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How to Burn Loose Incense

*Use caution when burning incense and always use in a well ventilated area.

Charcoal Discs:

This is probably the most common way to burn loose incense.

 You will need: a charcoal disc, tongs, a heat proof bowl, ash/sand/salt, a lighter, and your loose incense.

  1. Prepare your heat proof bowl by adding some ash/sand/salt in the bottom to disperse the heat from the charcoal disc.
  2. Using the tongs, grab the charcoal disc and light it using the lighter. Make sure you hold the flame on it until it starts to spark quite a bit. Once it starts sparking, set it down into the bowl and let it heat up for a few minutes.
  3. After the charcoal disc is nice and hot, sprinkle a pinch of loose incense on top. The herbs & resins will start to burn right away. They burn up pretty quick. Once the last of the resin has burned, I like to take my tongs and tilt the disc to get the burned incense off so I can put another pinch on. The disc should burn for 30-45 minutes.
  4. After you're done, you can put a lid on (if available) to stop the smoke, or remove the burned incense and just let the charcoal disc burn down into ash.


Tea Candle Burner:

You will need: a tea candle burner (you can find them in our incense supplies), a tea candle, your loose incense or resin, and a lighter.

When adjusted to the highest level, this method creates less smoke than a charcoal disc.


  1. Place a single layer of loose incense or resin on the screen in the top tray.
  2. Place a tea candle on the bottom tray.
  3. Using a lighter, light the candle.
  4. The candle will burn the incense/resin right away.
  5. Enjoy the healing aromas.
  6. You can adjust the top tray, up or down, depending on how fast you want it to burn.
  7. Please use caution when burning. The top tray and post will get hot.
  8. When finished, blow out the candle and discard the ashes when they have cooled.


DIY Burner:

You will need: a bowl, a strip of tinfoil 2-3 inches wide, a tea candle, a lighter, and your loose incense or resin.

Make sure that the strip of tinfoil is long enough to run across the top of the bowl and down both sides - it needs to stay in place

This method is great if you prefer to create less smoke compared to using a charcoal disc.


  1. Light the tea candle and place it in the bowl.
  2. Lay the strip of tinfoil over the top of the bowl. You can adjust the height of the tinfoil to create the desired temperature.
  3. Place a large pinch of loose incense or a few pieces of resin on top of the tinfoil. The candle will heat the incense/resin and release their beautiful fragrances.
  4. When the incense is burned up, discard and add another pinch. Enjoy!

Electric incense/resin burner:

When I am not using smoke as part of my purpose for burning incense, I choose to use my electric burner. This method is great because it allows the herbs & resins to heat up more slowly so the aroma lasts longer and you don't get the added smoke.

Electric incense burner - Esoteric Odyssey - Loose Incense Blends

You will need: an electric resin/incense burner, tongs, metal trays (they usually come with them) or tinfoil, and your loose incense.

  1. Plug the electric burner in and turn it on. Some burners have a temperature gauge that allows you to choose your temperature. Mine has this and I always have it on the highest setting, but you will have to experiment to see what suits you the best. Wait at least five minutes to let it heat up.
  2. Place a metal tray or a piece of tinfoil shaped into a shallow bowl onto the burner. You don't want to place the herbs & resins right onto the burner because the burned residue will stick to it and you won't be able to clean it off.
  3. Drop a pinch full of loose incense into the tray or tinfoil cup. If you have a lid for your burner, gently put the lid in place. You should be able to start smelling the amazing aroma right away.
  4. After the incense has been burning for a bit, I sometimes like to stir it around to make sure all of it gets burned. To do this, use your tongs to remove the lid and then use the tongs to stir the incense. You can also trade trays if you want to use a different incense blend. Make sure to use your tongs to lift out the hot tray and to place the new one in.
  5. When you're finished, just turn your electric burner off and let the burned incense cool before discarding.


 A couple other ways...

On the Stove

Another simple way you can burn the loose incense is to burn it on the stove in a pot. Unless you have a specific pot just for burning incense, I suggest lining the pot with tinfoil first for easier clean up. Simply place the pot on the stove on medium heat. Place a large pinch of loose incense in the pot and enjoy. Adjust the temperature to your liking.

Hot Rocks

If you have the privilege of having access to a sauna or sweat lodge that uses heated rocks, one of my favorite ways to use loose incense is by sprinkling a pinch full onto the hot rocks. These amazing herbs & resins will fill the space with their magical power and assist you on your journey.