Other then being an aid during meditation the scent can make you fall asleep easier or it can even be used as a insect repellant (depending on the ingredients). You can find alot of good ingredients at your local supermarket, alot of typical kitchen herbs can be used but many other ingredients can be gathered for free in the outdoors and that's what making it is so much fun.. If you want to mass produce your own incense it's gonna cost ya, If you want to make some incense for personal use it can be done without spending a penny.
So here's what I did.. Remember that this is not a tutorial, this is an experiment.
Incense is made by using a Binding ingredient, a Burning ingredient and finaly the ingredient(s) that cause the Scent. When we think of incense we immediatly think of Asia, that's where most of the incense is made. Therefore when we look for recipies to make incense we see that most of the ingredients are herbs, resins, flowers and woods that grow in Asia only. For example the sticks in sticks incense are thin slices of bamboo. One of the ingredients you often find in incense is Makko, if i'm correct this is a binding and burning ingredient in one.
Unfortunately I live in Holland so either I have to buy the special ingredients (expensive in the long run, and where's the sport in that) or I have to improvise, and that's just what I did.
here. Making charcoal can be done with the same method.
After leaving it on a fire for 30 minutes there was no more smoke coming out of the small hole. After cooling it down I opened up the tin and out came some nice chunks of charcoal. Knowing how to make Charcoal is very usefull.. It can be used for Drawing, Heating up a fire, Explosives (that's between you and me haha) and fireworks, Blacksmithing, making Dyes and pigments, Blackpowder and even to tread food poisoning or in this case, to make incense.
All the ingredients mixed together
The cone in the front has a water binder, it is very brittle and I guess it can easily fall apart, I made it two days ago and at this moment it has become very dry and I will test it today (for the result look at my next diary entry)
The cone in the back is with a honey binder (I've read somewhere it could be used as a binder). I made it approx 2 weeks ago and it is still sticky and not ready to burn. It is far from brittle but who cares if it doesn't even burn. Both cones are pitch black from the charcoal, not what you expect incense to look like. Then again.. this is what my ancestors would have come up with if they'd made incense instead of the ancient Chinese... It was a fun experiment and I will try this more often. If you want to make your own incense then give it a try, now you know this can be a hobbie that can be very low costs. experiment with all kinds of herbs, resins and make mixtures of your own.