Bakhoor are wood chips that have been soaked in perfume oil and are mixed with other (natural) ingredients, such as natural resin, sandlewood and essentials oils. It comes in many different varieties, which means there’s a type of bakhoor for everyone. Bakhoor is especially popular in the Middle East.
You burn bakhoor the same way you burn natual resin incense. A quick-light charcoal tab in a mabkhara – a traditional bakhoor burner – is the best way to burn bakhoor. First, you light the charcoal tab with a lighter or match (make sure to do so on a fire-proof surface). Once the charcoal is fully lit, it will glow red and it will be covered in a greyish soot. Use a pair of tongs to place the tab in the mabkhara and carefully sprinkle some bakhoor on top of the tab. The bakhoor’s oils will evaporate thanks to the heat of the charcoal tab, releasing exotic, aromatic and rich fragrances.
In most cases, bakhoor is used during special occasions such as weddings, or simply for relaxing purposes. In Arabian culture, it’s a traditional gesture to pass bakhoor among guests, so they can scent their hair, clothing and hands. This is believed to be a as integral to hospitality as serving coffee and dates.