For centuries bukhoor has served as an ambiance for therapy, meditation, special occasions, and welcoming guests.
Bukhoor comes from the Arabic word بخر [bakhar], which means steam or vapor. It is a carefully crafted blend of wood chips (otherwise known as oud, the Arabic name for agarwood/aloeswood), resins, and other natural ingredients soaked in essential oils and spices. When placed on hot charcoal, it slowly burns and releases a fragrant, heavenly aromatic smoke.
Traditional bukhoor preparation began in Yemen and quickly swirled through the various trade routes of the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia. It became so heavily sought-after that the Queen of Sheba herself, Bilqis, made it a point to acquire the largest stock. Eventually, an entire bureaucracy enforcing the rules of its sale and trade existed to keep the peace under her reign.
How to Burn Bukhoor
1. Line your mabkhara incense burner with a small piece of foil. It will make cleanup easier.
2. Light one charcoal. We prefer to do it on the stove, but you can hold the charcoal with your tongs and use a lighter. Please be careful!
3. Remove it from the flame with tongs and place it into your lined mabkhara (incense burner).
4. When the charcoal has a thin layer of ash, using tongs carefully place the mica plates on the charcoal. This will gently raise the temperature of the incense so that you can enjoy a beautiful, clean aroma.
5. Place a piece of bukhoor on the mica plate, or directly on the charcoal if you don't have a mica plate. Your bukhoor will start to bubble and rich smoke will start to rise.
6. Scent your living space and clothing, but be careful not to get too close to anything that could get singed. Do not allow it to burn unsupervised. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid putting in drafty areas or near any flammable materials. Do not directly inhale smoke.
7. Once the bukhoor is no longer producing smoke and has completely cooled, remove it gently with tongs to dispose of.
8. Repeat the process as needed. Enjoy!