How Is Incense Made?

Maybe you have been burning incense for years, you are an incense connoisseur even, or perhaps you are a newbie to this fascinating world of fragrance. Either way, the process of making incense is an interesting one.


Lady holding a bundle of bamboo sticks in her left hand and rolling one bamboo stick in incense powder in the right hand

Incense around the world

Before we dive in, it is worth noting that incense varies around the world. Because it has been used in many different cultures for centuries, there are many different types of incense and therefore many different methods of making it too.

Indian Incense

Indian incense is generally found in the form of an incense stick. This type of incense is made with a bamboo stick at the core, which is then rolled in the base and aromatic ingredients to create a finished product.

Japanese Incense

In contrast, Japanese incense is known for its solid stick format, meaning they are made entirely from base and aromatic materials without a supporting core.

Tibetan Incense

Similar to Japanese incense, Tibetan versions do not have a stick at their core but what really defines the Tibetan incense is their earthy fragrance and thicker diameter.

How is incense made?

Six varied brown coloured incense sticks with a bright blue sky in the background

Now for the big question - how is incense actually made? At In Sense, we stock a gorgeous range of Indian incense sticks that are made in the most traditional way possible. The process we will describe below is specific to this type of incense stick.

It is important to note that not all Indian incense is the same. You can find Indian incense sticks at the lower end of the price range that have been made in large quantities by a machine using synthetic materials. And you can also find natural, handmade incense - incense that is made from all natural ingredients, and made in small quantities by hand. The end result differs significantly.

At In Sense, we believe in doing things the old-fashioned way. All of our incense is hand-made in a small Indian village, far away from large polluting factories.


Our hand-made production process looks like this: 

✅  The base and aromatic materials are first harvested

✅  They are then ground to a very fine powder, and mixed with a small amount of water to make a pliable paste

✅  Once the paste is at the right consistency, the natural bamboo stick is carefully rolled (in our case, by hand) in the paste

✅  The stick are left to dry naturally in the sun, which may take a couple of weeks

✅  Finally, the dried incense stick is hand-rolled in essential oils and left to dry once again (the quality of essential oils can vary widely and it is an ingredient that we are very serious about at In Sense - stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about it)

The finished product is an incense stick like no other 😍  You can check our our incense here to find out for yourself.