I don't know how generally this works but I've found that I can burn my lumps of myrrh and frankincense directly. I put them in the empty aluminum cup left when a tea candle had all burned up. Then I just held a lighted match in direct contact with the resin until it caught. I only got the smell and the smoke of the incense, nothing extra from charcoal. For safety I worked on a hotpad, on a glass topped table, in the middle of the room, so I also didn't see smoke on any walls or fabrics. If the fire goes out while some material remains unburned, I just leave it until next time when I add some fresh resin to light. In a confined space the fire goes nicely from one lump to the next.
"No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
I've been making incense for years too, but I never knew about the putting ash on the charcoal bit.
Nice tip, thanks for that.
I often find myself rushing over to the incense burner and removing the blackened pieces when the incense has finished, as too much of the 'after smell' is a bit chokey.
Another good thing to burn is fruit tree woods, and mixed with Frankincense, they smell really nice.
Like others have said, Myrrh is best in smaller ratios when burned with Frankincense, as it can be a bit overpowering, but I do like it on it's own too in small amounts.
I usually break the charcoal blocks into quarters too, as the room fills with smoke long before the charcoal has finished, but that's in an average sized room.
Their's is the best in the world, and the top of the line is called Royal Green. It runs somewhere around $10.00 to $12.00 an once. But, some sellers are gouging the public now, and the price is around $17.00 to $20.00 an once on some sites. Some places are doing a sneeky practice of buying the lower grade frankincense, and then coating it in frankincense oil to add some scent to it. Don't buy it with oil on it! Good franincense has plenty of it's own oil, and there's no reason to add more. It's a scam. If you see any bright, shiny frankincense for sale, don't buy it. It may look pretty, but it's been "treated", meaning coated with oil. What happens is when you put a small piece on hot charcoal, it stinks, and puts out way too much smoke. Not white smoke but dark smoke, which is the oil burning. If you have ever burned any essential oil, you know how bad it smells.It's ok on the electric though.
So, there are shops and scoundrels selling this, and other fake frankincense on some US sites, as well as Ebay. Be very careful as the popularity is going way up, and that brings out the aromatherapy scoundrels. Remember how sandalwood oil was once affordable, and smelled great? Those days are now gone.Well, there will soon be a shortage of the trees that have the frankincense resin on them also.
Oman has these grades of frankincense: Royal Green, which is top of the line, and SO nice! You can smell the lemon and pine scent just holding a chunk in your hand. Just amazing stuff. The next one down is Superior, which is great too. Just not as nice as the green It's much more affordable, and burns nice too. I use that one mostly. You can make some nice frankincense oil with that one. That's my next project.
Then there's the dark kind, called Magseel. I'm not too crazy about the smell of this one. It's too musky. I prefer the lemony scent more.
At the bottom is a combination of frankincense resins that the adverage family in Oman burns at home every night. It's a mix of light and dark and it's priced good.
It's kind of strange but the most expensive ,Royal Green, has nearly the same amount of oil as the lower priced dark type. But, the scent is not to my liking. It's used mainly for oil making. As for price. The more you buy the cheaper they sell it. Royal Green is around $12.00 an once, but cheaper is you get like 4 oz.-If you want a kilo, it's a little over $200.00 and that comes to a little over $5.00 an once! So, that's the way to go with this. I don't know if I'm allowed to give out the name. I don't want to be accused of spamming the site. If you Google Oman Frankincense resin, you'll find it. Great stuff!