Insect Repelling Incense Sticks

My brother likes to grill so I made him some incense sticks to keep bugs away while he’s enjoying time in the backyard. They turned out to smell so good that I’ve been burning a few in my studio just to enjoy the fragrance while I work – I felt more relaxed and creative for some reason! (My studio is not near my pet birds’ cage – don’t burn incense or candles near birds!)

Ingredients: Unscented incense sticks, DPG (Dipropylene Glycol), Citronella essential oil, Litsea Cubeba essential oil, Camphor essential oil, insect repelling essential oil blend (contains eucalyptus, lavender, palmarosa, citronella, rose geranium and rosemary), Neem oil, Rosemary Oleoresin Extract (ROE), Lime Citronella soap fragrance.

Instructions: I took out a shot glass and added one eyedropper each of all the ingredients except the DPG and Lime Citronella fragrance. I filled the rest of the shotglass to the top with the fragrance. I emptied the shotglass contents into a glass measuring cup then added three more shotglasses full of DPG and mixed well. I placed the incense sticks in a glass baking dish and poured the mixture over the sticks then covered with foil and let soak for 24 hours. To dry I poked the sticks into a chunk of scrap styrafoam and let sit out. They burned ok the next day but I wasn’t sure they were totally dry so I let them dry a few more days.

The sticks make a good room air freshener until burned so I’m going to store mine upright in a vase. I had some fragrance mixture left over so I stored and labeled that for future use. I’m so pleased with this first attempt at incense making that I’m going to order some natural ingredients for making incense cones from scratch and phase out the synthetic ingredients once they are used up. The smoke smell mixed with the fragrances is so much better than the fragrances by themselves!

2 thoughts on “Insect Repelling Incense Sticks

  1. Thank you for sharing this very cool idea! Bug repellant is usually just a fowl smelling necessary evil. Using an incense base would actually make it pleasant! Are you considering selling these? I run a successful picnic planning company in San Jose, CA and something like this could come in really handy. Thanks again for sharing!

    1. They do smell good enough to burn just for enjoyment! My liability insurance does not cover candles so I assume it probably wouldn’t cover incense, so I’ve made no attempt to sell them, but they are very easy to make. The only challenging part is getting all the ingredients together. If you make a lot of things with essential oils it’s pretty economical, if you are starting from scratch there would be some investment up front. You can learn a lot more about crafts with essential oils on this web site here –

      If you know a local crafter who makes things of essential oils, maybe you could contract with them to make some for you, I have no objection to showing them my blog post, I put the info out there for people to enjoy and use. Thank you for your interest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *