Making Cone Incense at Home

Date Posted:10 March 2022 

There is a myriad of reasons to burn incense, from relaxing and calming the mind to using it to stimulate creativity for inner work or for use in traditional ceremonial purposes. In this edition, we are going to make some direct-burning incense cones, with a few simple ingredients. This is a great school holiday or handson homeschooling educational activity for the kids to get involved! Before we begin, below are some of the tools you will need:

Mortar & pestle (or electric grinder)

Glass jars

Measuring device (such as measuring spoons)


Incense burner (or small ceramic plate)

The essential components in incense-making are your dried aromatics, which consists of the finely ground plant material and binder such as water, guar gum or honey, which are used to hold the material together. The scent of sandalwood when burnt promotes relaxation, it is also considered an aphrodisiac, making it a perfect inclusion as an incense base material when we’re trying to create a romantic atmosphere. Please note our Australian sandalwood powder is suitable and ready for use as per the recipes below.


Steps to make incense:

  1. Grind all dried aromatic ingredients to a fine powder.
  2. Add essential oils as desired.
  3. Very slowly add water, stirring and mixing as you go and when close to dough like consistency, knead well, then shape into cones. The mixture is ready for shaping when it holds well together while being easily shaped.
  4. With the nail, pierce the bottom of the cone to about the mid-point of the incense core, be careful to leave the top of the cone unpierced and in tack. Doing this will create a ‘backflow’ affect where the smoke will be pushed down like a waterfall, instead of rising like a regular incense cone.
  5. Place incense cones on a sheet of baking paper once shaped. Allow to dry in a sunny location for a day or two.
  6. Ensure incense cones are completely dried before storing them immediately in an airtight container.
  7. Only burn cone incense on a non-flammable surface, such as a ceramic plate or an incense burner. This will enhance your enjoyment while keeping the rest of the surfaces clean and ash free.

Tips to Keep in Mind:

Prior to trying out the recipes below, it’s a good idea to be aware of a few key things.

  1. When adding the liquids, add only a very small amount at a time so that the mixture does not become runny, aim for a dough like consistency.
  2. When rolling and shaping the cones, ensure there are no presence of cracks as it can impact negatively on the way it burns. If the cones break during shaping, add a little liquid, and knead the dough thoroughly as it is likely due to a lack of binder.
  3. Should the incense cones not burn well or extinguish, it may be due to the cones not being completely dry or that they’ve been humidified during storage.


Relaxing Incense

3 Tbsp Sandalwood

1 Tbsp Lavender

½ Tsp Marjoram

3- 6 drops Jasmine Essential Oil (Optional)

Water (distilled or rainwater)


Purification Incense

3 Tbsp Sage

1 Tsp Sandalwood

1 Tsp Frankincense

1 Tsp Myrrh

1 Tsp Rosemary

1 pinch sea salt

Water (distilled or rainwater)


Breathe Easy

3 Tbsp Sandalwood

1 Tbsp Pine needles

3 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Water (distilled or rainwater)


Once you get a hang of making incense cones, why not be creative and use some of the herbs already growing in your garden by drying and processing them to a fine powder, suitable for use. Making incense cones yourself is a way to ensure that only quality materials are used in the crafting process and as per your tastes.

Whether it’s the scented precious wood that is sandalwood or in combination with your aromatic inputs of your choice, incense-making is a creative and intentional process. Considering that burning incense can bring an added dimension of tranquility into your life, it is most certainly a practice worth exploring.


Comments (1)

Amazing Incense Cones

By: on 21 August 2023
Can't wait to try these recipes. Can you tell me details of any of the ingredients you are selling so I can purchase from you to get started. Many thanks for sharing.

The Sandalwood Shop Response
Hi Marlene It is great to hear that you are going to make your own incense. We sell either the Pure Australia Sandalwood Powder or the Indian Sandalwood Powder that can be used for incense making. All the best The Sandalwood Shop Team

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