Incense Base 1

6 parts ground Charcoal (not self-igniting)
1 part ground Benzoin
2 parts ground Sandalwood
1 part ground Orris root
6 drops Essential oil
2-4 parts Incense
Tragacanth Glue
Potassium nitrate (Saltpeter)

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Incense Base 2

6 parts ground Sandalwood (or cedar, pine, or juniper)
2 parts powdered Benzoin
1 part ground Orris root
6 drops Essential oil
3-5 parts Incense
Tragacanth Glue
Potassium nitrate (Saltpeter)

Mix well, grinding to a fine texture. Weigh and add 10% potassium nitrate. Mix until thoroughly blended. Add tragacanth glue, 1 tsp at a time until all ingredients are wetted. On wax paper, shape the mixture into the basic cone shape, let dry for 2-7 days.

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Tragacanth Glue

Mix 1 tsp of ground tragacanth in a glass of warm water. Mix thoroughly until all the particles are dispersed. Let the tragacanth absorb the water until it becomes a thick, bitter-smelling paste. Cover with a wet cloth and set aside. If it becomes too thick, add a bit of water and stir thoroughly. For stick incense, the glue should be relatively thin, while thicker is desired for blocks and cones.

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Shapes

Cones – For cone incense you need a very stiff, dough like texture. If it is too thick, it won’t properly form and will take forever to dry. On a piece of waxed paper, shape the mixture into basic cone shapes, like the ones purchased.

Blocks – Make 1/3-inch thick square of the stiff dough on wax paper. Cut with a knife into one-inch cubes. Separate slightly and let dry.

Sticks – Add tragacanth until the mixture is wet but still rather thick. Dip the sticks into the mixture; let them sit upright, then dip again. It takes several dippings. When they have accumulated a sufficient amount of incense, poke them into a slab of clay or some other substance so they stand upright. Allow them to dry.

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