Since ancient times, incense has been used in the East, Egypt, Babylon and America for healing, meditation, cleansing houses, and temples. Recipes of their preparation were passed down from generation to generation. The scope of their application has not changed much to date: incense is used to treat various diseases, to disinfect the air, for meditation, as an offering, for ritual ceremonies, and also just for enjoying their pleasant fragrance. But do you know how to choose and use incenses properly? Let me share with you the guide for using and shopping for incense!
Different Kinds Of Incenses
Incenses can be different in their form:
Moreover, they can be different in composition.
This kind of incense has two components in their composition:
- the base, which perfectly absorbs essential oils and is capable of smoldering;
- the oil itself or the composition of oils.
You can find oil incenses in the form of sticks, plasticine or lace.
Oil Mixture Incenses
The composition of oil mixture incenses is not only oil-treated coal-based but it can also include honey, melted butter, powder plants, and manure (if you’re vegan you don’t want to buy this kind).
Herbal And Floral Incense
Incenses of this kind are calm and closer to natural odors. They are good for aromatherapy as a soothing agent.
Honey And Dung Incense
The production of honey and dung incense goes back to antiquity. They were used during the time of Ramayana. The main difference between honey incense is that they have a barely noticeable sweet flavor that accompanies the main smell. Honey incense is used for aromatization of premises, aromatherapy, as well as for Pujas.
Most people feel weird about using dung incense. Indeed, for us, dung is considered to be bad-smelling and unclean. Our opinion about dung is very different from the meaning of the ancient scripts. And these scripts say that on the basis of cow manure not only incense can be produced (which, it should be noted, does not smell like manure itself) but also medicinal products. To distinguish manure incense is possible only by external rough appearance and the dense smoke emitted when it’s burning.
Camphor Cardamom Or Camphor Itself
The disadvantage of this kind of incense is that the quality of it slightly decreases, but the aromatic and medicinal properties remain longer. Camphor incense is good for body detox, as well as to cleanse space from spirits and negative energy. These incenses have immune-strengthening properties and contribute to the prevention of respiratory and epidemic diseases.
In the middle ages, cone-shaped (sandalwood) incense penetrated into Europe, where they were appreciated and were burned exclusively on major holidays. Cone-shaped incense is made by pressing a mixture of aromatic herbs, or with the addition of a small amount of fir resin, juniper, and other plants or without fastening additives. It is important to note that these incenses have the shape of a pyramid. This is a huge advantage, as the smoke released during combustion has more energy than the smoke from other incense. The method of application is similar to that of other incenses.
It is another bizarre form of incense. It is a coil of slowly smoldering hemp rope impregnated with some essential oil. Here it should be noted that the aroma is very, very extraordinary: the duet of burnt hemp rope with a burnt sandal or red tree. In India, lace incense is in great demand among traders and, apparently, buyers too, in particular at vegetable markets. Street hairdressers and shoemakers are among the “gourmets” of this fragrance. To date, in majority other countries, the lace incense has not found a place of application.
Their composition is exclusively natural, the replacement of natural components with the chemical would be obvious. For the most part, powdery incense is made in Tibet, although in ancient times in Russia the same incense was used to fumigate patients. Also, shamans use herbal powders in their rites. But they are rarely used for Pujas. With the departure of the Egyptian, Babylonian and ancient Greek civilizations the tradition of burning loose incense in the temples have exhausted.
Chinese incense is characterized by a subtle mystical aroma with subtle transitions of one scent to another. This group is dominated by sandalwood and floral fragrances without a basis. Chinese incenses with bamboo sticks are less common. Ancient Chinese invention is the spiral – thin unbonded incense, swirling in a few circles. In China, it is believed that they should burn clockwise, creating an “energy column” so that through it the cosmic message descends down to man. There is a huge variety of colored Chinese spirals, which have a unique, wonderful and delicate aroma, used in various rites and for purification.
