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The Kin Premium Incense Collection - Incense Cones

The Kin Premium Incense collection is a collection of incense exclusively blended and hand-made in small-scale studios using carefully selected natural ingredients. Part of the collection is created in our our studio, and part of the collection hand-selected from other high quality studios. There are no artificial ingredients or enhancements.

This section is for backflow incense cones from the collection.  


A collection of handmade, all natural incense

The Kin Premium Incense collection is a brand new collection of incense, all exclusively hand-made in small scale studios. Many are blended and made in our own studio, the remainder are created by experienced local Chinese artisans that we know and trust.

Like all of our products, the Premium Incense collection is rooted in traditional Chinese incense culture, dating back thousands of years. Part of the collection closely follow traditional recipes from the archetypal Chinese incense book History of Incense《香乘》, written almost 500 years ago in the Yuan dynasty; these we call the Re-interpreted blends. Part of the collection are our own creations, using ingredients and blends with modern, non-Chinese influences – these we call the Imagined blends. We recently made a new addition to the collection, with a focus on precious single scents like aloeswood (otherwise known as agarwood, oud or jinko) – these we call the Classic single scents.  

All of these incense were selected after months of blending and trialing, products of much sweat and love.

The perfect accompaniment for all your daily rituals

The Kin Premium Incense collection contains no artificial ingredients or enhancements. They are made from all natural ingredients we hand selected, chosen because they were the best quality ingredients we could find whilst keeping final prices reasonable. The binding powder used is Indonesian nanmu powder, a wood-based binder that is the binding agent used in all Chinese incense, and where the Japanese makko or tabu no ki powder derives from.

Due to the superior quality of the raw ingredients, our incense sticks and cones will burn for a longer time than other comparably sized incense sticks. For example, our backflow incense cones burn for 25min, while many on the market last only 5-10min.

All of the Kin Premium Incense are carefully enclosed in Wutong wood boxes painted with traditional Chinese red ink. Wutong is a type of wood popular for storing incense in East Asia, due to its superior anti-mold and anti-moisture properties.

Indulge in a stick of natural incense, gift yourself a moment of calm.

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What are backflow incense cones? Are they the same as waterfall incense cones and incense fountain cones?

Backflow incense are exactly as the name suggests – incense where the incense smoke (or plume) flows in the opposite direction as “normal” incense, that is, downwards instead of upwards.Most of the time backflow incense is made in the shape of a cone, witha small, hollow tunnel through the center, ending in a hole at the bottom center. These are backflow incense cones. Backflow incense cones, waterfall incense cones, and incense fountain cones are different names for the same cones. The names waterfall incense and incense fountain are commonly used as the incense smoke looks like a waterfall or fountain when it flows.

How is backflow incense different from incense cones and incense sticks?

Backflow incense is primarily different from traditional incense cones and incense sticks in the way its incense smoke flows. Regardless of shape, the smoke from traditional incense cones and sticks (and all other shapes like coils for that matter) flow upwards, whereas the smoke from backflow incense flows downwards.

What is backflow incense used for?

Like all different types of incense, backflow incense is great to relieve stress – when you want a break in your day, a moment of relaxation. It is most suitable for when you are in the mood for something more visual, rather than accompanying another activity like yoga or meditation. I light up a backflow incense when I want to watch gentle, calming movements.

Incense waterfalls can also be great conversation pieces due to their unique designs and effects. So another good time is when you have a few friends gathered around the coffee table – together you can enjoy the miniature landscapes created by the backflow incense.

Why do your backflow incense cones smell good?

Backflow incense can create some striking effects. But most backflow incense cones on the market smell terrible. Why is this? Well, the making of a high quality, all natural incense cone is expensive – each incense cone uses several times more raw materials as an incense stick. They dry much slower than incense sticks due to their shape and weight – for us it can take up to a week for backflow incense cones to thoroughly dry – so the slower production time and the increased amount of space required to dry them also add to costs. Moreover, incense cones are more difficult to stay lit compared to incense sticks. This is due to the shape - the burning surface becomes increasingly bigger as the cone is burnt. This can require sophisticated tweaks to the incense recipe, and a fairly time consuming process of trialing different formulae. 


