Baigu Temple / Medicine Buddha Backflow Cones

The Baigu Temple Medicine Buddha Backflow Cones come in a nice little stylish pouch. Unlike the last two cones I covered (Ba’er Qude and Ganden), these are not red but a tan color and have a very different profile. The cones have the same listed ingredients as the stick incense: lavender, wormwood and sandalwood. So I think one can assume that the idea is to have two formats of the same incense, the biggest difference is that these make the waterfalls in the neat little backflow burners. However to my nose the cone format does change things around a bit. The wormwood isn’t really as present in this format and the sandalwood is a lot more intense, which may say something about how the base of the incense has been altered to support the cone format. I wrote that the Baigu stick has a bit of a funky note, but you really don’t find it in the cone. I’m not sure how much the whole backflow cone trend is really a western thing because when I search for these types of cones on, say, Amazon, they flare up a bunch of warning signs for me. But if it is and the monasteries are just reacting to this trend then making a friendlier blend for the cone seems like it’s probably a smart idea. It’s a bit of a simpler incense, has some level of spice to it that I don’t remember so much from the stick, and if you mix all that in with the sandalwood (and other wood) base with light herbal touches from the wormwood and lavender, you’ve got yourself a pleasant cone here. You might even want to start with this one before the stick at least if you’re trying to get your toes wet, although normally I still find this format to be generally weaker than a stick. They burn quick and they’re rough towards the end, where a stick would still be lit for another 20-30 minutes.

4 Comments

  1. October 15, 2021 at 11:12 am

    My understanding of these is that the difference is generally that there is a hole drilled in the bottom of the cone for the smoke to travel down and out. What happens is that because people want to see thick, heavy smoke, most of the commercial backflow cones are hit with so many chemicals to thicken the smoke that it smells like burning hair and feces.

    Most of the backflow burners are novelties that get used a few times and then the thick smoke makes them nasty and sticky with all the resin and leftover material.

    I know that many people are getting drawn to incense with these cool looking backflow burners, but then getting scared away with how crappy the backflow cones smell. Maybe this will help them understand there is more than a cool dragon barfing smoke to incense?

    • Mike said,

      October 15, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      I bought the barfing dragon burner lol. Tried one of the cones that came with it, it was pretty awful indeed.

      • October 16, 2021 at 7:52 pm

        Would you say that cone that came with it made thicker smoke than the Baigu?

        • Mike said,

          October 16, 2021 at 8:22 pm

          I didn’t notice anything particular, but I have yet to try one of the Tibetan cones on it yet. Soon…


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