Resins

Resins and woods are the raw ingredients of incenses. A resin is the dried sap that was "bled" from a tree. It contains sugars and other compounds found in the plant or tree's sap, which is why most have a sweet scent when burned. Other products in this category are chipped or ground up woods, like Sandalwood. These are often used as a base for powdered incenses, and like resins, most smell very good burned on their own. I also include Sage leaf and smudge sticks in this section because they are used in similar ways.

How to burn resins

The charcoals used to burn resins get very hot. Use a burner made for resin incense, with a metal screen or with sand or rocks to insulate from the heat.

We often break the charcoals in half because they burn for nearly an hour. Light the charcoal with a lighter or match, and when it starts to spark, put it in the burner.

lt is best to let the whole charcoal begin to glow before adding any resin. Then sprinkle on the resin as desired, a little bit at a time. lf you add too much or cover the charcoal completely, you might put out the charcoal. Also, most natural resin incenses smell better when burned in small amounts at a time.

Keep away from kids and pets. Let the charcoal burn down completely, and make sure it's all ash before throwing out because it could set trash on fire. Ask us how we know!

We don't clean the burner after every use. When there is a collection of ash in the burner, pour contents into strainer over the sink and rinse with water. Let dry, and put rocks back in burner. (If you use sand you'll just have to dump the whole mess and use fresh sand).

Store unused charcoal in a zip-lock bag or in a jar, because they won't burn well if they collect humidity from the air.

Enjoy!

Benzoin. This natural Benzoin resin is in big chunks. It is clear and pungent by itself, with a nice balsam and mild vanilla notes. It blends very well with other herbs and resins, harmonizing otherwise disparate ingredients.   $4 1 oz.   more info... Burner for charcoal incense and resins. There are many nice and a whole lot more cheezy burners fro charcoal incense from import stores, and many people use Native American traditional Abalone shells. My solution is: I shop the many resale stores of Austin TX, and buy nice oversized cocktail or martini glasses, and then you can choose the ornamental gravel that goes into the glass to prevent the burning charcoal from cracking the glass. I've got black pebbles, mixed natural colored pebbles and silver-painted stone chips. Let me know if you have a preference. I will try to keep the photos up-to-date, but you might get something similar to the photo, because I'm buying them individually at resale shops. I really like this apparatus more than the import burners, because the long stem of the glass allows you to carry the incense about the house.   $13 cocktail glass and ornamental gravel   more info...
Charcoal tablets. Charcoal tablets come in packages of ten, and should be kept in a Ziplock bag or glass jar after opening, or they won't light as well. Break them into 2-4 pieces if you want a shorter burning time. Always use in a proper burner! Never try it in a glass ashtray!  
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$3 package of 10 small (33mm)

$5 package of 10 large (38mm)

Copal Blanco. Copal Blanco is golden-white in color and is very bright and clean smelling. This is a standard in Mexico, South and Central America for purification.   $3 1 oz.   more info...
Copal Negro. Copal Negro is brownish-grey in color and is very bright and clean smelling. This is a standard in Mexico, South and Central America for purification. Copal Negro has a deeper, more complex smell than the Copal Blanco, perhaps because it is not such a refined product.   $3 1 oz.   more info... Copal Oro. Copal Oro is golden in color and is very bright and clean smelling. This is a standard in Mexico, South and Central America for purification. Copal Oro has a sweeter, more complex smell than the Copal Blanco, something I describe as a butterscotch note.   $3 1 oz.   more info...
Dragon's Blood. Dragon's blood is sharp, deep, fiery, and powerful. It has been used widely in magick and medicine for centuries. In Western magick is is used primarily as an incense ingredient for power, potency, protection, exorcism, love, money, did I forget anything? Yes, it is becoming rare and high global demand on these several species of slow-growing palm trees makes the conservation of Dragon's Blood a prime concern for the ethical practitioner.   $15 1 oz. chunks   more info... Frankincense. Frankincense is the definitive incense resin, and it can be burned alone or as an ingredient in countless formulas. Frankincense is used for purification, prosperity, protection, spiritual elevation, psychic power, and as an offering to the gods. It is truly an all-purpose incense for any intention.   $3 1 oz.   more info...
Gum Arabic. Gum Arabic has uses as a binder in many incense recipes since it is almost without fragrance by itself. It is also used as thickener in inks, a natural glue, and in cooking.

