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View Full Version : pros and cons of resin incense?


.traveller.
26-10-2007, 12:46
I recently bought some charcoal disks to use with my herbal incense and the shop included a list of various resins that they sell. I've never used resins before and I was curious as to what people thought of them.

Skydancer
26-10-2007, 14:25
fantastic - fantastic - and did I mention fantastic?!!

Copal is delicious on charcoal blocks. Just a little. Frankincense is great. Even sandlewood chips. Wonderful!! Also, mugwort for fun!! green or dried. But obviously not a resin!!

I haven't met a resin I haven't like. And that's the truth!! :)

Enjoy!

Annie
*S*

lunafae
27-10-2007, 02:50
I Have resin and charcoal disks but I am unsure how to light to charcoal safely and which container to use. I decided to try it and I cracked the ceramic plate I light the charcoal disk on but luckily i lit it outside as I had a feeling i didn't trust it. I'd like to give it another try but unsure which is the best way to light them of which holder is safer.

I have stuck to using incense and smudge sticks as I find them safer andmy ash catcher picks up the mess left behind. Ive found moon incense tulasi to be my favourite.

Seafra
27-10-2007, 03:01
I looove resin! My burner has a channel that I fill with the resin, no charcoal needed. To stop the burning I just have to make a break in the line of resin.

thinbuddha
27-10-2007, 05:26
I use resins on occasion. I like them better than sticks or smudging, though it is a bit of a learning curve to get the burn properly. Anyone can burn charcoal and place resin right on the hot coals, but to get the slow burn (which seems to be the best result for my taste) takes a bit of practice.... I'm still no expert.

If you do it right, you can get resins to slowly boil (rather burning in a smokey inferno). The smell is better, longer lasting and (best of all) smokeless. It's like burning a candle or heating oils, and the scent is perfectly natural.

The charcoal burns HOT, so you have to place the resin near to the coal rather than right on it. Some people burn Japanese style, meaning that they burry the coal in ash, and place the resin on top of the ash, but I haven't figured out how to do this without extinguishing the coal. At one time I found extensive directions online about this, but still couldn't do it. It (according to the site I found) is considered an art in Japan much the same way that serving tea can be an art. Not just getting the coals to burn, but mixing the scents to create an atmosphere.... I can certainly see that this could be an art.

Because the coal burns so hot, I use a metal censure, and I place this metal censure on top of a ceramic dish or piece of slate (or the metal feet will burn whatever surface the censure is sitting on). It is all very hot, and should be used with extreme caution. It is easy to forget that it is burning because (again, if you are doing it right) there is no smoke or other visual cue to remind you that you have something burning. Because of this, I think it's more dangerous than a candle- it is very easy to leave the house without remembering that you have left something burning.

Another caution: the charcoal fumes are poisonous if you buy just any old charcoal (please don't use the stuff you use for a barbecue!). Even if you buy the good stuff, I'm not certain that I would burn it in small rooms or rooms that aren't ventilated.

-tb

.traveller.
27-10-2007, 05:37
I'm using quick light disks and the japanese ash in a thick pottery bowl. The bowl got warm to the touch but not overly so. Thanks for the warning about the fumes!
I think I might try a tin of the resin to see if I like it.

lunafae, you need at least two inches of sand or ash under the charcoal before you light it. Is your charcoal self lighting?

sleepingcat
27-10-2007, 05:41
*rubs chin* Could one rig a small electric burner to apply heat to the resin?

I know it'd be much less asthetic, but we had electric burners in chemlab, when the open flame of a bunstien burner could be hazardous.

...Set a towel on fire in 10 minutes, set on max. They arent like the little mug warmers you get from the gift shop. However they are variable temperature, and for all intensive purposes, pretty much stay at what degree you set them at (more or less.... It goes out as they get older and abused)

I've been batting this idea around, because my room is so small and only has a quater of a window that can crack open for ventelation, I've made my self pretty sick before and it's kept me from any non self-burning insense.

Anyone think it would work/tried it? Or do you think that it'd be too hazardous and unnatural?

ravenest
27-10-2007, 11:23
I love the pure smell of incense without the added aroma of the burning cow poo

Anam Cara
27-10-2007, 11:34
I Have resin and charcoal disks but I am unsure how to light to charcoal safely and which container to use. I decided to try it and I cracked the ceramic plate I light the charcoal disk on but luckily i lit it outside as I had a feeling i didn't trust it. I'd like to give it another try but unsure which is the best way to light them of which holder is safer.

I have stuck to using incense and smudge sticks as I find them safer andmy ash catcher picks up the mess left behind. Ive found moon incense tulasi to be my favourite.

