A Beginner's Guide to Incense

Fall in love with incense! If you have just started using incense or are thinking about using it, you have found the perfect place to start! Incense has a long historical background and is utilized in diverse cultures. We would like to share with you some basic key points and tips for you to picture how incense might fit into your lifestyle. 

Where does the Name “Incense” come from?

The name “incense” is derived from the Latin word “to burn.” The use of incense dates back to biblical times and is thought to have originated in Egypt, where aromatic trees were imported from Arabia to be used in religious ceremonies.

What is Incense made of?

Ingredients of incense vary depending on the types of incense and brand. Typical base ingredients for stick/cone/coil incense are tabu wood powder, fragrant/essential oils, resins, herbs, and tree barks. 

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Incense benefits

Incense is known to have various benefits. 

Spiritual benefits: Incense may help increase calmness and focus while reducing stress and anxiety. It can also aid with sleep and mood swings. Many people use incense for mindfulness, prayer, yoga and meditation practices to aid their focus, tranquility, and removal of negative energy. Depending on the occasion, incense can serve as a memory cue as smelling that certain fragrance can initiate such unconscious connections. 

Other benefits: Incense can serve to purify the air and mask unpleasant odor in the kitchen and bathroom. It can also be used to illustrate a pleasant scent for relaxation, enjoyment, and gatherings. Certain types of scent can also help repel insects including mosquitoes. A creative way to use incense can be in the form of a timer.  If you know how long a certain incense burns, you can do chores or do some reading for the duration of the incense burning. LEARN MORE

Types of Incense

Japanese Stick Incense:

This is the most popular type of incense. Sticks come in a variety of lengths for longer or shorter burning times. You place the incense stick in the hole of an incense holder that sits on a heat-resistant dish to hold ash or place it in a burner with enough ash for the stick to stand. 

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Cone Incense:

Burns quickly and strongly. It is also easier to use because the ash does not scatter. You place a cone incense in a burner or on top of ash to burn. 

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Coil Incense:

Better suited for large space or areas that have abundant air flow as it burns for a longer duration. You place the coil incense on top of ash or use a coil incense holder. 

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Bamboo Incense:

Widely used in China and India, bamboo incense was first used for religious and medical purposes. It is usually less fragile, gives off more smoke, and is longer in length than non-bamboo stick incense. 

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Powder Incense:

Fragrant powdery incense that typically features fragrances such as agarwood, sandalwood, clove, and cinnamon. Powder incense has been used to cleanse the spirit by placing it on the body before performing Buddhist rituals.

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How long does it take for an incense stick to burn?

Burning times vary depending on the form of incense and brand. Please note that the burn times listed here are an approximate. 

Japanese Stick Incenses:

- Short stick incense: 10 - 15 minutes  

- Regular stick incense: 25 minutes

- Long stick incense: 45 - 55 minutes

Others:

- Bamboo stick incense: 25 minutes

- Cone incense incense: 10 minutes

- Coil incense incense: 120 minutes 

What is Japanese Incense?

History of Japanese Incense:

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What is Indian bamboo Incense?

Shop Bamboo Incense

Tips on Burning Incense (How to use incense)

Using an incense stand & ceramic plate

1. Light the tip of the incense and blow out the flame.

2. Place the burning incense in an incense stand which is placed on a ceramic plate to catch the ash. 

3. Place the incense in the center or corner of a room and avoid having it directly next to you.

4. The best way to experience incense is to enjoy the wafting fragrant smoke from afar.

Using an incense burner with incense ash

1. Fill the incense burner with incense burner ash (up to about 80%).

2. Light the top of the incense and then extinguish the flame. Let the smoke drift through the air.

3. For stick incense, stand it on its end in the ash. For cone or coil incense, place it on top of the ash.

4. Leave the lid off to let the incense burn. *The lid may be closed if there is no danger of cutting off oxygen to the flame.