These cost and time considerations have prompted many incense cone manufacturers to simply opt for low grade, easy to burn ingredients. And as more fragrant woods typically contain more oil, and are harder to burn, the cheaper incense ingredients also just don’t smell very nice. Simply put, this is why almost all of the incense waterfall cones on the market today do not have a pleasant aroma.


We set out to change this. We make all of the backflow incense cones in the Kin Premium Collection ourselves. This means we ensure that we use exactly the same formula and ingredients for our incense sticks and waterfall incense cones. So our backflow incense actually smell good and retain the backflow visual effect. If you don’t believe me, give them a try!


How are your incense cones made?

We use molds for making our incense cones. If you are interested in the step-by-step process, we invite you to read our detailed article on handmaking incense cones. If you are curious about how we come up with our incense blend recipes, we invite you to read our detailed article on Chinese/Japanese incense recipes.

Is incense bad for you? Is incense toxic?

After reviewing the academic research on this topic, our conclusion is that high quality natural incense, when used in moderation in a home setting, poses minimal health risks. We found a succinct and helpful summary posted on the Australian Government Cancer Council websiteabout this precise question, so if you’re looking for a quick answer, we highly recommend it. We also wrote a fairly lengthy article on this specifictopic, which includes links to a number of prominent academic studies in this area. If you’ve got the time, we also recommend that you check it out, and follow the links to read some of the studies yourself.


It is true that the burning of incense – like many other things we burn - releases chemicals into the air. These include Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), among others. But to date, no large scale studies have conclusively shown that moderate incense use at home releases the level of chemicals required to significantly affect a person’s risk of cancer. Our understanding is that all these chemicals exist in the air from many natural and industrial sources, and most of us live with some daily exposure to them in the form of car exhaust, dust from construction, factory emissions, natural fires, etc... Most governments regulate the level of these emissions, and set a level below which they are considered tolerable for general human health.


However, we do believe these chemicals are detrimental to health if they are inhaled at large quantities and for a pro-long period of time. This is especially the case if the incense has synthetic additives. So for temple workers or nearby residents, there can be significant health effects. We do not recommend anyone be exposed to incense on an ongoing basis in this way without protection.


That is not to say we shouldn’t all exercise moderation and take some common sense precautions when burning incense at home. We would suggest using high quality, natural incense as much as possible. And while the incense is burning, keep doors and/or a window open, ventilate the area regularly, and keep the incense some distance away from your face. You can also consider running an air purifier. We do all of these things when we use incense. Additionally, exercise caution to not start a fire, and take precautions to allow your pets to move around if you have any.

Is it safe to burn backflow incense indoors?

We believe burning a moderate amount of high quality incense in a home setting indoors is mostly safe (please also see our response to the previous question). As backflow incense tends to generate a lot more smoke than the average incense stick, we would definitely advise exercising moderation and taking precautions as suggested above.  

For the issue of safety as it pertains to potential fire hazards, we believe the risk is also minimal provided some basic precautions are taken. For example:

·     Please ensure you put the incense on a surface that is heat-resistant, and no flammable items like curtains or books are near where the ashes can drop

·     Please ensure that you do not leave the incense unattended

·     Please place incense out of reach of children or pets

·     Do not touch remnants of the incense right after it has finished burning. Also do not touch metal parts of the incense burner right after burning. Both of these may still be hot. Give them several minutes to cool down


How do you light a backflow incense cone?

Incense cones are a little trickier to light than incense sticks due to the bigger surface area that needs to be lit, but the same principles apply. You light the tip of the incense with a flame until it catches fire, allow it to burn for a few seconds, then gently fan out the flame, ensuring that a glowing ember remains. This may need to be repeated several times if the first time doesn’t work. If you see smoke starting to flow out of the bottom of your incense cone, chances are it’s lit. For more details, we have a thorough, step-by-step article to guide you.

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