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Magazine Web Edition > October 1983 > The Fine Art of Incense Making

The Fine Art of Incense Making



There are two methods for making incense sticks. Here we will describe the first. The process by which they have been being made for centuries in India is to gather certain natural, organic, raw materials which have a natural fragrance, certain natural woods and herbs, then grind them into a powder, then add a natural plant glue to make a dough of the fragrant ingredients, then roll the dough around the stick, then dry them and pack them to be sold. There is a great deal of artsmanship, craftsmanship and creativity necessary in this process. Over many generations of incensemaking, special formulas of certain natural ingredients in a certain ratio one to another are found to give off a very special fragrance which is very ideal to evoke a certain mood such as for a puja and meditation. In India the art of making incense was often the work of many generation of the same family, and the formula for the incense that they developed was kept a secret in the family. This same process is found in China and japan where incense is made the same way, and where the process is developed to a very high degree of refinement. Then once the formula for making the dough is developed, a great deal of craftsmanship is necessary to roll the dough around the stick. This ancient and very traditional process is found only in the countries of the Orient and not in America. The mixture of ingredients which make up such a special formula is called a masala. Of the forty-eight different fragrances of incense sticks that Indiacrafts carry, about ten of them are made by this process. Two of them have been found especially conducive to puja and meditation, One is called Nag Champa which especially puts one in a meditative mood, and the other, Padmini, is said to create a very ethereal vibration which lingers for an hour after it is burnt whereas many types of incense-fragrance dissipate almost immediately. Anyone can receive a free sample of these two by writing to Indiacrafts and asking for it.

Presently, Indiacrafts has forty-eight kinds of incense each giving off a different fragrance. Larger samples are available in sets of twelve which anyone, especially retailers, may receive by sending $1.00 to Indiacrafts to receive one set of twelve.

Indiacrafts sells its products both wholesale and retail. Please direct inquiries to the address in the accompanying ad.


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