Aromatic Note: Base note
Makko is a Japanese word for the generic term “incense powder.”
Since ancient times in Asia, incense powders have often been burnt as incense trails. Artistic, spiritual, and complicated geometric patterns are pressed into the ash base of the incense burner, incense powders then fill the indentation, are pressed lightly, lit and enjoyed.
Skillfully crafted “Incense Seals” and precise incense trail recipes accurately measured time in ancient Asia.
After the Sun Dial, much of Asia used the Incense Seal, or incense clock, to accurately measure time.
For a wonderfully rich book on the subject, check your local library for an ‘inter-library loan’ of “The Trail of Time: Time Measurement with Incense in East Asia,” written by Silvio Bedini.
Makko is also the term used for the bark of a particular tree, the tabu no ki tree. It’s bark is naturally combustible, burns evenly and smoothly and has excellent water soluble binding properties while adding little to no scent to an incense mixture.
All of which makes makko an ideal base for binding incense recipes together and forming incense sticks and cones.
Makko is the dominant base material for the Incense Masters of Japan; who skillfully powder, blend, moisten, then extrude their incense dough like spaghetti, into the form of sticks.
Molds are used to create cones. In both cases, specially ventilated rooms are used to control a slow, warm, and humid drying process for the incense. Fast drying causes curling and cracks.
So whether you desire incense trails, sticks, or cones, makko is the ideal base material for accomplishing either.
An added benefit is it’s more economical than charcoal burning.
Synonyms: tabu no ki, tabu, incense powder
Origin: Southeast Asia
Parts Used: bark
Aroma Description: woody, smoky scent which disappears once mixed in perfect proportion to other ingredients
Aromatic Note: Base
Mixes Well With: everything! Makko is used as a neutral-scented, naturally combustible, water-soluble, binding ingredient that can be combined with any type of recipe to make incense trails, molds, sticks, and cones
Essential Oil: None
Incense Making Tip: See our incense trails or molds, sticks and cones sections for step by step instructions on how to use makko.