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Calling all incense makers!


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I currently make loose incense with herbs, resins and essential oils etc. It's great except I don't like the hassle of using the charcoal block to burn it. I'd like to try making some stick incense with my FO's. I've got the supplies, but before I start I was wondering if anyone has any wisdom they would like to impart? Tricks they've learned over the years? Anything. Is it really as simple as soaking an unscented blank in FO/DPG overnight? Are there duds like with candles? Inquiring minds want to know!

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@Faerywren, I love making incense because it's so simple, and hard to mess up. Like candle making, however, everyone has their own preferred method, so the way I do it might differ slightly from others. You'll find what works for you too!

I like a 50/50 mix of FO and DPG. I actually don't soak mine, I dip them, let them sit for a few minutes, swirl and twirl them around in my container, then pull them out and flip them stick side down but upright to dry. However, I use charcoal blanks so they absorb faster than the regular punks. I personally have not noticed a difference if I double dip them, likely because I start off with such a strong concentration.

I have found there are a few fragrances that don't burn well, or maybe they don't mix well with the DPG.... When I burn them it is a horrible chemical smell instead of the FO. Kind of like when you have an FO that morphs in soap. Notably, every fragrance from Fillmore (that I've tried) does this, and a few from NG. So far I've had the best results with FO from RE, Aztec, BC, and Candlewic. I highly recommend BC for incense supplies.

I know @Hopie has a different method than mine, and certainly she produces waaaay more than I do, so hopefully she'll pop in with some advice too.

Really it's super easy, and a great way to use up the little bits of leftover FO or samples that you can't figure out what else to do with. 😆

I'd love to hear how it goes for you!

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I mix 2 parts DPG and 1 part fragrance, anything stronger than that seems to smoke quite a bit.  I cut the tops off 16oz fragrance bottles and can soak up to 100 sticks at a time.  I soak for a minimum of 24 hrs and lay flat on a cookie rack with paper towels underneath until they dry.  I also store the leftover mixture in 16oz bottles for the next time and just add to it when it gets low.  Packaged in the 2" x 12" bags and stick a 2"x2" label on the front.  

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I use charcoal sticks and soak for 24 hours and then lay them out to dry.  I lay them in those longer aluminum foil pans to soak.  The 16 oz FO bottles weren't high enough for the charcoal ones I buy so I had to look for something else to soak them in.   I have found that just about any FO works okay.  I never ran into any duds like in candles but like Sarah said there are some FOs that don't like to mix up too good with the DPG so I leave those alone.  Most of the FOs I use are from BC. 

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Did someone call my name? I heard you all the way out to the swimmin' pool...yep, I was goofing off :lol:. I only use the natural bamboo/wood sticks to make my incense. I used to sell some of the charcoal sticks made by HEM (when I first started selling incense)...but as I burned several for myself, I truly didn't like the scents or the soot they produced. I guess when I thought about it, would I burn charcoal briquettes in my house? Umm...no. So, I went with the wood base sticks only for my homemade incense. I was really after the "old school" incense I used to buy at swap meets and hippie shops.

 

I use 16 oz DPG with 16 oz FO for my mix (I do, at times, dilute the scent a bit more, depending on the scent). I use long cake pans that come with plastic covers (to contain the many different scents, and they're stackable for when I do a lot of scents at once), got the pans at Dollar General. I soak 500 sticks at a time. I always soak them at least 24 hours, usually longer (it depends on what else I may be busy with at the time). In order for the incense to be nice and strong, I drain them using old flower vases...the bigger ones....for about a half hour. I always retain the drained oil by pouring it into the soaking pan.

 

Then, I lay them flat on cookie sheets that I wrap in cheap foil (easy clean up, just toss foil when dry)...as if I were soaking them...never upright, because too much of your oil will drain out and give you a weaker scent. I let them dry about 36-48 hours, depending on current humidity/wind conditions outside. I have dried them indoors in a back room when weather was bad. Then I count and bag 'em in bundles of 50. Each bundle is one scent only...by doing it this way, people will sometimes buy 4 bags at a time to have a variety of scents. I don't let them "mix n' match" bundles. 

