Saturday, July 30, 2005

Traditional Incense - Different Types Part Three

This three part series focuses on Traditional Incense (resins, woods, grasses, leaves, etc). The history, what is needed and directions for burning, and how to choose traditional incense and the different types.

Choosing Traditional Incense

There are many types of Traditional Incense for you to enjoy.

1. Resin comes in three principal categories: Oleoresins are sticky, semisolids that contain essential oils. They include balsam, dragons blood and turpentine. Hard resins are hard, brittle, odorless (until burned) and tasteless and are obtained either as fossil or as distillation products of the oleoresins. They include amber, copals and mastic. Gum resins contain gums or tree saps and include frankincense, myrrh and benzoin.

2. Woods are pieces of the actual plant or tree. They are graded if any oil has been extracted from them. Some woods are also ground to fine powder. They include sandalwood, aloeswood, red sandalwood and cedarwood.

3. Grasses, leaves and flowers are pieces of a plant, the whole plant or the flower of a plant. They include white and desert sage, sweetgrass, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass and patchouli herb.

4. Blends contain any of the above mixtures to create a combined aroma. Nu Essence resins are a good example of these as they may combine 15 or more ingredients to make a complex aroma with distinctive smells from each ingredient. These are based on Egyptian mixes.

This three part series was reprinted in part by the permission of the Incense Sampler and Vicki Hinz, thank you.


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