Incense cones are a popular choice for fragrance and aromatherapy in many households. However, not all incense cones are created equal. There are two main types: backflow cones and regular incense cones.
To understand the difference between these two types, it’s important to know that backflow cones have a unique feature – a small hole in the center that causes the smoke to flow downwards, creating a mesmerizing waterfall-like effect.
On the other hand, regular incense cones do not have this feature and burn in the traditional way.
Are All Incense Cones Backflow?
Incense cones are made by combining a small amount of water with powdered incense and mixing it to make a clay-like dough, which is the pressed into a mold to form a cone.
When an incense cone is burned, the smoke drifts up into the air like any other types of incense, like sticks or coils.
Some cones, however, have a small hole drilled from the base to the top, and this makes the smoke actually drift downwards, not up. These are called backflow cones, and are used for decorative effects with incense burners.
The smoke from a backflow cone can give the appearance of a small waterfall, cascading into a shallow pool.
So if you have a decorative incense burner make sure you buy the right type of incense cone for it, since only backflow cones and not regular cones will create the desired effects.
As the backflow incense cone burns, some of the smoke is released in to the air and some is pushed into the hole through the cone.
As more smoke is produced, more goes downwards and as the smoke cools it becomes denser and sinks creating fascinating and attractive effects.
The smoke flows down similar to water until it disperses or is caught in a current of air.
With regular cones, the smoke just drifts upwards, and produces a stronger fragrance.
You can make your own backflow cone by using a power drill and a fine drill bit. Just drill a small channel upwards from the base of a regular cone, but make sure you stop before you reach the tip of the cone so it does not break off.
Backflow cones produce more smoke, since the hole on the center also acts as an air vent. For this reason backflow cones have a shorter burn time than regular cones.
The average backflow cone burns for between 10 and 20 minutes, whereas the regular cone burns in 15 to 30 minutes.
Backflow cones have become popular in recent years and there is a large variety of novel incense burners designed especially for the downward smoke effects, including waterfalls, pools with small fish, even skulls that seem to breathe out smoke.
Do Backflow Incense Smell?
Incense cones can produce a wonderful fragrance, and backflow cones are no different.
However, it is worth noting that often the backflow cones supplied with backflow incense burners can be low quality and as a result the smell is not so good.
Low quality incense cones can be made with synthetic scents, sawdust, charcoal and glue. Although these cones will have the backflow effect the odor will not be very pleasant.
When buying backflow cones it is important to check the list of ingredients.
Real incense is made with natural resins, oils, herbs and aromatic woods and especially when buying online, these materials should be mentioned.
Also the price is an indication of quality. Backflow cones should cost the same as regular cones, or a little more.
As a rough guide, regular incense cones sell for around $3 for 10 cones.
If you see backflow cones priced at $5 for 100 cones, or you see a large quantity of backflow cones offered free with a burner, you may want to look carefully into it.
You should probably first find a regular cone that you like, then find a similar backflow cone. Or perhaps just buy the smallest quantity you can as a sample until you find the fragrance you like the best.