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Incense stick manufacture

We are pleased that you would like to learn more about incense sticks and their backgrounds. Below you will find detailed information, from the production to our related projects. Have fun reading or watching the video.

Ingredients of incense sticks

  • thin bamboo stick
  • ground charcoal or wood powder (depending on the type of incense stick) mixed with a plant-based rubber mixture
  • various fragrances and aromas

Manual production

The production of incense sticks has a very long tradition in India. In early times, the smoking scented sticks were mainly used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Nowadays, incense sticks are very popular in the western world, mainly because of their many sensual scents.

The most commonly produced incense sticks are black incense sticks, which are rolled by hand, dipped in incense oil and then dried. A mixture of charcoal or a mixture of wood powder and various gum resins is usually used as the carrier material for the various fragrances.

Scented sticks are hand-rolled and dipped in scent oil, which is then dried.

Incense sticks on the basis of charcoal

For the production of charcoal-based incense, a sticky mass consisting of charcoal and vegetable rubber mass is first applied around the bamboo sticks. Then the bamboo is dried (1st drying process). After hardening the carrier mass, the stick is dipped into the desired fragrance oil and absorbs the fragrance. Afterwards, the cloth is dried again (2nd drying process).

Aromatising the Räucherstäbchen

Incense sticks based on wood powder

When making incense sticks with wood powder, the fragrances are added directly to the finely ground wood. Here, too, the sticky mass of wood powder and fragrances is first rolled around the bamboo sticks and then dried. To prevent the sticks from sticking together with the freshly applied smoking mass, they are then rolled again in dry wood powder and dried again immediately afterwards.

After each final drying process, all the incense sticks are thoroughly checked again. This ensures that all the incense sticks produced leave production free of defects. Defective sticks are shredded and reused in the production process.

Räucherstäbchen Herstellung per Hand


Machined production

India, the production of kitchen towels is increasingly being taken over by machines. One reason for this is that more and more prospective buyers expect that all incense sticks are exactly identical in length and shape and show no signs of manual production methods.

Maschinelle Herstellung von Räucherstäbchen

The main reason for the increasing machine production, however, is that India is constantly developing in terms of education and more and more children attend state schools or participate in voluntary learning programmes. or participate in voluntary learning programmes (see also Luxflair's commitment). It is therefore to be expected that the number of workers with very little school education for jobs such as cloth rolling will decrease significantly in the future.

So, by switching from manual to machine production, many manufacturers are mainly responding to the fact that there is likely to be a shortage of workers for very simple tasks in the future.

Many women lose an important source of income for their families

The downside of the shift to mechanised production is that the traditional rolling of cloth is done almost exclusively by women in India, most of whom have never attended school. For many of them, working in the production of cloths is often the only way to earn a living for themselves and their families. If, in the future, more and more cloths are produced by machines, many of these women will lose an important source of income.

From a purely qualitative point of view: Which is better – machine or manual? There is no significant difference in quality between manually or mechanically produced incense. The only reason why there has been an increase in machine production recently is that there have been and continue to be structural changes in education.

The only reason why there has been an increase in machine production recently is that there have been and continue to be structural changes in education.



The women and men in the ince production plants work together in teams to pack the sticks. Each person performs a different task and the tasks are regularly exchanged. During packaging, work is done, for example, cleaning and packing the tea sticks and sealing the bags, if necessary (some types of tea sticks only fully develop their more intensive aroma if they come into contact with a lot of air and are therefore not packed in PE bags).

Abzählen der Räucherstäbchen

Sealing the bushes

Packing the Räucherstäbchen

Räucherstäbchen Großpack

Other tasks that need to be done during packing: packing the goods in boxes or cartons (individual packing), sealing the cartons with adhesive tape and stowing the cartons again in larger packing units (bulk packing).

Because they have been doing all these tasks for years, the men and women perform these tasks at an immense speed. Once all the large packages have been packed, they are finally stowed in additional large boxes, sealed and then made ready for transport overseas.