Lunafae, try filling your ceramic plate with sea-salt or clean sand first, then place the charcoal disk on top. It will provide a buffer between the charcoal and the plate. I use ceramics of all kinds, from fragile tea-cups to saucers for plant-pots, and everything in between...haven't lost a single piece yet!
Enjoy!
:heart:cara

lunafae
28-10-2007, 04:22
yes they are self lighting they are abbey charcoal discs. I have some sea salt I could use. I have a small terracotta bowl somewhere perhaps it would retain the heat better. I will keep perservering as I love the smell of frankincense + the home needs a really good cleanse of energy.

I just found this online



Luna

.traveller.
28-10-2007, 09:00
I found a resin sampler online that I am going to try out. Seems the most economical way to experiment to see what fragrances I like. After browsing the resins, I realised that, long ago, someone had gifted me some resin but I hadn't a clue what it was at the time! Silly silly me :P

.traveller.
28-10-2007, 09:20
*rubs chin* Could one rig a small electric burner to apply heat to the resin?

I know it'd be much less asthetic, but we had electric burners in chemlab, when the open flame of a bunstien burner could be hazardous.

...Set a towel on fire in 10 minutes, set on max. They arent like the little mug warmers you get from the gift shop. However they are variable temperature, and for all intensive purposes, pretty much stay at what degree you set them at (more or less.... It goes out as they get older and abused)

I've been batting this idea around, because my room is so small and only has a quater of a window that can crack open for ventelation, I've made my self pretty sick before and it's kept me from any non self-burning insense.

Anyone think it would work/tried it? Or do you think that it'd be too hazardous and unnatural?

I don't see why it wouldn't work, unless it doesn't get hot enough. I guess it depends on the melting temperature of resin.

.traveller.
19-11-2007, 05:10
Here's something I found out about using resin... a glass oil burner works fabulously.

The burner is basicly a glass lens suspended above a tea light and allows the resin to melt slowly without smoking. I was worried about smoke because the house I live in has a smoke detector in every room except the bathroom.

So anyway, I thought I would share :)

The crowned one
19-11-2007, 05:17
I love them and have used them for years...A little resin goes a very long way, they burn fast and intensely, use sparingly.

Milfoil
11-10-2008, 05:00
I'm just reviving this thread because I realise that although I LOVE the smell of certain resins and they are most definately the best way to go for large groups rather than trying to waft everyone with a smudge stick that keeps going out, I wonder what the medicinal and metaphysical properties of certain resins are, how ethical is their collection etc and if anyone knows a resin which, when burnt, smells quite citrusy?

I know that Propolis is similar but someone was burning a 'mix' at a meeting recently and it was lovely. She had no idea what it was since it was a gift and came in a plastic bag with no description on it.

Any help, gratefully received. :)

Milfoil
24-10-2008, 01:35
Ok, update to say that I think I know which blend it was now. The wonderful citrus smell came from the Prinknash Abbey 'Abbey' blend. I'm familiar with some of their incenses but this one has a lot of copal and oil of bergamot in it I think (from smelling it).

gregory
24-10-2008, 02:25
I LOVE Prinknash incenses. I was brought up on them - and I even know how to pronounce it (unless my father was winding me up, so I shall now go check.....!)

ETA he wasn't !! Prinnish.

Milfoil
24-10-2008, 02:54
Oooh, I didn't know that. Thanks Gregory. :)

Yes, I love the Basilica, its actually in my burner as I type this. I thought the Basilica was lemony but the Abbey is much more citrus smelling. Very nice.

Sulis
24-10-2008, 05:10
I want to get some of this Prinknash incense but the only size boxes I can find on the site are 1lb boxes. Are those the smallest they do or am I being thick and can't see for looking?

Milfoil
24-10-2008, 05:22
Yes, 1lb boxes. Its a lot for one person to use but I use it at meetings too. Would you like me to send you a little to try? :)

HearthCricket
26-10-2008, 12:13
I have a question about the resin incense, too. I was going to get a burner, some charcoal and resin, to try for the first time, but two people at the store said it creates even more smoke than incense. Is this true? I mean, when I think about it, resin is used by the church and that stuff is very smokey, until the whole large building with cathedral ceilings is foggy and the congregation is coughing! Is high quality stick incense better for home use, especially if using in one room with only some filtering into another room and about?

gregory
26-10-2008, 23:11
It certainly makes more smoke - but that said it smells so much better and the lovely smell lasts so much longer - who's to say which is better. I would go for resin every time and can't imagine why I no longer have a resin burner.... :confused:

Sulis
26-10-2008, 23:32
HearthCricket if you burn resin incense straight on top of the charcoal block it makes an awful lot of smoke - nice though.

To reduce the smoke put a piece of foil on top of the charcoal block when it's been lit and put the incense on top of that (that's my top tip :)).

