How to Burn Resin Incense on Charcoal

Resin incense is the pure natural material used to formulate incense sticks and cones. It may be purified tree sap, powdered wood, or other plant material, or else a combination of various ingredients. It can be a natural way of using scent, and also a powerful magical tool. If you’ve ever been in a church where a priest or assistant is swinging a censer, you know resin incense is a tradition shared by many spiritual paths.


A resin incense burner or other safe container. You may want to buy a special burner, usually a brass burner with a screen. These burners often come with a little wooden plate to place under the burner when it’s in use; this keeps the hot metal from touching your furniture. Alternatively, you can use any non-flammable dish with enough sand inside to form a safe layer under the charcoal.

Charcoal: We sell both bamboo charcoal and easy-to-light disks. The disks are a little easier to use, but the bamboo charcoal is additive-free and burns cleaner.

Resin or powder incense

Tongs and a small spoon are useful for handling the charcoal and resin, but you can use kitchen utensils for this as well.

How to Use:

Make sure you’re burning your incense in a safe place, free of drafts, where pets and children can’t get into it. It’s good to keep some water handy just in case.

There are two ways of lighting the charcoal. 1) If you have an electric stove, the easiest way is to place the lump of charcoal directly on your burner and turn the burner on. Soon you’ll see the charcoal begin to glow reddish. You can then transfer it into your container. 2) You can also use a lighter or match to light the charcoal. It takes longer to light charcoal than to light stick incense, however–around 30 seconds with the lighter, or a couple matches.

Spoon a small amount of incense onto the coals at a time. It’s best to start with a few granules of resin, or a pinch of powder, and add more as needed. If you add too much at once, it can get a little overpowering.

Enjoy! Resin incense comes straight from the plant, and is the oldest form of incense. It’s very intense and very pure, so a little should last a long time.

Mimosa has also produced a short video about burning resin incense:

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