Some new books on ambergris and incense.

If you are at all interested in ambergris you should check out the newly published book “Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris” by Christopher Kemp. Not only does it contain lots of solid information on the subject but it also comes with a great story and lots of humor. It mentions some suppliers, among them the people I buy from “”. They are very helpful and as much as possible will attempt to send you the colors or scent profiles you ask for. Buying ambergris can be a real gamble, if you look up on EBay there are always people selling ambergris and musk, most of which is fake ( there is a great picture up there lately featuring a “sack” covered in what looks to be perfect designer styled animal hair, blond no less. The “grains” that are shown as musk look a lot like charcoal and the seller is asking hundreds of dollars for this. The same thing happens with ambergris so buyers beware.

Also Carl Neal has a new book out called “Incense Magick”. Carl is probably more responsible for the upsurge in home made and hand made incense then any other person I can think of. His first book, “Incense” was a real eye opener for many of us. These are great books to get one into blending and using incenses. It will also give you a greater appreciation for incense and the materials that go into it. Carl’s approach to incense is firmly based in using natural ingredients and in making scents that appeal to you and does this in a very straight forward manner, he is a very good writer. There is also a wealth of incense burning ideas and techniques in the new book.

As in any craft or art form the quality of the materials you use plays a big part in the finished product. I will be setting up a section in the left margin of this blog for suppliers, both incense and perfume materials (because they really do go hand in hand). Stay tuned.

Happy reading -Ross