Edited by Hopie
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for soakers,  I’ve seen PVC pipe with end caps pushed on to soak without spill risk or stinking up the whole space. 

 

@Faerywren have you tried making your own cones? It takes a bit of time and patience, but mixing sandalwood, aloe wood, etc. resins, etc. into a dough, forming and drying is kinda cool. 

 

My family does not let me make or burn incense anymore.  Something about stinking like cheech and Chong’s car.  I dunno. They’re crazy. 👻

 

 

 

 

(So I just wait til they’re gone to work and school then spark them up.)

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On 9/20/2018 at 7:58 AM, TallTayl said:

for soakers,  I’ve seen PVC pipe with end caps pushed on to soak without spill risk or stinking up the whole space. 

 

@Faerywren have you tried making your own cones? It takes a bit of time and patience, but mixing sandalwood, aloe wood, etc. resins, etc. into a dough, forming and drying is kinda cool. 

 

My family does not let me make or burn incense anymore.  Something about stinking like cheese and Chong’s car.  I dunno. They’re crazy. 👻

 

 

 

 

(So I just wait til they’re gone to work and school then spark them up.)

My husband actually mentioned the PVC pipe idea to me yesterday! Then he was all, "I can build you a stand, so they fit right here and are out of the way".  I was like, "Slow your roll, man, I've got like 16 sticks soaking just to play around"!  😏 

I haven't made the cones before. I know how, it just hasn't been something I've played with before.

Edited by Faerywren
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On 9/20/2018 at 1:17 AM, Hopie said:

Did someone call my name? I heard you all the way out to the swimmin' pool...yep, I was goofing off :lol:. I only use the natural bamboo/wood sticks to make my incense. I used to sell some of the charcoal sticks made by HEM (when I first started selling incense)...but as I burned several for myself, I truly didn't like the scents or the soot they produced. I guess when I thought about it, would I burn charcoal briquettes in my house? Umm...no. So, I went with the wood base sticks only for my homemade incense. I was really after the "old school" incense I used to buy at swap meets and hippie shops.

 

I use 16 oz DPG with 16 oz FO for my mix (I do, at times, dilute the scent a bit more, depending on the scent). I use long cake pans that come with plastic covers (to contain the many different scents, and they're stackable for when I do a lot of scents at once), got the pans at Dollar General. I soak 500 sticks at a time. I always soak them at least 24 hours, usually longer (it depends on what else I may be busy with at the time). In order for the incense to be nice and strong, I drain them using old flower vases...the bigger ones....for about a half hour. I always retain the drained oil by pouring it into the soaking pan.

 

Then, I lay them flat on cookie sheets that I wrap in cheap foil (easy clean up, just toss foil when dry)...as if I were soaking them...never upright, because too much of your oil will drain out and give you a weaker scent. I let them dry about 36-48 hours, depending on current humidity/wind conditions outside. I have dried them indoors in a back room when weather was bad. Then I count and bag 'em in bundles of 50. Each bundle is one scent only...by doing it this way, people will sometimes buy 4 bags at a time to have a variety of scents. I don't let them "mix n' match" bundles. 

 I've decided I want to use the bamboo sticks as well. I used to love picking out incense sticks at the record store when I was a teen and that is the vibe I'm going for also. If you don't mind me asking @Hopie where do you sell? I'm wondering what I'm going to do with mine if I like making them!

Edited by Faerywren
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Okay, now you got me curious!  How do you make bamboo incense?  I  have never heard of it.  If they are cleaner than the charcoal I am all for it.  

 

Are you talking about the regular sticks with the resin on?

Edited by pcbrook
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5 hours ago, Faerywren said:

 I've decided I want to use the bamboo sticks as well. I used to love picking out incense sticks at the record store when I was a teen and that is the vibe I'm going for also. If you don't mind me asking @Hopie where do you sell? I'm wondering what I'm going to do with mine if I like making them!

