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Makko is technically just a generic Japanese word for ‘incense powder’. In ancient times, crafting incense sticks was considered as much an art as a trade. It was much easier for average people to create incense powders from resins, flowers, and medicinal plants.
In Japanese, Makko is also known as ‘tabu no ki’.
In typical Japanese fashion, incense powder was often burned upon ash and placed in geometric shapes and patterns. Some of these patterns are quite beautiful and provides a reason for people to still burn powdered incense today.
One of the original uses of incense powder was it’s use in telling time. Incense was crafted according to carefully blended recipes which were known to burn evenly and within certain time periods. They were then able to use this incense to tell how much time has passed.
However, makko is also a term for the bark of the tabu no ki tree. This bark was popular among incense manufacturers due to it having a minimal fragrance when burned. This allows it to be mixed with other more upfront smelling ingredients to show their true fragrances while burning, but still allowing for a consistent incense burning experience.
It can be incorporated in most forms of incense, including sticks, cones, coils, and powders.
Nowadays makko powder can be quite expensive and not as commonly available as it used to be. It can still be purchased from higher-end Japanese incense producers, but as mentioned, the price can be a bit high.
If you’re looking for good makko powder, we recommend Organic Earth makko powder.
Synonyms: tabu no ki, tabu, incense powder, koh powder
Origin: Southeast Asia
Parts Used: The bark is powdered and is usually the only part which is used. It can be incorporated in incense sticks, incense cones, incense powder, and many other varieties.
Fragrance: Makko has a light woody fragrance, but the fragrance is quite minimal, which is one of the reasons the ingredient is used, because it allows the other, more primary ingredients to show their true colors.
Goes well with: As noted above, makko has a minimal woody fragrance and therefor it mixes with nearly everything.
How to Make Makko Powder
To make makko powder, you simply grind the dried bark into a fine powder. To make the other form of makko powder (incense powder), you simply combine the makko powder with other aromatic powders.