Milfoil
27-10-2008, 06:17
Its true, charcoal with resin on does make a LOT of smoke so if I'm using it in my home I put the resin on a tiny bit at a time. Waiting till the charcoal is white before using helps but the initial burning of the charcoal is smokey too (or can be). You can burn resin on a bit of tin foil just over a candle too (if the candle is in either a burner or in a glass) - its still very strong even this way and needs to be tended with little bits at a time. In Japan there is an art to doing this and special tools.

Never thought about tin foil over the charcoal - thanks for the tip Sulis. :)

A traditional way is to burn the charcoal on a bed of ash which takes the heat and doesn't crack the container also the spent charcoal adds to the ash.

Sulis
31-10-2008, 00:52
Well I got a little sample of Prinknash's Basilica incense (thanks Milfoil) today and it's gorgeous.
My house is very smokey but very pleasant on the nose :).

Milfoil
31-10-2008, 01:23
Glad it survived the rigours of the postal service.

Your house will be feeling very grand now with the heady scent of Basilica in the air. :laugh:

WillowRose
03-11-2008, 08:31
I love it , my fave would be Frankinsence - only prob is that Its very smoky & since I've had my babies (and they're still young) I can't light them much ,Sometimes I'll put some insence at the front door so a little bit drifts in

Milfoil
04-11-2008, 05:25
Yes, it can be a bit smokey, good for big gatherings, not so good for one person in a small flat! :)

Moonbow
04-11-2008, 05:58
I tried resins about 4 years ago and posted here about it. I found there was a knack to lighting charcoal discs (not too much of a problem after trial), but I wasn't happy with the resins. At the time, the resins I could get my hands on were so strong they made me feel sick. I also found that the charcoal discs and resins needed constant attention, so I went back to incense sticks for ease and less attention.

If they've improved then I would try them again because I had no problem with lighting the disc, it was the resin that seemed 'artificial' to me.

Having said all that, I use aromatherapy oils more than anything.

Milfoil
04-11-2008, 06:09
I find there are some charcoal discs that seem to take forever to light and others which catch in an instant and require no attention. The Prinknash discs are cheaper than most others (90p for a pack of 10), light instantly, stay lit and burn to nothing.

The resin does need to be attended to, however, but I quite like doing that.

For ease, incense sticks are definately much easier to use. Light and forget basically and there are some wonderful ones. There are also some dreadful, artificial ones too . . . .

Gregory gave me a box of incense sticks once, they were lovely and I wish I'd kept the box. I wonder if she remembers what they were?

Moonbow
04-11-2008, 06:22
I may try them again since so many people seem to like them so much. At the moment I am still working my way through some incense sticks from India, brought back by a friend of mine. Plus... I love nag champa.....still...I know its quite common but it hits the spot for my meditations.

gregory
04-11-2008, 06:22
Gregory gave me a box of incense sticks once, they were lovely and I wish I'd kept the box. I wonder if she remembers what they were?
Was the box blue printing on white with a little red in ?

Milfoil
04-11-2008, 06:54
Sounds like it Gregory. It wasn't Nag Champa but was a square sectioned box (as opposed to a flat one) just over 1cm wide.

WillowRose
04-11-2008, 07:09
I may try them again since so many people seem to like them so much. At the moment I am still working my way through some incense sticks from India, brought back by a friend of mine. Plus... I love nag champa.....still...I know its quite common but it hits the spot for my meditations.

I love Nag Champa !
Off to light some now lol

gregory
04-11-2008, 08:09
Sounds like it Gregory. It wasn't Nag Champa but was a square sectioned box (as opposed to a flat one) just over 1cm wide.
That's odd - I would have thought it WAS Nag Champa. I'll go have a look after the weekend; I know where it CAME from.....

:lightbulb

But wait. If you come up here you can work it out for yourself and I can deliver your parcel and you can see our mutual friend and her centre.....


Well ?????

Sulis
04-11-2008, 23:22
I find that the trick with charcoal disks is to keep them in an air-tight container. They absorb moisture from the air and so if they aren't kept in something that is airtight, they are a bugger to light.

I light mine by holding the disk in tongs over a lit gas ring. They light no problem at all and stay lit too.

Milfoil
05-11-2008, 04:46
I wonder if the Prinknash charcoal discs have something in them then because they catch light so easily. Literally a quick hover over a flame and they are away. I do think they are slightly more smokey than others though.

Moonbow
05-11-2008, 05:26
Well since someone is going to send me some resins to try :) I think I should invest in another flavour, and also in a burner. Can anyone recommend a site (in the UK) to buy the charcoal discs and other bits? Last time I bought them in Cornwall but that's a long way to go for supplies. Although I would prefer the sniff test that isn't going to be possible so recommendations would be appreciated.

gregory
05-11-2008, 06:07
The Prinknash (http://www.prinknashabbey.org/Incense.htm) site is good.

