Incense sticks (or agarbathi) are generally made from bamboo sticks, a paste (usually charcoal dust or sawdust with an adhesive made from the bark of litsea glutinosa and other trees), and the perfume ingredients. These are traditionally a masala (a powder of ground ingredients), or a solvent of perfumes and/or essential oils. After the base paste has been applied to the bamboo stick, it is either rolled into the masala, or left to dry and then dipped into the scented solvent.
Incense sticks are burned by lighting the tip and waiting for it to glow. Then the flame is blown out and the stick is placed in an incense holder that catches the ash as it falls.