Tibetan incense is a unique masterpiece of the ancient art of healing and worshipping Deities. It plays an important role in aromatherapy medicine. The secrets of making Tibetan sticks and powders have reached our civilization from the depths of centuries, and today these ancient recipes are passed down from generation to generation. In the fullness of time in the highlands of the Himalayas people collect manually all the necessary herbs. Further, these herbs are subjected to thorough ecological expertise and control over the observance of the quality. In ancient times, wise Tibetan monks collected these divine herbs in the mountains for meditation, worship, and treatment. Despite the fact that Tibet was captured by China and the Tibetans were destroyed by the masses, this sacred art lives to this day. The descendants of Tibetan monks moved to India and Nepal, continuing the ancient tradition in a foreign land.
To prepare their magical compositions, herb collectors had to climb the mountains on secret paths known only to them, and collect herbs, roots, and minerals there. As their land was occupied, they returned and the production of incense was carried out in India and Nepal. Unfortunately, most of the Tibetan incense is not carefully enough milled, which slightly complicates the process of burning and the intensity of the smoke. The composition of Tibetan sticks usually includes up to forty components. These fragrances do not have a bamboo base and gradually change their scent when burning, adding new notes to the original scent.
Brief Inscence Guide
If you are a fan of agarbatti, you may find it useful to find a brief guide of fragrances, which contains the characteristics of scent and their psycho-emotional benefits, which will make it easier for you to choose the right incense.
This aroma is resinous, sweet, warm, joyful. It enhances the element of fire in the body, warms the heart, makes it kind and compassionate. It improves mutual understanding between people.
This aroma is gentle, light, sweet, cold. It relieves depression, fear, irritability; treats cramps, insomnia, frigidity, and impotence.
This aroma is light, exquisite, intoxicating. It gives confidence, strengthens the mind and body; awakes sensuality.
This aroma is cold, sweet and sour, tender, fresh. It has a strong tonic effect. It calms, gives strength, relieves fatigue, tension, improves memory and attention.
This aroma is sweet, sugary, and joyful. It gives joy, makes the heart kind and opens to communication.
This aroma is light, cold, and sweet-tart. It promotes relaxation, calms the nerves, has an anti-stress effect, finds reserve strength in the body.
This aroma is soft tart, cooling, fresh. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, relieves headaches, migraines, hypertension attacks.
This aroma is fresh, cool, and light. It gives freshness to the body and feelings, strengthens the body’s protective power. It calls for self-reflection and self-analysis.
This aroma is exquisite, delicate, sweet-cold, weighted. This scent has an anti-stress and relaxing effect, eliminates fatigue, mobilizes the body’s reserve forces. It enhances sensuality and is considered a “female” aroma.
This aroma is light, elegant, fresh, invigorating. It is a good antidepressant, causes a sense of self-confidence. It relieves seizures and headaches. Ylang-ylang is a great aphrodisiac and is considered a “masculine” scent.
This aroma is clean, fresh, warm, and sharp. It has the property to remove inflammation and warm. It is able to exert a sobering effect and to calm sexual excitement.
This aroma is soft, velvet, resinous, and warm. It regulates the self-regulation of the body, treats respiratory diseases. Moreover, it enhances sensory perception, fills the body with energy, excites and warms.
This aroma is sweet, warm, and fragrant. It stimulates the appetite, increases metabolic processes in the body, relieves apathy and drowsiness.
This scent is warm, spicy, sweet, and playful. It stimulates blood circulation, relieves the effects of intoxication, strengthens the nervous system, warms, cheers, and relieves depression.
This aroma is cold, fresh, thin, and bitter. It has strong antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Lavander is beneficial to use lavender incense for influenza, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It relieves fatigue, insomnia, strengthens the body’s immune system. Moreover, it stimulates blood circulation, eliminates mental lethargy, irritability, hysteria and the state of causeless fear.
This scent is smoky, sweet, tart, and buttery. It strengthens and brightens the aura, enhances the mind, inspires and awakens interest in life and optimism.
This aroma is sour, cool, and light. It strengthens the human immune system, has antiviral and anti-infectious effects. It relieves headaches, dizziness, nausea.
