6 Reasons Why Bakhoor Smell Like Burning

Bakhoor, an integral part of Middle Eastern culture, is renowned for its rich and mesmerizing aroma.

However, if you’ve ever caught a whiff of burning when using bakhoor, you’re not alone.

Let’s dive into the reasons behind this phenomenon and how you can ensure the best aromatic experience.


What dose Bakhoor Smell Like?

The first time I encountered the aroma of bakhoor, I was instantly transported to a world of sensory wonder.

Its scent, a harmonious blend of various notes, captivated my senses in a way few fragrances ever had. From the foundational woody tones to the refreshing citrus hints, bakhoor offered me a fragrance journey that was both deep and diverse.

At the heart of bakhoor lies its primary notes. The unmistakable scent of agarwood provided a warm and earthy foundation, reminiscent of ancient forests and sacred rituals. This woody core was complemented by deep, rich undertones, known as resinous notes, which added a depth to the fragrance that I found both comforting and intriguing.

As the scent continued to unfold, I was introduced to bakhoor’s range of secondary aromas.

Delicate whiffs of roses, jasmine, and other blossoms danced around me, balancing the heavier base with their floral touch.

This was intertwined with a fiery zest from elements of saffron, clove, and other spices, which reminded me of bustling spice markets and exotic destinations.

And just when I thought the experience was complete, subtle hints of vanilla, amber, or honey crept in, lending a comforting sweetness that felt like a warm embrace.

Lastly, the tertiary notes of bakhoor added further layers to the experience. An earthy muskiness, reminiscent of rain-soaked earth, grounded the fragrance, ensuring its depth and longevity.

And every so often, amidst the rich and warm tones, I would detect a fleeting hint of lemon or bergamot, refreshing my senses and adding a twist to the overall aroma.

Why Bakhoor Smell Like Burning

Quality of the Bakhoor

The quality of your bakhoor plays a crucial role in the fragrance experience. Authentic bakhoor should have a rich and captivating aroma, but low-quality bakhoor can smell like burning, mainly due to the inclusion of impurities or non-aromatic fillers.

High-quality bakhoor is typically made from the finest raw materials, like aged agarwood, natural resins, and essential oils. These raw materials are carefully selected for their aromatic properties. In contrast, low-quality bakhoor may use synthetic ingredients or low-grade raw materials, which can negatively affect the aroma.

Tip: Buy bakhoor from reputable suppliers known for sourcing quality ingredients. Additionally, read reviews or ask for recommendations from those familiar with the product.

Temperature Control

The temperature at which you burn bakhoor significantly affects the fragrance it releases. Too much heat can scorch the bakhoor, leading to a burning smell. Electric burners tend to offer better temperature control than charcoal burners.

If using an electric burner, start with a low temperature setting and gradually increase it until you find the optimal level for your bakhoor. Charcoal burners require a bit more finesse. You can control the heat by adjusting the distance between the bakhoor and the charcoal or using a heat diffuser.

Tip: Use an electric burner with a thermostat or a charcoal burner with a heat diffuser for better temperature control. We recommend you use low-median heat to burn your bakhoor.

The Base Material of Bakhoor

The core ingredient in bakhoor is often agarwood, a rare and fragrant wood prized for its unique aroma. Agarwood comes in various grades and types, each with distinct scent profiles.

Higher-grade agarwood typically has a deeper, richer fragrance, whereas lower-grade agarwood may have a less pronounced aroma. The burning smell may be more apparent when using lower-grade agarwood, as the natural fragrance might not be strong enough to mask it.

Tip: Choose bakhoor made from higher-grade agarwood for a smoother and more pleasant fragrance. If you’re not familiar with different agarwood grades, consult a knowledgeable supplier.

Additives and Fillers

Bakhoor often includes additives and fillers to enhance the aroma or reduce production costs. These ingredients can range from natural resins and essential oils to synthetic fragrances.

Sometimes, additives may react differently to heat and produce unwanted scents. For instance, certain synthetic fragrances might smell great at room temperature but emit a burning smell when heated.

Tip: Opt for bakhoor with natural additives like resins and essential oils, which generally have a better heat tolerance than synthetic fragrances. If in doubt, consult the ingredient list or ask the supplier for more information.

Storing Bakhoor

Improper storage can adversely affect the aroma of bakhoor. Exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, or light can degrade the ingredients and alter the scent profile. As a result, the bakhoor might smell different or even have a burning scent when used.

Tip: Store your bakhoor in a cool, dark place, ideally in an airtight container. This will help preserve the natural aroma and prevent the bakhoor from absorbing unwanted odors from the surrounding environment.

Charcoal Quality

Charcoal quality is an essential factor if you’re using a charcoal burner. Low-quality charcoal can produce excessive smoke and impart a burning smell to the bakhoor. Additionally, certain types of charcoal might contain chemical additives that can affect the fragrance.

Tip: Invest in high-quality, natural charcoal that is free of additives. Coconut shell charcoal is an excellent choice for a cleaner burning experience.

How to Burn Bakhoor Properly

Burning bakhoor is an art, and doing it correctly can greatly enhance the fragrance experience. Follow these steps to burn bakhoor properly and enjoy its full aromatic potential:

1. Choose the Right Burner:

You can use either an electric burner or a charcoal burner to heat your bakhoor. Electric burners are easier to use and offer better temperature control, while charcoal burners provide a more traditional experience. Choose a burner that suits your preferences and the environment in which you’ll be using it.

2. Prepare the Charcoal (for Charcoal Burners):

If you’re using a charcoal burner, start by lighting a piece of natural charcoal. Hold it with tongs and use a lighter or a gas burner to ignite it. Allow the charcoal to burn until it’s covered with a layer of white ash. Place the hot charcoal on the burner’s tray or in a heat-resistant container.

3. Use a Heat Diffuser (Optional):

If you find that your bakhoor burns too quickly or produces a burning smell, consider using a heat diffuser. Place it between the bakhoor and the heat source to reduce direct contact and ensure a more even distribution of heat.

4. Place the Bakhoor on the Heat Source:

Once the burner is ready, place a small piece of bakhoor on the heat source, whether it’s the electric burner’s plate or the charcoal. Avoid overcrowding the burner, as this can lead to uneven heating and a less pleasant aroma.

5. Monitor the Heat:

Pay attention to the temperature, especially if you’re using a charcoal burner. Adjust the distance between the bakhoor and the heat source or use a heat diffuser to prevent overheating.

6. Enjoy the Aroma:

As the bakhoor heats up, it will release its captivating fragrance. Enjoy the moment, relax, and let the aroma transport you to a world of luxury and tradition.

7. Remove the Ashes:

After the bakhoor has finished burning, carefully remove the ashes from the burner. Dispose of them safely and clean the burner for the next use.

Burning bakhoor properly can enhance your experience and help you avoid the burning smell often associated with improper use. By following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the rich and mesmerizing aroma of bakhoor to its fullest.

Here is a video guide about how to burn bahoor with a charcoal burner:


Bakhoor is a fragrant delight that has been cherished for centuries in the Middle East. Its evocative aroma can transport you to a world of luxury and tradition. By paying attention to the quality of the bakhoor, the temperature at which you burn it, the additives and fillers it contains, the way you store it, and the type of charcoal you use, you can enjoy the full richness of this aromatic experience without the unwanted burning smell.

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