The room is filled with a pleasant silence. A match lights up hissing and a short time later aromatic threads of smoke dance through the silence.
The use of fragrant herbs, resins and woods for burning has always had a mysterious effect and still fascinates today. Burning has a long tradition which runs like a red thread through the history of mankind.
Then as now we appreciate the fragrant smoke because of its versatile effect.
Why do we burn incense?
The germicidal and disinfectant effect of burning was already known to our ancestors. The spiritual and mysterious aspects of the fragrant smoke were (and still are) used for religious purposes or meditation.
Certain resins were highly prized, so there were times when incense was as expensive as gold.
In the alpine region there is still the tradition of the Twelfth Night (also called Rauhnächte). In these special nights between 21 December and 6 January, house and yard are to be touched by smoke, in order to ward off misfortune and illness. Particularly important are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
In Far Eastern cultures, burning is also attributed an important significance. The fragrant smoke is mainly used for spiritual purposes. In India, sandalwood is highly prized as incense. It was and still is used for meditation, to break down bad karma and to expel evil spirits.
From Tradition to Modernity
These days, we burn for a variety of reasons. From tradition, for cleaning or simply for relaxation. The art of burning continues to fascinate and intoxicate our senses.
The suitable burning material can be selected according to personal preferences and needs.
For example, incense has a cleansing and brightening effect while the scent of herbal mixtures with roses and lavender blossoms promotes relaxation.
The incense can also be adapted to the season. Flowery herbal mixtures, for example, are ideal for spring cleaning, while resins and warming herbs such as sage fit better into the cold season.
No matter what you choose: Burning does not only make you think about it.
Burning incense at home
In order to experience the manifold effects of the herbs and resins for yourself, you can simply burn incense yourself at home.
A fireproof container, charcoal and the suitable material are ideal for it.
For this purpose various aromatic herbs and resins can be used.
The charcoal can be ignited in a bowl filled with sand or a special burning vessel. Once the piece of coal is glowing and covered with a layer of ash, resins, herbs or incense mixtures can be added.
Immediately a pleasant aroma will spread and the substances can unfold their effect.