This aroma is sour and cool. It improves memory, helps to concentrate attention, increases concentration, eliminates the consequences of fatigue and lack of sleep.
This scent is light, elegant, fresh, and sweet. It gives freshness to the body and feelings, relieves fatigue. Moreover, it spiritualizes the thoughts and existence, and conducive to the spiritual development.
This aroma is cool, sweet, refined, and delicate. It calms, promotes relaxation and rest, drives away fears and anxiety.
This scent is velvety, bitter, smoky, and soft. It helps to improve heat exchange in the body. It brings joy to the mind and heart, sharpens sensory perception.
This aroma is enveloping and sweet. It helps with insomnia, alleviates stress. It is favorable for strengthening the aura, improves meditation, and achievement in the spiritual search.
This aroma is gentle, fresh, and velvet. It clarifies the mentality, removes the fear and inactivity, increases intuition.
This aroma is warm, fragrant, spicy, and slightly tart. It helps with anxiety, mental fatigue, relieves stress.
This scent is gentle, cool, and light. It strengthens the heart, improves its performance, has a powerful sedative effect, helps with insomnia, stress, and depression.
This aroma is cold, resinous, astringent, and bitter. It tones, cheers, gives sharpness of mind and warms the heart.
This aroma is tart, heady, and sweet. It is a powerful anti-virus tool. Pacioli nourishes, refreshes, gives strength and determination. It is also a strong erotic stimulant, it increases sensitivity, eliminates the frigidity and impotence.
This scent is smoky, sweet, warm, and intoxicating. It transforms the unproductive energy of anger, frustration, and sorrow into the energy of self-improvement. People who inhale the aroma of roses, cause sympathy for others, have a light even aura, friendly and unobtrusive. Rose scent heals depression, insomnia, stress and nervous tension. It also relieves anxiety, nightmares, heals arrhythmia, and improves blood circulation.
It is a light, soft, fresh, and sweet aroma. Rosemary has a strong antimicrobial effect. It is the aroma of the heart. It improves blood supply to the heart muscle.
This aroma is moist, light, slightly astringent. It is a powerful tool for cleansing and concentration of the mind. It sharpens the perception and improves memory.
This aroma is exquisite, delicate, hazy, and tart. It promotes relaxation and meditation. Sandalwood calms the nerves, opens energy, springs creativity and talent. It compacts the energy layer, allows you to quickly and smoothly restore the thinned aura. Moreover, it helps with depression, insomnia, hiccups on the nervous soil, irritation of the throat, runny nose, nausea, heartburn. It is a mild aphrodisiac – increases sensuality, treats frigidity and impotence.
This scent is fresh, cold, and light. Pine activates the breath, which potentiates the pulmonary circulation. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, accelerates the process of rehabilitation after long-term, serious diseases.
This aroma is gentle, silky, warm, and exciting. It relieves dizziness, headaches, and irritability. Tulasi scent helps with insomnia, depression and melancholy attacks.
This aroma is tart, resinous, and cool. It refreshes and restores strength. Thuja scent is a great erotic stimulator. It enhances sensuality, eliminates frigidity and impotence.
This scent is light, delicate, and silky. It promotes relaxation, calms the nervous system, has an anti-stress effect.
This aroma is soft, sweet, moist, and mysterious. It is favorable for compaction and clarification of aura. Champa promotes the concentration of the mind, relieves nervous tension and fatigue.
This aroma is tart, astringent, and pungent. It purifies the air and kills bacteria. Eucalyptus is a powerful anti-virus and anti-inflammatory agent.
How To Choose Incense Depending On the Season?
Did you know that you can choose incense depending on the season and the weather? Let me share with you a brief guide on how to do it.
For winter (cold, dry weather) suitable scents such as eucalyptus, rose, cinnamon, geranium, heather, basil, winter cherry, citronella.
For early spring (cool dry weather) will fit warm, slightly moist flavors such as vanilla, myrrh, pine, cedar, lotus, orange, parijat.
For late spring (warm and dry weather) is good to use neroli, rosemary, jasmine, ylang-ylang, opium, tea tree incenses.
