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incense fountain

How Do Incense Fountains Work?


A cascading waterfall shrouded by light mist – you may have seen something like this at your local spa or some Asian drama. You may find it hard to believe, but this mesmerizing scenery can actually be reproduced at home on a beautiful display table by incense fountain burner. By burning a special type of incense, it is possible to experience the enchantment of appreciating a gentle, misty waterfall in your own house.

What is incense?

Humans have a long history of using incense. Incense is a type of aromatic material made out of plant-based components that often include various barks, seeds, flowers, and resins. Once burnt, it gives off a unique fragrant scent. Today, there are three main categories of incense on the market. This includes stick incenses, coil incenses, and cone incenses. If you are looking to recreate a fountain or waterfall-like effect, backflow incense cones are your go to option. We will discuss how they achieve the effect in detail below.

Incense should be burnt in incense holders

Burning incense is a fire hazard and should be handled with care at all times. Using an appropriate incense holder is essential to minimize the risk of fires. A good quality holder will store all the ashes after the incense has stopped burning. The ashes usually collect on a small metal tray that can be easily extracted from the holder. By carefully removing the small metal tray, you can properly dispose of incense ashes in a safe and tidy manner. Note that you should wait about five minutes after the incense stops burning before handling any part of the incense holder to prevent accidental burns and fires.  

Another reason to burn incense in a holder is because of its beautiful visual effects. For example, there are special incense fountain holders specifically designed to produce elegant effects when incense is burnt. This is why many people purchase incense holders as home décor. Flowing plumes emerging from a sophisticated holder can resemble a pot pouring hot tea, a dragon breathing smoke, a castle shrouded in mysterious fog, or a cascading waterfall surrounded by light mist. It can be very relaxing and satisfying to watch.

How do incense fountain create a waterfall-like effect?



Backflow incense cones are different from other types of incense. Normally, when stick incense is burnt, smoke tends to travel upwards because hot air is lighter than the surrounding air. However, when a backflow incense cone is burnt, smoke travels downwards through a small, hollow tunnel through the centre of the cone. Incense plume then escapes from a hole at the bottom of the cone. As incense smoke gradually cools down during its travel down the central tunnel, it becomes heavier than the surrounding air. This is because incense smoke contains many small particles that result from the burning of plant-based materials. As a result, backflow incense cones produce smoke that flows downwards instead of upwards.

The unique properties of backflow incense cones can create a waterfall-like scenery when they are placed in certain holders. This type of incense holder is often tall and layered. White, misty incense plume emerges from the top and gently flows down the descending platforms to the bottom. Depending on the design of the holder, the scenery can look like a mountain waterfall or a contemporary fountain. Hence, this type of incense holder is also known as “incense fountain”.

As incense fountains become more and more popular, different variations have entered the market and have offered creative twists to traditional designs. Buddhas, hands, lotuses, and dragons are popular elements that are often incorporated into modern incense fountains. Depending on the purpose of burning incense and the surrounding décor, different designs may be preferred. Given the wide range of choices, you can definitely find the best holder that suits your personal taste.



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