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Recipes: Favorites

In trying to create an incense recipe it's easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of aromatic ingredients there are to choose from. It can cause a sort of "writer's block" when trying to create new recipes.

A great way to avoid "writer's block" and ensure that you'll like the recipe you create, is to begin with a single ingredient that you already know you love, then mix it with a couple of ingredients that are known to "mix well with" your favorite ingredient.

For example, lets say you love Vanilla so you visit the Incense Ingredients Section, click on Vanilla and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the category, "Mixes Well With." There you find the following:

Mixes Well With: benzoin, cassia, cinnamon, cloves, copal-black, mugwort, nutmeg, opoponax, palo santo wood, sandalwood, storax, sweetgrass, tolu balsam, tonka beans, vetiver, copaiba and Peru balsams, etc.

From this list you'd choose a couple of ingredients to mix with your Vanilla. So you would click on a few "Mixes Well With" ingredients and read about their characteristics and aroma descriptions. In this example you decide that a deep, rich, balsamic, vanilla-spice blend is the way to go today so you've chosen to add palo santo wood, storax bark, and tolu balsam to your vanilla.

A good starting point is to add each of the new ingredients in equal parts to each other. You decide however that a whole part of vanilla would probably be too overpowering, so instead you decide to add 1/4 part Vanilla.

Let's say you also don't happen to have any pure natural vanilla powder on hand, so instead you scrape out the inside of a a few vanilla beans and add it to the mixture... flexibility is often the key ingredient to any incense recipe.

In this example your recipe would look like this:

1 part palo santo wood
1 part tolu balsam
1 part storax bark
1/4 part vanilla bean powder (natural only)

A "part" is any unit of measurement you wish to use, provided it's consistent throughout the entire recipe. We often use the conversion of 1 part = 1, 2, or 3 grams for small batches, and maybe 1 part = 5 to 10 grams for larger batches, etc. If you prefer, you can use powdered volume measurements with teaspoons, tablespoons and/or cups.

Prepare and mix these ingredients together as a loose incense mixture, let it sit overnight, then heat the incense, experience its aroma and make any adjustments to the recipe to suit your tastes.

In the end, the odds are very good you'll have a recipe that you enjoy because it's based on one of your favorite ingredients. Along the way you've also been introduced to a few new ingredients.

Like an onion, there is no center at arrive at, the beauty is in the layers, so just have fun.

Step 1. Begin with one of your favorite natural aromatic ingredients

Step 1.  Visit the Incense Ingredients Section and find out which ingredients "Mix Well With" your favorite ingredient

Step 3. Check the aroma description, information, and properties of each "Mixes Well With" ingredient to determine if you'd like to add it to your recipe

Step 4. Choose 2 or 3 new ingredients that harmonize with your favorite ingredient and make a new recipe beginning with this basic formula:

1 to 3 parts of Your Favorite Ingredient
1 part New Ingredient #1
1 part New Ingredient #2
1 part New Ingredient #3

You can choose to add just one new ingredient if you prefer.

Step 5. Grind and Mix the ingredients

Step 6. Test burn the incense recipe on charcoal, trail, or stove, to see if you like the aroma

Note: The stove method offers the best opportunity for a slow examination of all the layers of fragrance in your incense without burning and charring the incense

Step 7. Adjust and test the recipe until satisfied

Step 8. Keep as a loose incense mixture or decide to make pellets, sticks, cones or molds

Have fun & enjoy!

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