well.

5. You can now dedicate your incense for a specific ritual, spell or purpose.

6. Place the mixture in a strong polythene bag so the incense keeps in pungency.

7. Place the bag in a jar with a tight fitting lid and leave to develop for 24 hours.

Remember to label your jar clearly so you know what the jar contains. You can also add its purpose if it was given one.

I generally make small amounts at one time so that it does not loose its potency.


I have been making my own for at least 15 years, probably longer. I like making my own better than buying it because I think it works better. I put my own power into the mix and the vibration is amazing.

I buy the larger size charcoal discs so that I have a longer burning time.


Non-combustible incense is great to use, I also have a recepie for the combustible type. (Taken from a Scott Cunningham book that I highly recommend since it has things on tinctures and blending oils as well as Incense) It is a little more difficult to make the combustible types, and is not always practicle, but if you're up to a challenge and like the convenience of something that self ignites, here's a recipie for incense papers:

Take a piece of white blotter paper and cut into 6 inch strips about an inch wide. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon potassium nitrate to 1/2 cup very warm water. Stir till the saltpeter is completely dissolved. Soak paper strips in mixture until completely saturated. Hang to dry. Empower the tincture with your goal than pour a few drops onto the paper. Smear over paper and repeat until one side is completely coated. Hand to dry and store in a lablled airtight container. To use: Light one tip with a match and after it's completely envelloped in flames, blow out. Place in a heat proof container.

Since I mentioned tinctures in this post, I will also explain about those. One tincture we use very often is Vanilla. Vanilla extract is basically a tincture, which is herbs soaked in alcohol until all their virtues and scent is imparted to the liquid. You need to use at least 140 proof ethyl alcohol to make a proper tincture. Check drugstores and liquor stores. Begin with a large supply of dry plant material. Grind the herbs with a mortor and pestal until it is a fine powder. Now empower the herbs to your purpose. Pour the herbs into a small bootle with a tight fitting lid. Using a small funnel, pour just enough alcohol to cover the herb. Cap tightly and shake vigorously. Do this every day for a week or two. Everytime you shake the mixture visualize the goal, empower the herbs again to your purpose. Then, use a coffee filter and strain out the herb out of the alcohol. Keep the alcohol. The scent may be strong enough at this point, if not repeat the process with new herbs. The mixture should become heavily scented and coloured. If it doesn't after these two weeks you may be using an herb that is not readily soluable in alcohol, so add a little water to the mix and try again.

To determine if it is properly scented add a drop to your wrist and let it dry, then sniff. Many tinctures won't smell the proper way until they dry.

When the tincture is ready, filter once more, add a few drops of castor oil or glycerine to stabalize fragrance, label and store in a container out of direct sunlight. This product is not drinkable.


Incenses and their use:

*Note: I am only putting the most common incenses.

Musk - Burn this for courage and vitality, and for love. ( I use it for confession as well.)

Cinnamon: to attract love and money

Asafetida: to expel negative entities, and used for exorcisms

Bay: for health, abundance, and prosperity

Patchouli: good luck, relaxer, all purpose

Storax: To attract powerful spirits,used in meditation

Sage: Used for purifaction, protection, and conjuring

Mryyh: Used for purifaction, clearing auras, spirituality, and healing.

Pine: Burn this to replel negative entities or forces. Also used for strength.

Temple and Copal: Are typically used in a ceremonial worship, or dedications. Commonly used at sabbats.

Lavendar: Used for cleasing, releases negative emotions, strengthens auras and is linked to several goddess's.

Incenses come in many different forms and varieies. Cones, powers, sticks, oils, etc.

I recently just learned, from my journey about several different ways and herbs that can be contributed to make your own herbal incense.

My Girlfriend's Native American heritage, taught me how to Tie bunches of dried herbs into a cloth sachet,flammable cloth, made out of cedars, and bark. They light the herbs, and use the incense, much as we would smudge something. There are many variations of the herbs blended together. They used, sage, lavendar, cinnamon, Bay, cedar, copal, and a few others. They dry the herbs, then bless them in a simple chant. Just thought i would share for those interested:)


I'd like to add that Sandelwood is good for activation the 3rd eye. Another use for Sandelwood is a little more naughty- it's known to increase libido. (woohoo!)

My personal favorite scent is Egyptian musk...

Added to on Nov 14, 2011
Last edited on Nov 15, 2021
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