For summer (hot wet weather) suitable scents such as saffron, sandal, lavender, incense, bergamot, magnolia, lemon, sorghum.
For autumn (cool wet weather) suitable scents such as amber, patchouli, geranium, Champa, tuberose, cedar.
How To Choose Incents Depending On the Zodiac Sign?
You can also choose incense according to your Zodiac sign. Let me share with you the scents that are suitable for different zodiac signs the most.
Aries (March 21 – April 20):
Pine, patchouli, geranium, rose, lemon, musk, frankincense, rosemary, sandalwood, vanilla, coriander, juniper, sage, vetiver.
These aromas harmonize the stormy temperament of Aries and turn his (her) stubbornness in the right direction.
Taurus (April 21 – May 20):
Bergamot, mint, cedar, chamomile, lemon, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, frankincense, rosemary, vanilla, jasmine, sage, lotus, magnolia.
These flavors deliver happiness and joy!
Gemini (May 21 – June 21):
Sandal, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, orange, musk, neroli, rose, frankincense, rosemary, vanilla, cinnamon, lemongrass, ylang-ylang, jasmine.
These scents balance the light, airy nature of Gemini, help them stand firmly on the ground.
Cancer (June 22 – July 22):
Jasmine, amber, bergamot, pine, lavender, lemon, lemon sorghum, myrrh, neroli, orange, herb aroma, tuberose, Champa.
These aromas help Cancer to keep a good mood and not to plunge into depression.
Leo (July 23 – August 23):
Frankincense, coconut, lemon, orange, patchouli, myrrh, rose, sandalwood, rosemary, juniper, mogra.
These scents emphasize the “royalty” of Leo and help to maintain good health.
Virgo (August 24 – September 23):
Myrrh, sandalwood, cedar, eucalyptus, geranium, orange, musk, neroli, frankincense, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, citronella, saffron, lemon sorghum.
These scents help Virgo to relax and enjoy life!
Libra (September 24 – October 24):
Pine, rose, lavender, incense, cedar, mint, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, geranium, eucalyptus.
These scents help Libra to feel good at any period of life and not overwork.
Scorpio (24 October – 22 November):
Patchouli, jasmine, pine, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, cinnamon, magnolia, sedge, amber, basil, vetiver.
These scents will help Scorpio cope with his (her) feelings and not suffer from stress.
Sagittarius (November 23 – December 21):
Lavender, musk, lemon, lemon sorghum, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, frankincense, rose, rosemary, cinnamon, vanilla.
These scents help Sagittarius to remain calm and to be in good mood.
Capricorn (December 23 – January 20):
Amber, sandalwood, bergamot, sedge, lavender, eucalyptus, juniper, frankincense, Himalayan gold leaf, rose.
These scents help Capricorn to feel the joy of life and give him (her) creative energy.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 20):
Cedar, bergamot, pine, lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, ylang-ylang, tuberose, agar.
These scents help Aquarius to keep vital energy and sexual appeal.
Pisces (21 February – 20 March):
Cedar, orange, bergamot, lavender, eucalyptus, musk, myrrh, neroli, frankincense, rosemary, vanilla, jasmine, juniper, opium, tea tree.
These scents help the Pisces to concentrate and “swim” with the flow of life to success and prosperity.
The Bottom Line
Despite all the benefits that incense can provide you should be aware that they can also harm your health. As you know, incenses are made from different parts of odorous plants – bark, roots, flowers, resin and essential oils. The base of incense is usually a thin bamboo stick. When burning, all this releases carcinogenic substances (such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyl compounds, and benzene), which contribute to the development of cancer. People know about the destructive properties of carcinogens for quite a long time. That’s why you need to be cautious about using the incenses all the time.
You should be aware that it’s not a good idea to use incenses every day. You may use them for your meditations or cleanse the energy of your house or aura. But make sure that the windows are open and air circulating in the room while you’re burning the incense. It is very important to keep the windows open! Otherwise, you may experience all the side effects of inhaling the carcinogens.