Incense has been used as an accompaniment to spiritual practice for thousands of years. It’s referenced in Sanskrit texts and is known to have been a favorite of the ancient Egyptians.
It can lend a particular stillness to a space, one that’s conducive to relaxation and meditation. Equally, incense can be used as an effective (and cheap) room fragrance.
Try to stick to branded incense sticks that are made with natural ingredients. These are generally the best incense sticks, as they’ll burn and smell better.
As far as the actual fragrances are concerned, sandalwood, which is sweet and woody, tends to be the most common. Frankincense, which is musky and often used in churches, is the second most common.
Also worth mentioning is the rose fragrance, which is light and sweet, and patchouli, a potent, earthy fragrance. You can also choose between blends and single notes, which give one specific fragrance.
Incense sticks are made by mixing together various ingredients, including oils, resins, herbs, flower petals and wood, and then make a paste by adding water. A slim wooden or bamboo stick is then dipped and rolled in the paste and left to dry.
What Are the Best Incense Sticks?
Here is my selection of the top 5 best incense products.
When I was a student I lived for a while with a slightly unhinged former-Buddhist energy healer. It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable experience and I ended up moving out after six months.
The one good thing that did happen, however, was that I was introduced to Nag Champa Agarbatti.
It’s a lovely incense, not too overpowering with a gentle but obvious smell. It’s quite popular and the brand Satya Sai is well-known. The base fragrance is sandalwood. Satya Sai also offers a range of other blends. I think this is one of their best incense scents.
Frankincense is a resin obtained from the Boswellia genus of trees. Most people are familiar with it because it was a gift (along with myrrh, another tree resin) from one of the three wise men.
This incense is a mix of pure tree resins, frankincense being a prominent one. Whilst you can be certain of its quality, you will need charcoal to burn it.
If you’re used to going to church then you’ll know the smell. It’s not too overpowering and it doesn’t annoy the sinuses or throat like some other incenses. It’s one of my favorites.
It can sometimes be difficult to get outside of the United Kingdom, although Amazon.com usually keeps it in stock. It’s been made in Gloucestershire for over 100 years. Go with the “Abbey” blend. Note that this product doesn’t come with charcoal.
Esteban Paris sells a Teck and Tonka product that’s a variety of incense sticks specifically designed as home fragrances. It’s a luxury item, a tad on the pricey side, but perfect if you’re looking for something that’s soft and isn’t going to overpower your room.
Some people prefer to let the sticks sit (as opposed to burning them). These are well-suited to both functions.
This particular product is spicy and woody.
The sticks are a little shorter (around half an hour burning time) but you get 50 sticks of each fragrance for a total of around 600 sticks.
Another benefit is that the smoke given off isn’t too thick. If you’re going for a smell that isn’t too over-powering you might also want to try the Green Tea and Lavender variety.
Rope incense is made by placing plant material into rice paper and then twisting it to make a “rope.” You can burn it either on a bed of ash or use an incense rope burner (which you can pick up quite cheaply).
There tend to be fewer ingredients used in making rope incense and you’re more likely to have an original product that’s made in the east, often Tibet or Nepal.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of Incense?
We’re often asked, “what does incense do spiritually?”.
Incense has been used for religious purposes since antiquity. Burned incense might be intended to help with prayer or as a sacrificial offering to different deities.
What are the Best Smelling Incense Sticks?
Incense may inspire many different moods, depending on which scent you choose. Incense can really enhance the atmosphere, ranging from excitement to contentment and calmness. Use the following six incense scents when you want to relax.
The 6 Best Incense Scents (also Most Popular) for Meditation and Relaxation
Sandalwood: If you have ever been to a Buddhist temple, then you have likely already inhaled sandalwood incense. It is an excellent scent both for providing a pleasant smell that can be burnt at home and to produce a calm feeling among worshipers.
Sandalwood elicits feelings of serenity and well-being. There are many different varieties of this scent, which allows you burn different kinds of sandalwood incense for either a quieter or warmer form of relaxation.
If feelings of nostalgia are evoked by sandalwood, try having a past life reading to find out where you might have smelled it in the past.
Jasmine: Anyone can be made happier by merely inhaling a bouquet of the white, small flowers. There are also calming properties in Jasmine incense that is though to help with reducing depression.
Although this scent contributes a relaxing sensation, it offers a low level of alertness, and that prevents you from feeling too complacent. What this means is that you can feel uplifted when you burn jasmine incense.
Lavender: Whenever you are in need of stress relief, quite often lavender is the best option. The soft purple flower is well-known for its calming and relaxing effect on both the body and mind.
When you inhale lavender, it can also help you achieve deep sleep for more extended time periods. Since lavender helps you reach a state of deep sleep, it is also a great way to alleviate insomnia. Since lavender is reasonably powerful, make sure to burn just one stick.
Pine: Imagine yourself wandering through a shady, quiet evergreen forest. Going on a slow stroll such as that can melt all of your stress away. Burning pine-infused incense can do this too.
Pine scents may help to combat depression, help to reduce anxiety and make you feel more relaxed. Although pine is considered to be a Christmas or winter scent sometimes, it has properties that can offer calming effects all year long. It’s always the right time for burning pine incense.
Chamomile: This small flower, which is similar to a daisy, is frequently consumed in the form of herbal tea.
Chamomile incense is also very herbal and offers feelings that are similar to enjoy a cup of nighttime tea. Chamomile incense’s scent, like the tea, inspires feelings of warmth and contentment.
However, if you are having difficulties with truly feeling content, you might want to consider speaking with a Clairaudient in order to better understand what is really bothering you.
Lemongrass: Feelings of higher energy and alertness are often inspired by citrus scents. However lemongrass, which does have a citrus and fresh fragrance, also alleviates stress and eases anxiety.
Inhaling lemongrass also revitalizes and uplifts you, which helps you feel very good about yourself. Lemongrass is a scent that has many powers and can encourage feelings of emotional balance and inspire you to want to meditate.
So whether you are burning incense when you awake every morning to relax after a long hard day, or during meditation, make sure you use the right incense scent to match your mood.
Burn the six scents detailed above to promote feelings of well-being, relieve stress, and inspire calm feelings.