Gum Arabic is the sap of either of two trees in the Acacia genus, Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. Most Gum Arabic comes from Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria. While we burn it as incense, it is used widely to thicken and emulsify all sorts of food and beverages, including most soft drinks.   $3 1 oz. chunks   more info...
Lignum Aloes. It is unlikely that real Lignum Aloes will ever be available at any price. To the best of my knowledge, it was over-harvested to commercial and perhaps biological extinction, and because of the long-term nature of the crop, will never be restored by a capitalist system. Lignum Aloes was austere yet deep. It has been used in Japan for thousands of years, "the scent of Nirvana". Near as I can tell, the powder I once carried was made from the Aquilaria agallocha tree, but it was no where near Oud quality, a perfume that was once made from the exudate that oozed from Aquilaria trees of over 300 years that had fallen, then were infected by a microbe that caused the ooze.   $20 1/2 oz.   more info...
Myrrh. Next to Frankincense, Myrrh is the most indispensable of incense resins. It is the dried sap from the Myrrh tree, Comiphora myrrha. Myrrh is burned as incense for purification, healing, protection, and to raise spiritual vibrations. It is usually blended, and Frankincense and Myrrh are a well known and used combination. It smells very calming, sweet and comforting. It is used in many meditation and "temple" incense recipes for these reasons.   $3 1 oz.   more info... Opoponax. Opoponax is referred to in countless magickal texts, but there is confusion about what plant it originally was. The Opoponax currently in use is the resin, or dried sap of Comiphora guidotti, a close relative of Myrrh. In fact, Opopanax is often called "Sweet Myrrh" although it's difficult to get sweeter than Myrrh.   $4 1 oz.   more info... Piņon. The resin from a number of pines from the desert Southwest and Mexico yield Trementina or Piņon resin. Also spelled Pinyon or Pinion, these trees also produce Pine nuts, or Piņon nuts. The resin is usually sticky and the scent is deep, sweet, and full. Like many tree resins it is used to purify and bless a space. Piņon is also used to increase concentration and for meditation. It refreshes and strengthens a weary spirit. Piņon is a very sacred and traditional Native American incense.   $6 1 oz.   more info...
Sage, California White Sage. Salvia apiana is called White Sage, Grandfather Sage and California Sage. This herb when burned smells sharp, pungent, bright and so powerfully cleansing it could be used for exorcism. This is a very traditional Native American smudge stick herb.   $2 1/2 oz. leaves   more info... Sage, New Mexico Sage. This "sage" is actually an Artemisia species, A. trilobata, gathered from northern New Mexico near Taos. This herb is used for cleansing similar to White Sage, but has a more feminine, sweeter smell. It has milder purifying powers than White Sage, and is used as well as for blessing purposes. Many people smudge with White Sage first, then with New Mexico Sage as a final blessing before a ceremony.   $3 1/2 oz.   more info... Sandalwood, Indian Sandalwood, White Sandalwood. This is the standard Sandalwood, Santalum alba we usually think of, smelling soft, sweet, mellow, and meditative burned or as a sachet. Magickally, Sandalwood is used for elevating spiritual vibrations, and for protection, offering, Full Moon rituals, prayers and wishes, healing, attracting benevolent spirits. It blends very well with most other resins and incense herbs, serving as a base and fixative.   $13 1/2 oz. powder   more info...
Sandalwood, Red Sandalwood. Red Sandalwood, Pterocarpus santalinus, is not related to White Sandalwood. It is a rich red color, and is used as an incense base wood even though it has very little fragrance of its own. I use it when I want a Martial influence in a blend, and for the nice red color.  
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$3 1/2 oz. powder

$3 1/2 oz chips

Smudge Stick. Small California White Sage bundles for smudging. These are a practical 3-4 inch size. Also known as Grandfather Sage, this bundle is lit on the end like an incense stick. The smoldering herb produces a pungent, very purifying smoke.   $3   more info... Sweetgrass Braid. Sweetgrass is a native American grass which smells very sweetly when burned. It is a traditional First Nations sacred burning herb for smudging. It has a very purifying, blessing, and spiritually uplifting scent. The long braids vary between 24 and 30 inches long.   $10   more info...
Wood Aloes, Cape Aloes. Wood Aloes, Aloe ferrox, is used as a substitute for Aquilaria agallocha, which is called Lignum Aloes, Lignaloes, Oud, or Oriental Lignum. Wood Aloes does smell a lot like the nearly commercially extinct Oud, a perfume/resin/incense made from the Aquilaria tree. It is perfectly suited as a substitute for this rare substance.   $4 1 oz.   more info...

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