Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Burning Loose Incense

I'm thinking of trying loose incense instead of the sticks I have been using. (I want to experiment with some scents more than buying commercial incense will allow, and loose seemed easier to deal with in that respect than cones or sticks.) A couple of things I wanted to ask before I do this:

One, I want to make sure I understand the theory before I start trying to do it in practice. You have a charcoal disk in some sort of firesafe container, over which you scatter a mixture of loose herbs and/or resins, correct?

Two, some more depth on the above: can the charcoal tablets be used more than once, or is it pretty much one tablet per burn? And how much incense should one use? And the loose incense is just herbs and resins and whatever mixed together, no special preparation needed, right?

Three, what do you use to hold the charcoal while it's burning? I've heard of special burners, but don't know where to find them--I can buy charcoal tablets around here, but none of the stores that carry them seem to have anything to burn in. I thought of maybe a dish filled with sand or something, but wasn't sure how big it would need to be in order to be safe. (Or where to get the sand, but it does occur to me that in roughly a week I'm going to... the Atlantic coast. For a week... Hmmmm.)

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