Tincture your own smoke with frankincense


I'd like to share this neat 'macerating' trick to obtain a wonderful smokey scent. 

I've been long time searching to obtain a true smoke scent of burnt frankincense, woods and resins, mixing aroma chemicals and oils like Castoreum, Oudh / Agarwood blends, Orriniff and stuff like that. I wasn't able to create this truly balanced, deep, smokey but sweet burned effect. Until i tried the following. 

All you need is:


- an incense burner (charcoal type)
- a plate
- a bottle (about 10 ml)
- a (glass) bowl, which fits the plate upside down and gives room to the incense burner
- incense (pellets, i used the stuff catholic churches use)
- fractionated coconut oil (probably solid at room temperature) (about 1 ml)
- perfumers alcohol (about 15 ml, in a spray works best)

Working instructions:

- make a layer of coconut oil inside the bowl
- place the incense burner on the plate
- burn the incense
- place the bowl upside down on the plate
- every now and then lift the bowl a bit, so fresh oxygen can get in
- if the top of the bowl gets warm, or the coconut oil melts to much, cool down the outside now and then under running tap water
- let this process continue for about 15 minutes, maybe adding some more incense (i used only about 6 pellets)
- before the bowl cools down, spray the inside with about 12 to 15 ml of alcohol (a part will evaporate); it will dissolve the coconut oil, running down the bowl
- put the alcohol and coconut oil mixture in a bottle (this is probably about 10 ml now)
- best kept at about 30 degrees Celsius, shaken every day for about 3 months (but trust me, after a day or so you can already smell the beauty!); it will mature and show all the beautiful details over time
- eventually filtrate and use!

I'm definitely going to give it a try in this formulation.



Happy perfuming!
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Update: Mike Storer gave me another good DIY option:

An alternate but similar method is to burn the incense (or whatever else) under a cloth "tent". Perfect for this is an old cotton T-shirt with the neck- and armholes sewn or stapled shut. Just stretch the shirt out and over some kind of a framework (perhaps made out of wire coat hangers?), as you would to make a lampshade or a hot air balloon.  Of course the cotton should be well-laundered and dry, but also free of any laundry detergent or fabric softener fragrances. Cotton is a very porous fiber and a T-shirt is good because being knitted instead of woven, it's a bit thicker and gives a lot of fibrous surface area for the smoke particles to cling to, …certainly much more than a single flat surface of coconut oil. Also, a bit more oxygen incense should get to the incense this way, so, with any luck, keep it burning. 
Also, if you make the cotton fibers slightly tacky, i.e. sticky, with some kind of oil or resin before you start, you would have the equivalent of a particulate-trapping air filter such as you might find in a building's air conditioning system. The cotton might be dipped in a weak tincture of benzoin siam  or any other thing you might want in your perfume anyway. Just make sure you don't clog the pores of the cotton so much that no air at all can pass through. Then, of course, to get the tincture, one just needs to "wash" it out of the T-shirt with high-percentage ethanol.



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