Friday, March 15, 2013

Handcrafted Recipe #3 - Incense Cones

 The following recipe appears (unauthorized) in an e-book.  The recipe is at least 8 years old, and needs some polishing.  We'll do that after the original:

From The Essential Herbal Magazine

1 part powdered frankincense
1 part powdered myrrh
4 parts powdered sandalwood (or pine)
1 part powdered orrisroot
1 part salt petre
1 part gum tragacanth OR gum arabic powder

Using 1 teaspoon as "a part" works well, and will yield about 3 dozen cones.
Mix the salt petre with a few tablespoons of warm water and mix well. Blend all of the other ingredients and add the water/saltpetre mixture. Mix well.
Continue adding plain water until a firm, pliable dough is formed. If it becomes too wet it will still be alright, but take longer to dry.
Take very small bits (1/4 tsp) of the dough and form into cones. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry for several days.
Turn daily. When completely dry, light with a match and burn in a fireproof dish or incense burner.

I think some things got mixed up in the copy and paste to the ebook.  It's been so long, I can't be sure, but...
#1 - I never use more than 1/10th of the total blend (by weight) in salt petre.  Above it is about 1/8th.  Too much salt petre results in a cone that burns too fast.  It is also very heavy compared to the other ingredients so when a recipe might be used by someone without a good scale, it's best to err on the side of caution.
#2 - The tragacanth is blended with a small amount of water (1/4 tsp to 1/4 cup) to form a glue and the salt petre can be added as well as long as all of the mixture is added to the dry ingredients.  In other words, use less water than you will need and then add plain water to get the texture right to work with.  By blending these two ingredients with water, their even distribution is more likely.


2 parts powdered frankincense
2 parts powdered myrrh
5 parts powdered sandalwood (or pine)
1 part powdered orrisroot
1 part salt petre
1 part gum tragacanth OR 2 parts gum arabic powder

Mix gum tragacanth and salt petre with 10 parts water (or any liquid you'd like to use).  Kneed into the dry ingredients, adding plain water by the "part" until the mixture is dough-like.
Make small cones by rolling the dough between your fingers, and place on waxed paper (or another non-porous surface) for several days, turning occasionally.  May be burned when completely dried.

And it just so happens that we do carry all of these ingredients on our website.

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