How To Use The Different Types Of Incense Cones- Incense Cones vs Backflow Cones

How To Use The Different Types Of Incense Cones- Incense Cones vs Backflow Cones

If you have been lurking around metaphysical stores for some time, you would probably be familiar with the different types of incenses available.

Stick incense is the most common form of incense available, especially in Australia where we live, followed closely by incense cones.

But did you know that there are 2 types of incense cones?

There are the standard incense cones which are placed on a heatproof dish and burnt to release their scent, and then there are incense cones known as backflow incense cones which, not only release a beautiful aroma, they also create stunning visual smoke displays! This is the type of incense cone you often see in stores with a waterfall type incense burner.

The Organic Goodness incense cones sitting in a brass singing bowl in front of a wooden apothecary cabinet 

The Organic Goodness incense cones pictured above are standard incense cones

 

What are Incense Cones?

Incense cones are a type of direct burning incense created by mixing a burning agent, a binding agent, and a fragrance.

They are moulded into the shape of a cone so that they can stand on their own. There are two main types of incense cones: Standard incense cones and backflow incense cones (sometimes called waterfall incense cones).

 

What Is The Difference Between An Incense Cone & A Backflow Incense Cone?

Standard incense cones and backflow incense cones are created from the same materials; however the backflow incense cones are created with a hole in their centre.

Unlike the standard incense cones, this hole in the centre of the backflow cones, causes the smoke to be drawn down through the incense cone instead of rising upwards.

As this smoke is cooled, it exits the hole in the base of the incense, creating a cascading smoke effect, similar to water flowing down a waterfall. This creates the mystical and magickal appearance that can be seen with backflow and waterfall incense burners.

Now that you are aware of the different types of incense cones, you may be wondering if they can be used the same way? The short answer is no.

Waterfall incense burners have a hole over which you place the hole in the backflow incense cone which is what circulates the air. If you place this type of cone on a standard incense cone burner it will not have the same effect, and if you place a standard incense cone over the hole in the backflow burner, it may clog up the hole and also will not produce the desired effect. Like most things, they have been created for specific purposes and they are best utilised this way.

 

dark green box of backflow incense cones in front of a gold coloured brass singing bowl with a wooden striker

So, How Do You Use Standard Incense Cones

The basics of using standard incense cones are as follows:

  1. Holding the incense cone with tweezers, charcoal tongs, or your hand, carefully light the pointed end with a match or lighter.
  2. When the incense cone is completely immersed in flame, carefully blow out the flame.
  3. Place the base (not the tip) on your heat resistant incense burner and let it burn all the way down.
  4. Incense cones will produce quite a bit of smoke. There are special incense boxes you can burn the cones in which not only look great, but help to disperse the smoke so that it is not billowing out into the atmosphere!

 standard incense cone burning on a gold plate in front of a black background

How To Use Backflow Incense Cones

Using backflow incense cones is similar to standard ones.

  1. Holding the incense cone with tweezers, charcoal tongs, or your hand, carefully light the pointed end with a match or lighter.
  2. When the incense cone is completely immersed in flame, carefully blow out the flame.
  3. Check the bottom of the backflow cone – you should see a glowing ember as well as smoke coming out the bottom.
  4. Wait for a minute to observe the smoke coming out of the bottom, otherwise re-light the cone and start again.
  5. Place in your backflow incense burner (ensuring that the hole is aligned with the seat hole of the incense holder, so it does not become blocked) and watch as the smoke cascades like a waterfall, creating a magickal haze.

lotus style ceramic incense burner with incense smoke billowing over the sides, on a wooden table.

How Do You Extinguish Incense Cones

Generally speaking, incense cones are designed to burn out fully. If you, for whatever reason, do need to extinguish your incense cone, the best way is by picking it up with your tweezers or charcoal tongs and immersing it in water- it cannot be used again after this.

 

General safety tips for incense cones

*Always place your incense on a heat resistant surface, away from flammable materials

*Keep out of reach of children and pets

*Do not handle incense ashes or cone immediately after extinguishing- always wait until it has cooled.

 

Let us know which type of incense you prefer. 

If you are looking for incense sticks, incense cones or backflow incense cones, check out our incense collection here.

 

 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.