Special features at Luxflair

We not only deliver smoking sticks, but also want to ensure that they burn safely. That's why we always include a small information leaflet in our packages, explaining the correct handling and use of the incense sticks.

We do not buy our ince sticks from wholesale lines, but directly from the local producers in India. In this way, we achieve very good purchasing conditions, which we pass on directly to our customers.

Together with our Indian partners

Despite our attractive conditions, some incense dealers offer their goods at even lower prices. Often the reason for very favourable price offers is that some of the remaining stock is many years old and is offered for sale. The decisive criterion in this context: the euro-dollar exchange rate, which has changed significantly over the last few years.

Because while in 2011 a purchase of $100 worth of incense sticks corresponded to only about 67 €, in 2015 the value was already converted to about 93 €. This corresponds to a price increase of about 30 per cent. Therefore, sellers of remaining stock from previous years do not have to take this price increase into account in the sales price. However, the goods are sometimes already several years old.

Taking innovative, direct paths – the secret of good trade relations

Luxflair is always exploring new, interesting and often unusual avenues when it comes to trade relations and product development. We work closely with our local partners in India, value direct contact with them, talk a lot about product development opportunities and approach all our projects with a great deal of passion and commitment.

Räucherstäbchen Arbeiterinnen

Räucherstäbchen workers

Working and celebrating, we got to experience both

Due to our good trade relations with our partners and the large quantities we sell, all of our incense sticks are manufactured directly and exclusively for us. This also allows us to have a direct influence on the type of packaging. For example, our customers also receive packaging with the fragrance imprinted in german and further languages.

High value for our partners

Just as important as financial success for manufacturers and sellers is the personal contact with our Indian partner companies and the high appreciation of the work performed and the quality delivered. In order to strengthen our trade relations, we visit India several times a year to exchange ideas with the factory managers and workers and to encourage improvements. In this way, a friendly relationship has developed with many people at the production sites in recent years, which in some cases can already be described as familial. Joint celebrations in the private and professional spheres are a clear sign that cooperation is also highly valued on a human level by both sides.

Eating together with the family

The respect and appreciation for the performance of our employees in Germany is just as high as the appreciation for our Indian partners. They are an essential part of our success. Through their valuable work, they make it possible that everything is just right when you open your parcel: the transport-safe and elegant packaging of the incense sticks, the pleasant scent of fragrant aromas and the good feeling you get when you unpack the parcel that you have chosen the right goods.

Social commitment

Everyone who has visited India knows how difficult the living and working conditions are in this country. Both the living situations in the families and the conditions under which work is done in the factories are often difficult to comprehend by Western standards.

One major problem in this context is the high level of poverty in the country, which affects a large part of the population. On our travels through India, we have repeatedly come to know and appreciate people who have to live on an income far below the subsistence level.

The poverty in the country affects a large part of the population.

School inside a slum in India

We love India and its people. That's why we help.

We love working with India and its people. And at the same time, we want to make a contribution to improving the living conditions of the local people. In doing so, we do not take the classic route of donating money to institutions or charitable organisations. We want to help the families directly. That is why we invest in goats in the Delhi region, or more precisely in goat pigs.

The pairs of goats we buy are given away to families and groups. The goat milk is a welcome source of food for the people in the metropolitan region. At the same time, the people can build up a breeding with the goat pairs. In this way, the yield of goat milk can be increased over time. Goat breeding also offers the possibility of selling individual animals and earning money with them.

Ziegen für Indien

Administration, processing and organisation of the project: we do all this ourselves in cooperation with our Indian supporters on site and at our own expense. Therefore, the families do not have to pay any administrative costs or other fees.

Our goat relief programme is certainly only a small drop in a big, hot stone. Nevertheless, we are convinced that every support measure of this kind, no matter how small, makes the world a little better. Because as the saying goes: a steady drop keeps the stone.

A little joy for Indian school children