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Powder Incense Burners & Holders

A collection of power incense burners and related tools for burning incense powder.


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What is powder incense? What is powder incense made of?

Incense powder or powder incense is essentially fragrant, dried natural ingredients that have been ground into powder. The ingredients are mostly plant matter such as woods, flowers, herbs and resins. Some common ingredients you might be familiar with are sandalwood, lavender, cinnamon and frankincense. In fact, if you keep powdered spices for cooking, many of these (if not all) can be considered incense powder.

The same types of powders are used to make incense sticks or cones. The key difference between incense powder that is directly burnt and incense powder used to make sticks or cones is that a binding agent is needed for the latter (in Chinese or Japanese incense the binding agent is nanmu or tabu noki).

Powder incense can be single ingredient (eg, sandalwood powder), or a blend.

What is the difference between incense sticks and powder?

The difference between incense sticks and powder is like the difference between dried dough and flour. Incense powder is loose powder (like flour), which can be combined with water and a binder to form dough. If the dough is formed into sticks, the dried dough sticks are essentially incense sticks.

Can you burn incense powder?

Incense powder can be directly burnt. The most common method is to form a pattern or trail on an inflammable surface, then lighting the trail. For more details on how to form incense trails, please refer to the question below.

How do you burn loose incense powder?

This practice of burning loose incense powder is called zhuan xiang (篆香) or yin xiang (印香) in Chinese, and began in the Middle Ages in China, the Tang dynasty (618-907). It gained popularity in the subsequent Song dynasty (960-1279), and is still practiced today.

There are two elements to burning incense powder. The first is to prepare and flatten an ash bed, and the second is to create an incense seal (also known as stamp or trail) on the ash bed for burning.

To prepare the ash bed, loose ash in an incense burner is stirred with chopsticks, then pressed and flattened using an incense press. An incense stamp mold is then placed onto the bed, and loose incense powder scooped into the mold. An incense spatula is used to spread the incense powder evenly throughout the mold. The mold is then gently lifted, leaving the incense stamp made of powder behind. This can then be lit on one end.

For a more detailed step-by-step guide with video instructions, please refer to this article.  

What tools are needed for burning incense powder?

To burn incense powder, you will need a wide-mouthed incense burner, an incense mold, some ash and incense powder. We also recommend the following 5 tools:


Chopsticks: Used for stirring the ash

Ash press (香压): Used for pressing and smoothing the ash 

Incense spoon (香勺): Used for spooning incense powder onto the mold

Incense spatula (香铲): Used for distributing the incense powder evenly into the mold and removing excess powder

Incense sweeper (香扫): Used for sweeping loose ash or incense powder from the edge of the incense burner

How can I buy a Chinese incense burner kit or powder incense burner kit?

At Kin Objects, we have a curated collection of items you can purchase to create your own powder incense burner kit. If you are starting from scratch, we recommend you purchase the following three items:

  1. An incense burner from our powder incense collection (each comes with an incense mold to get you started), please note backflow or stick incense burners will not work
  2. An ash and incense powder set
  3. A set of tools


If you already own one or more of these items, you just need to top up what you are missing. For example, if you already have ash and incense powder, then simply purchase a burner and some tools.  

Related Articles from the Blog

Burning incense powder refers to the traditional Chinese practice of zhuan xiang (篆香 ) or yin xiang

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