A bit of incense making info


Oud Beginner
Hi everybody. I'm Moth, and I make art. One form I am (and have been) working on is Incense. I would like to share some of the things I have learned along the way. not everything, as I will be selling incense at some point in the future, so I gotta keep some secretsI was inspired by another thread on here where a member said something along the lines of "Time is the real currency" (terrible paraphrasing here). So in the spirit of hopefully saving some time and hopefully reducing waste, here we go:

sandalwood and cinnamon go really, really well together. speaking of cinnamon, Vietnamese (sometimes called 'Saigon' cinnamon) is super sweet. cinnamon also has a mild binding ability on it's own.
Manilla copal seems to help sticks burn, but has a strong scent, so your blend has to work with it. it also smells the same on charcoal as it does ground and made into sticks. a surprising amount of things do not. i also prefer Manilla copal to Mexican in sticks, as the latter loses something and takes on an almost metallic tinge. But on coal, it is wonderful.
Myrrh is difficult to get to burn in stick form. Have tried to make sticks out of a few different types and can't get them to burn. I feel if myrrh is used something has to be added to aid burning.
Cloves grind and burn nicely, just don't overdo it or it gets unpleasant, too much smoke and too chared smelling. Cloves also burn hot, so adding some will help your blend to burn, but will significantly alter the scent.
A good example of resins smelling drastically different with stick vs coal/electric warmer is neglecta frankincense. awesome on coal, but ground up in sticks it just smells "cheap" and kinda cumin like in an unpleasant way.
I have experimented with tiny bits of different essential oils on sticks. So far tiny frankincense, patchouli, and vetiver smell ok. Surprisingly, clary sage EO also works well. smells basically like it does in the bottle.
I have tried using cardamom in a few blends, and it just smells bad. like someone smoked a cigarette 20 minutes ago.
all the Australian sandalwood powder I have tried is very dry and sharp smelling. that may work for you depending on what you are going for. I have not been able to find a good source for cedar powder, but would love to find red and yellow cedar powder.
Don't know anything about using aleoswood powder yet, have not been able to.
so, this is just my experience. yours may be different. feel free to add to this or ask questions or anything. I will do my best to respond.:)