I love burning incenses and lighting candles in my room, I recognize I’m not at all an expert on aromatherapy, but I do love finding different scents and incenses. Being in China have given me a great opportunity to explore this amazing world of aromatherapy.Natural resins, gums and herbs have been burned as incense since ancient times for its spiritual, medicinal/healing, fragrance and odor-masking properties.Right now there are many different kinds of incenses, both natural and synthetic used for different reasons. Most of synthetic incenses are made with toxic substances that are not welcome while practising aromatherapy. Natural incenses on the other hand are easy to find and can be made at home. Today I want to introduce you to the incenses world, by telling you about some of the different kind of incenses all over the world and in future posts we can learn how to make hand made incenses with natural ingredients.This are some of the most common types of incense:Dipped Incense Sticks: Dipped sticks are made with incense “blanks” which are long, thin wooden sticks that have a combustible powder coating such as charcoal or wood. The incense blanks are then dipped in either essential oils or synthetic fragrance oils, then left to dry.Hand Rolled Incense Sticks: Hand rolled incense is especially popular in India. The appearance of hand rolled incense is similar to that of dipped incense sticks, but the process of making the sticks is different. Hand rolled incense sticks, especially those from India, are said to be more natural than dipped incense sticks. This are my favorites, I love Darshan incenses and they are incredibly cheap here in China.Smudge Sticks: American Indians burn incense by tying herbs such as sage into bundles and then burning the bundles as smudge sticks.Cones: Commercially available incense cones generally contain synthetics, but all natural cones are available. Cones are made by mixing fragrant natural and/or synthetic oils and powdered ingredients with a combustible powder that helps the cones burn properly. Cones can be made at home using all natural ingredients.Japanese Incense (Koh): “Koh” is the Japanese word for incense. Unlike dipped or rolled incense that contains a wooden stick with combustible incense powder adhering to it, Koh is made by preparing powdered woods, resins, herbs, and oils, forming a dough-like mixture that is made into long, thin “noodles” similar to spaghetti. The long “noodles” are then cut into short sticks and allowed to dry.Loose Incense Powders: Natural incense powder can be made using powdered sandalwood, herbs and other natural ingredients. The incense powder can then be mixed with a combustible ingredient such as natural makko powder or burned on top of a charcoal tablet.Resins: Natural resins such as frankincense, myrrh, opoponax and dragon’s blood can be burned alone as incense. The general method of burning resins is by placing them on a charcoal tablet or via the Japanese Kodo Ceremony.Woods: Aromatic woods such as aloeswood, sandalwood and cedarwood can be burned alone. Chips or wood powders can be mixed with resins and herbs to create an incense blend. Like resins, they can be burned by setting them on top of charcoal tablets, by using a Japanese incense stove or by using the method employed as a part of the Japanese Kodo method. Because aloeswood and other woods can be costly, burning them slowly or gently heating them is best. Aloeswood is cherished for incense because it is said to promote a deep sense of peace. It, therefore, is commonly used during times of meditation.Incense Mixtures: Resins, Woods and Powdered incense ingredients can be combined to form a loose incense mixture. Incense mixtures can be burned on top of a charcoal tablet, mixed with crushed charcoal or makko powder and burned on top of rice ash or sea salt, or burned via the methods used for the traditional Japanese Kodo Ceremony.As I’ve seen in many magazines and websites there are many different methods to make and burn incenses so I would advice you to read first as many articles as possible to avoid accidents while making the incenses. You should also pay a lot of attention while burning incenses, make sure they are secured and away from cloths, curtains, beds, any kind of flammable objects. You should always check from the incenses ingredients and origin to avoid toxic substances in your home.I hope all of you can have a fun aromatherapy experience and if you have any aromatherapy tips for beginners like me or for some more experienced users, we’ll love to hear them from you.