There are three main types of incense, these are; sticks (joss sticks), cones, and powdered. Joss sticks, as they are frequently known, are simple to use, easy to obtain and are available in many fragrances. They are self-burning, and once lit need very little attention. Cones are quite similar to joss sticks in that they are fairly easily obtainable and are self burning. There are however, differences: cones have no wood core, which sticks often have, and a conical shape. Powdered incense is not self burning and requires self-lighting charcoal discs. These are discs of charcoal which have been compressed and soaked in potassium nitrate. When lit they become very hot quite quickly and stay hot for anything up to 2 hours, sometimes longer. The method I recommend for lighting them is to rest the disc on the side of a upturned flower pot, and hold a lighter under it until the side glows and sparks. This should then spread quickly over the whole surface. It is then best to leave them until they are heated through. If it is night time the disc will glow red, and if it is day it will be covered in a fine grey ash. You can now add your powdered incense.
How to make incense
Below is an outline method on how to make your own powdered incense,
which needs to be burnt over charcoal.
ProtectionJuniper, Rosemary, Thyme, Black pepper
PurificationSage, Lavender, Thyme
RelaxationLavender, Chamomile, Cinnamon
InvigorationVanilla, Black pepper, Lemongrass