I hope you have something beautiful planned to celebrate this season. Spend time with friends or family, or simply take some time for yourself to appreciate the beauty of life and reconnect with what is true for you.
Aromatherapy is the perfect companion for times like this. It helps us stay connected with the moment and with ourselves—with the peaceful, uplifted parts of ourselves that we can sometimes forget amidst busy schedules.
This recipe is for a loose incense that takes less than a minute to make, and fills your home with a resinous aroma with hints of citrus and spice. It looks beautiful displayed in a bowl, making it a perfect holiday decoration that also has a practical use. (Beautiful and practical—a great combination!) It also makes a wonderful gift.
Orange & Clove Resin Incense
- ½ oz (14 g) copal resin (Shorea javanica)
- ½ oz (14 g) opopanax resin (Commiphora guidotti)
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) dried orange peel (Citrus sinensis)
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) ground clove powder (Eugenia caryophyllata)
If you prefer, you can use dried whole cloves instead of the powder, but I like the way the spicy scent is more evenly distributed with the powder.
You can make this blend in a beautiful bowl that you’d like to display your incense in, or you can use a container for leftovers that has a lid and holds at least 2 oz (60 ml).
Combine the copal and opopanax resins in the bowl, and use your hands to stir them together. (This is a dry blend, so you can use your hands to mix it all up!) You can also use a spoon. Add the orange peel and clove powder, and stir again. You’ve just blended loose incense!
I don’t always use essential oils when I make loose incense, but sometimes it’s a nice touch! In this case, you can add 5 drops of Siberian Fir (Abies Siberia).
Just drop the essential oil right onto the incense, and then you can use a spoon to stir it all up once more. (Using the spoon instead of your bare hands helps you avoid getting undiluted essential oil on your skin.)
Here are a few YouTube videos that you might like. The first is “How to Make Incense with Frankincense Resin,” and it can be helpful if you want to watch me make a loose incense blend first before making your own.
The second video shows you how to burn your loose incense with natural charcoal. A lot of people may find this one helpful, since burning loose incense involves a few more steps than just lighting an incense stick. You’ll need a heat-safe surface, a small tab of charcoal (I like to use natural bamboo charcoal made without lighter fluid), a lighter, and a small pair of tongs. Click here to watch!
I hope you enjoy this incense, and I hope your heart feels full of love!
Why does incense play such a key role in so many medicinal and spiritual traditions around the world?
How does incense work to help us access deeper levels of wisdom and healing?
Can you tap into these properties of incense and enhance your essential oil practice?
I can answer the last question for you . . . YES! When you understand how to use incense and how to “listen” to it, you can bring new dimensions to your Aromatherapy practice. My friend Eric, owner of the Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine, can answer the first 2 questions and so much more!
The “Listening to Incense” Home Study Course is offered by the Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine. It can teach you how to use incense in traditional and modern ways, so you can bring nuance and wisdom to your Aromatherapy practice. You’ll have the opportunity to experience for yourself why so many people love incense, and how it can put us in touch with your own roots, your own wisdom, and your ability to connect with the world in meaningful ways. Learn more about the course!