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Author Topic: Alternatives to Incense?  (Read 1270 times)

Morbid

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2018, 08:37:41 pm »


How is Japanese incense different from Indian incense? How do you find it?

How do you know if incense is smokeless?

If I'm wrong on this someone please correct me but if I'm not mistaken Japanese style incense is either greatly reduced smoke or no smoke at all.  It is probably marked on the package, or asking as sales person/consulting the website is probably the best way to figure that out. 
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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2018, 10:23:49 pm »

Questions for the assembled wisdom: 

How do you evaluate incense to determine if it's  high quality, i.e., no petroleum-based or artificial fragrances, high quality ingredients, no fillers etc.?

How is Japanese incense different from Indian incense? How do you find it?

How do you know if incense is smokeless?

I haven't shopped for incense in a very long time because most triggers migraines for me. But it sounds like maybe there's more available than there used to be. In my extremely cursory, recent glances at incense packages, I haven't noticed these kinds of descriptors.

Indian vs Japanese: Indian incense is the stick incense sort, with the wooden core. Japanese incense is rolled into sticks, there's no wooden core. I believe they also use different mixes to make their incenses, and the Japanese stuff can be more pure. And they are definitely far less smokey than Indian incense. I have seen some incence around described as smokeless, but I don't usually bother with it. Japanese incense on its own is enough for me. The smoke from Japanese incense is much finer and much more subtle, whereas Indian incense has a much more obvious smoke, because you're burning the wooden core as well as the incense.

Japanese incense is not usually so cheaply availble as Indian incense, like the cheap Hem stuff that you find everywhere. Half the time, you need to import it from Japan, if you want anything other than Morning Star. But it is worth the money though. Japanese incense has never triggered a migraine for me like cheap Indian incense has.

That said, I do buy stick incense, but I buy it all handmade, which of course costs more. I get the 100 stick packs from 13moons.com (frankincense and rosemary and whatever I get for Hekate), and I get my myrrh from Twelve Tribes incense, which are a local company for me so shipping is cheap too. For Japanese incense, I would buy Morning Star direct through their website, but they only ship to the US and Canada, so. :( I rely on ebay for that. But that's okay, because there's an Australian store that sells the Morning Star incense in bulk lots of 4 or 6, which works out best for me.
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Yei

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2018, 10:48:39 pm »
For Japanese incense, I would buy Morning Star direct through their website, but they only ship to the US and Canada, so. :( I rely on ebay for that. But that's okay, because there's an Australian store that sells the Morning Star incense in bulk lots of 4 or 6, which works out best for me.

Can I ask a quick question? Is the Australian store that you are talking about Silverstone Incense by any chance?

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2018, 10:54:18 pm »
Can I ask a quick question? Is the Australian store that you are talking about Silverstone Incense by any chance?

No, I usually buy from Aroma Queen, it's an ebay store. She sells Morning Star 50 stick packs in sets of 4 at a good price, so. I haven't heard of Silverstone Incense though. Are they any good? I'm always on the lookout for good incense stores in Australia.
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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 11:18:42 pm »
No, I usually buy from Aroma Queen, it's an ebay store. She sells Morning Star 50 stick packs in sets of 4 at a good price, so. I haven't heard of Silverstone Incense though. Are they any good? I'm always on the lookout for good incense stores in Australia.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure as I've only ever bought a few products from them. They have a huge range of incense available, including Indian and Japanese varieties, oils, resins, as well as various accessories including gems and jewellery. They are technically a wholesaler, and so their site is not really set up for causal browsing, but they will sell to the public if you ask them. I bought a kilo of black copal and 400 grams of white copal from them, but I had to send them a private message to do so. I thought you might have done the same. I'd like to buy more, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to burn incense in my place, so I have to wait.

Aster Breo

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2018, 11:20:37 pm »


Half the time, you need to import it from Japan, if you want anything other than Morning Star.

Thanks for this info. It's very helpful!

Is Morning Star a brand name or a scent?

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2018, 11:20:54 pm »
If I'm wrong on this someone please correct me but if I'm not mistaken Japanese style incense is either greatly reduced smoke or no smoke at all.  It is probably marked on the package, or asking as sales person/consulting the website is probably the best way to figure that out.
Thank you!

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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2018, 11:29:47 pm »
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure as I've only ever bought a few products from them. They have a huge range of incense available, including Indian and Japanese varieties, oils, resins, as well as various accessories including gems and jewellery. They are technically a wholesaler, and so their site is not really set up for causal browsing, but they will sell to the public if you ask them. I bought a kilo of black copal and 400 grams of white copal from them, but I had to send them a private message to do so. I thought you might have done the same. I'd like to buy more, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to burn incense in my place, so I have to wait.

Oh, cool, that sounds like a place I should check out some time. Thanks.
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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2018, 11:34:28 pm »

Thanks for this info. It's very helpful!

Is Morning Star a brand name or a scent?

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Morning Star is a brand of Nippon Kodo incence: http://www.nipponkodostore.com/Mornings-Star-s/282.htm

It's relatively inexpensive, but I've still found it to be no problem for me. And the fact that they now make frankincense and myrrh makes them even better. They're not traditional Japanese incense scents, but I use them all the time, so it's nice to be able to get them in a low-smoke form as well as my sticks. Plus these burn for, like, 30 mins max, so they're good for daily ritual. If you don't want to burn them that long though, they are very easy to break into pieces so you can burn half a stick or a third of a stick if you want to more finely control how much scent you have.
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Re: Alternatives to Incense?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2018, 10:43:00 am »
How do you evaluate incense to determine if it's  high quality, i.e., no petroleum-based or artificial fragrances, high quality ingredients, no fillers etc.?

Generally, asking and reading (and then going with makers whose answers to that are sufficient.)

Japanese incense, as others have said, often doesn't a wood core, which makes a big difference to some people. It's made of finely pressed powder (like incense cones, but a different shape.)

I find I absolutely can't use the cheaper Indian brands, but I'm fine with wood cored incense from a number of independent makers. I'm partial to Devonshire Incense (their website is a bit out of date, but if you email, they can help, or they have an Etsy store.)

For more resin-focused incense, I like Fred Soll - some of his are too much for my lungs, but it's a quantity amount mostly, so I often will light, let it burn for 5 minutes, and then stub it out again.

The people who handmake from high quality ingredients will usually spell out what they're doing pretty clearly, but you may have to do a little digging to find brands and their sites.
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