Incense burner, censer, ash

Burners for incenses


A censer or incense burner is a container designed to burn incense or perfume in a solid form. Incense burners are an ancient tradition and vary considerably in size, shape and material depending on the context of their use and the product to be consumed. They can consist of simple terracotta bowls, wooden plaques, objects from metallurgical craftsmanship or finely carved ornaments. In many cultures, burning incense has a spiritual connotation, influencing the design and decoration of the censer.

Direct combustion incense burners

For direct combustion incense, pieces of incense are lit by placing them directly on a heat source such as a match until the incense begins to turn into ash at the burning end. The burning end is then naturally sustained with ambient air, the incense continuing to burn without any flame.

The incense is then placed in the burner provided for this purpose. If it is a cone, the burner can be a terracotta dish or if it is a stick, it can be a simple pierced wooden plate or a metal container. The manufacturer will have provided in the burner, a hole allowing to wedge the stick or a support allowing to maintain the incense. The container is in itself only the simple receptacle of the ashes which will have accumulated during the combustion of the incense in the burner. However, care must be taken that the model allows a correction ventilation of the incense, ensuring perfect and regular combustion.

Burners for incense with indirect combustion

Incense with indirect combustion, is an assembly of aromatic ingredients which are not prepared in a particular way (e.g. mixed with resins to give it a particular shape), which makes it unsuitable for direct combustion like sticks. The use of this class of incense therefore requires a separate heat source in order to act as fuel. Heat is traditionally supplied by charcoal or glowing embers which will be placed in the incense burner. The burning time of this type of incense can vary with the texture of the material (e.g. an assemblage of dried herbs, pieces of resin like Myrrh). The finest ingredients tend to be consumed faster, while coarsely ground or whole pieces can be consumed more slowly.

For domestic use of this type of incense, small concave charcoal briquettes are sold. We light the corner of the briquette on fire, then place it in the incense burner and extinguish the flame. Once the brilliant sparks have passed through the whole briquette, it has a temperature of almost 300 ° C and is ready to receive the incense. The latter is carefully sprinkled on the briquette and it then begins to burn.

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