As you see the smoke rise you will begin to enjoy the pleasant fragrance that spreads throughout your space. You will also enjoy the lingering fragrance even after it has stopped burning.

The best time to burn incense (Morning Routine, Relaxing Afternoon, Evening Ritual)

Depending on your lifestyle, incense can be appreciated as part of your daily routine any time of day!

Morning: Pick your favorite incense and make it a routine to burn it as you get ready to start the day. Recommended scents include citrus, ginger, coffee, and cinnamon. 

Afternoon: If meditation or reading is your afternoon routine, pairing such activities with incense may be a perfect fit as burning incense can help with focus and relaxation. For instance, if your meditation is 30 minutes long, use incense that lasts for 30 minutes as a timekeeper. Scents such as frankincense, sandalwood, cedar, sage, lavender, lemongrass, green tea, and vanilla help with focus and being refreshed.

Evening: Wind down with your favorite incense before bedtime. It can help create a peaceful atmosphere, preparing you for a restful night’s sleep. Scents such as jasmine, lavender, rose, ylang ylang, vetiver, bergamot, and cedarwood are known to be used for bedtime and relaxation. 

MODERN ZEN - Traditional -
MODERN ZEN
$19.60
MAINICHI BYAKUDAN - Premium Sandalwood 24 sticks
MAINICHI BYAKUDAN
$12.00
KAYURAGI - Aloeswood 40 sticks
KAYURAGI
$13.50
H&E - White Sage - Bamboo Incense 20 sticks
HERB & EARTH
$3.90
SCENTSCAPE - Coffee & Chocolate 40 sticks
SCENTSCAPE
$13.40
Assortment of FRAGRANCE MEMORIES 10 Fragrances
FRAGRANCE MEMORIES
$88.00
MORNING STAR 7 PC SET - FLORAL
MORNING STAR
$30.00
MORNING STAR - Assortment of Morning Star 18 fragrances
MORNING STAR
$70.20
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H&E - Assortment of 12 - Bamboo Incense
HERB & EARTH
$46.80
MORNING STAR - Assortment of Morning Star 8 fragrances (Woody & Herbal)
MORNING STAR
$31.20
YUKARI - Brown Ceramic Bowl
YUKARI INCENSE BURNER & PLATE
$10.60
PORCELAIN INCENSE BURNER - Rabbit
BURNERS & HOLDERS
$33.60
TOGEI PLATE with Sphere Holder - Red
CERAMIC ART INCENSE HOLDER COLLECTION BY TOGEI
$23.00
CRAFTMAN HOUSE Coil Burner - Dog
CRAFTMAN HOUSE
$57.75
ESTEBAN INCENSE HOLDER - Black
ESTEBAN PARIS
$26.90
MANGO WOOD INCENSE HOLDER FOR BAMBOO INCENSE
BURNERS & HOLDERS
$2.30
YUKARI INCENSE BURNER - Ivy / Blue
YUKARI INCENSE BURNER & PLATE
$31.00
NATURAL ASH FOR INCENSE BURNER 95g
INCENSE CEREMONY
$11.20
SEASONS - Cherry Blossom
METAL INCENSE BURNER & HOLDER
$11.20
SPHERE INCENSE HOLDER - Gold
METAL INCENSE BURNER & HOLDER
$11.20

For many people, incense becomes an essential part of their daily life—Use at your own pace and as you desire whether it is part of your morning routine, religious offering, reading time, gatherings, meditation practice, or as an air purifier. Enjoy searching for your favorite incense and incense burners to enlighten and enrich your day! To check out for more information on useful tips on incense, click here

*A note on safety, and few words of caution: Use caution when handling flames. Never keep incense sticks within reach of children, pets, and babies. It can cause serious burns and scars if touched. Use only for intended purpose. Make sure that burning incense is placed on or in a non-combustible, ash-catching plate or burner. Avoid placing burning incense next to windy areas such as open windows and doors to prevent ash from scattering, but do not use in a poorly ventilated room.