 

Exactly the vibe I wanted, too..."old school, premium incense". You'll start to develop a following after they buy some and try them out. People rave about them because "no one seems to make them any more", and the ones you buy in a store are all dried out and smell like a burning stick, no real SCENT. These are the sticks I get....you can and should research prices, depending where you are located, I buy them 10,000 at a time to maximize my profit/minimize my cost: https://www.thecommonscents.com/Unscented-Incense-Sticks-119.htm  I do know that http://www.saveonscents.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_385_6&products_id=202496 also sells them. You can also do a search for "wholesale incense punks" and see what comes up in regards to prices/shipping rates to your area.

 

We travel and vend full time, year round at outdoor marketplaces, events and fairs and sell them there. I did list several on ebay at one time, not a great response because this is something people want to smell, but I did sell some there, and on Amazon. Another idea I had was to take them to local shops and boutiques that sell things that may appeal to incense lovers...i.e., a candle shop, a head or cigarette store, small gift stores, that sort of thing. HEY, now that I think about it...could try to sell them at the local legal pot dispensary, right? Now that's a thought, huh? :lol:

 

 

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5 hours ago, pcbrook said:

Okay, now you got me curious!  How do you make bamboo incense?  I  have never heard of it.  If they are cleaner than the charcoal I am all for it.  

 

Are you talking about the regular sticks with the resin on?

 

Yes, the blank punks that are made of wood and not charcoal. I've had people mention to me that they didn't want to burn charcoal in their house, and I don't blame them after I test burned some charcoal ones myself. I didn't like 'em. I posted two links in my last post so you can see what they are. I don't even buy the ones that have colored sticks, they aren't necessary since I label the scents anyways. Same method to make them as my post above in this thread. 

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  • 3 months later...
15 hours ago, iansmommaya said:

I've started getting more into this. I'm making my own, not dipping blanks. Does about  else do that?

I’ve made my own cones from scratch.  What an intense learning curve that was.  Cracked the code, though, but am forbidden by my family to burn incense 🤣

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  • 6 months later...
56 minutes ago, iansmommaya said:

I need another post because I don't like my post count number. Yes. I am special.

Interested to hear how your incense turns out.  I've put incense supplies in my shopping cart a gazillion times but never actually checked out.  

 

668 is a very respectable #, but if you want to boost it a bit, respond to this.  😉

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11 hours ago, bfroberts said:

Interested to hear how your incense turns out.  I've put incense supplies in my shopping cart a gazillion times but never actually checked out.  

 

668 is a very respectable #, but if you want to boost it a bit, respond to this.  😉

 

 

Thank you! Are you thinking of dipping sticks or cones with DPG or other solvent?  or hand making the incense? 

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45 minutes ago, iansmommaya said:

 

 

Thank you! Are you thinking of dipping sticks or cones with DPG or other solvent?  or hand making the incense? 


I'd like to make my own cones, but since TT says there's an intense learning curve with that, I'm even more intimidated than before.  LOL

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2 hours ago, bfroberts said:


I'd like to make my own cones, but since TT says there's an intense learning curve with that, I'm even more intimidated than before.  LOL

If it’s the blanks you soak, no problem.  If it’s the dough made from powders, charcoal, etc, ya, it’s kinda challenging to get right and will take some time.  I loved the dough, but my Family forbids me to make or burn it any more. 

 

The easiest of all is resins burning on easy to light charcoal tablets.

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2 hours ago, TallTayl said:

If it’s the blanks you soak, no problem.  If it’s the dough made from powders, charcoal, etc, ya, it’s kinda challenging to get right and will take some time.  I loved the dough, but my Family forbids me to make or burn it any more. 

 

The easiest of all is resins burning on easy to light charcoal tablets.

I want to mix the powders, make the dough.   I have a cart full of stuff saved at Bulk Apoth.  Speaking of which, who would you consider a good source for powders?  

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