It took about 10 minutes for the cord to burn through, with a couple of hisses and pops from the cord gasses. There wasn't a bad smell as some worry about. I had planned on getting some nice taper candles and a wooden box (like this one) but time ran out on me so we just used standard house candles and a pyrex bowl to catch the wax. Once he was separated from his cord, our placenta went into the fridge to be encapsulated the next day and everyone else had their first cuddles.
The end of the cord did leave some soot on bubs and his clothes and became a little sharp once the cord started to dry but we were able to coil it so it sat over his nappy. I'd certainly choose to do it again and wish I'd known about it for my other children.