For use with our brass and ceramic charcoal incense burners, we prefer to source charcoal tablets with a low sulphur content to reduce spitting.
Quantity: pack of 10 Charcoal tablets.
Directions for use:
To get the charcoal started, use a pair of tongs or tweezers to hold the tablet into a heat source until the near side edge holds a glow.
Transfer the tablet to the bed of sand in the incense holder and apply a little of the incense which should then smoulder;
Never leave burning or smouldering charcoal unattended;
use tongs when handling hot charcoal tablets;
From the Ladies of the Medieval Still Room;
The secular and ecclesiastical use of incense began long before the medieval period and continues to this day. Dry loose incense powders are burned on charcoal tablets (seated in sand) in a small fireproof container such as a brazier. Powders are sprinkled onto the charcoal and the intense heat from the burning charcoal releases the fragrance.
Incense was an important part of the medieval household in part due to the belief that beautiful smells created good health and indicated a healthy environment. The incense could be a single substance such as sandalwood or frankincense, but most often it was a blend of a number of botanical and resinous substances. This practice both bulked out precious incense powders such as frankincense and myrrh, and also enabled unique combinations of scents tailored to a customers requirements. Many scents were associated with healing properties, others as fumigants (both spiritual and for insects), and as a way of dissipating negative and enhancing positive emotions, releasing stress and alleviating pain.
A surprising number of extant texts have survived, describing not only the ingredients used, but also recipes, notes on best use, and where to source rare ingredients. Apothecary invoices, shipping manifests, published folios and home recipe books all enable us to recreate the some of the scents that were favoured during the medieval period.