Erisanne
05-11-2008, 06:22
Soapstone burners are best for stuff that gets uber-hot, IMHO. And if you use the sand or sea salt, you're double-safe. :)

Milfoil
05-11-2008, 06:31
http://www.simplyincense.co.uk/

Nice people, good prices, quick delivery. :D

Milfoil
05-11-2008, 06:36
Sounds like it Gregory. It wasn't Nag Champa but was a square sectioned box (as opposed to a flat one) just over 1cm wide.

OK, I'm wrong - its Aastha (I didn't realise it was a type of Nag Champa).

http://www.simplyincense.co.uk/product_details.asp?pid=4269

Moonbow
08-11-2008, 03:13
Thank you Millie :)

I love the Basilica smell and the charcoals did certainly light very quickly, no problem there. But..I set off my smoke alarms and had to ventilate the house to stop them. I couldn't smell the Basilica for the smoke. I must be doing something wrong.

I love the idea of burning resins, but if I need to do it near the cooker hood then all the goodness is going straight outside, while my house smells of smoke. I guess thinbuddha is right, there must be a knack. Will try the foil tip next Sulis.

I was all set for buying a burner (thanks for the tip Erisanne), but I smell of charcoal and Basilica and my house is smokey. Maybe the correct appliances make a difference but I admit I'm disappointed that the Basilica is going up in smoke and straight out of the cooker air vent. Cough cough.

Milfoil
08-11-2008, 03:26
Awwwww, bless. I'm sorry, yes it can be a bit smokey.

The charcoal needs to be lit and left till it has turned white and stopped smoking. The putting a tiny bit 1/4 of a teaspoon or less on the charcoal is the way to go.

:)

Moonbow
08-11-2008, 04:10
I've cracked it.... and please Millie... don't be sorry, I thank you very much for the Santa gift. :)

Foil is the answer, thanks Sulis. And Millie, you were right too, I put the resin on the charcoal too early. Now, I am very happy. I always liked the idea of resin incense but never felt the effort was worth result, until now. I can even smell it upstairs (the basilica that is, not the smoke. It was just trial and error.

Millie, I also like the site your recommended... http://www.simplyincense.co.uk/ I think I will order something from here for my Christmas list.

:)

Sulis
08-11-2008, 21:49
Moonbow* I'm so glad you've cracked the smoke problem.

I love Mermade Magickal Arts incense - it's expensive but gorgeous, it comes in beautiful glass test-tube type containers and you only need a tiny bit: http://mermadearts.com/
Folks in the UK can get it from New Moon Occult Shop: http://www.newmoon.uk.com/ritual/powder.htm

Starchild does lovely incense too: http://starchild-international.com/index.php?cPath=181_182

Sophie
08-11-2008, 23:06
To reduce the smoke put a piece of foil on top of the charcoal block when it's been lit and put the incense on top of that (that's my top tip :)).That's really a top tip! I love the smoke when I'm working outdoors, but otherwise I find it overpowering, as does everyone else in the house!

I have been using frankincense, benzoin, myrrh and dragon's blood for years, I love them. I also use what's known as ponticfical incense in French-speaking countries - it's the one used in Roman churches - for certain purification work.


I'll have to try this Prinknash- prinnish. I shall when I get to anywhere with a reliable post office.

avalonian
09-11-2008, 03:20
I tried resins about 4 years ago and posted here about it. I found there was a knack to lighting charcoal discs (not too much of a problem after trial), but I wasn't happy with the resins. At the time, the resins I could get my hands on were so strong they made me feel sick. I also found that the charcoal discs and resins needed constant attention, so I went back to incense sticks for ease and less attention.

If they've improved then I would try them again because I had no problem with lighting the disc, it was the resin that seemed 'artificial' to me.

Having said all that, I use aromatherapy oils more than anything.

You could try these:

http://www.touchfire.co.uk/page8/page8.html

His candles are wonderful as well.



:) :) :)

Moonbow
09-11-2008, 06:56
Thanks Millie, Sulis and avalonian.

I've been having some fun looking around these sites, I've ordered some incense, a burner and some coals. I really would like some of the Prinknash incense but the 1lb quantity seems a little too much to start off with. Basilica is really nice.

I also noticed from one of the sites that resin can be put into an aromatherapy burner, mixed with a little water, then a candle used instead of coals, so this is what I am using in the meantime.

Moonbow
09-11-2008, 20:29
Does anyone know what the other Prinknash incenses smell like, or have a recommendation. If I buy one, perhaps I could do a swap with someone?

Milfoil
09-11-2008, 23:23
The Prinknash 'Abbey' is nice too, citrusy and less 'woody' I would say - lighter.

Don't know about the others.

Sophie
10-11-2008, 03:36
For those of you who can manage French, Alchimiste.fr is a very good supplier of incense, including a lot of resins and ecclesiastical incense.