Incense Sticks

by admin on October 18, 2009

Incense Sticks

Incense Sticks

Incense - Discover the 5 Most Popular Fragrances

Incense Throughout History

Incense has been around since man's discovery of fire. Research has found ancient incense artefacts throughout the world, some of them thousands of years old, and it appears to have been part of practically every culture. Incense has five primary ingredients: wood pulp, an adhesive like gum Arabic, water, potassium nitrate (which is used to light the incense), and aromatic material. Many of the aromas come from woods and resins, like cedar and frankincense. What most people think of as incense is cones or incense sticks, although it comes in many forms, such as chopped herbs, raw woods, powders, pastes, liquids, and fragrant oils.

Throughout its history, incense has been made from a wide variety of materials, historically those locally available. Many different essential oils or artificial fragrances are commonly used for incense. Commercially retailed incense made from a blend of materials, is generally more expensive when higher amounts of essential oils are used than ones made with unextracted raw materials. Extracting essential oils from raw plant materials can be very time consuming and labour intensive.

Discover the 5 Most Popular Incense Fragrances

Today, the most popular fragrances are Frankincense, Sandalwood, Lavender, Patchouli, and Rose.

Frankincense

Frankincense is an aromatic resin from the Boswellia family of trees. Frankincense is available in different grades, based on its purity, colour, age, and aroma. Its aroma is characterized by a balsamic spiciness with slight lemon and conifer undertones. Frankincense has been traded throughout the world for more than 5,000 years. Frankincense aroma has long been used by the Christian, Islamic, and Judaic faiths, such as to anoint newborn babies.

Sandalwood Incense

Sandalwood refers to several aromatic woods, including Indian Sandalwood and Australian Sandalwood. Its fragrance provides a wood base note to many perfumes. Sandalwood smells similar to other wood scents, but it has a bright, fresh edge. Sandalwood oil is widely used by the cosmetics industry, and it is very expensive. True sandalwood is a protected species, but many plants are traded under the sandalwood name. Sandalwood has been treasured for centuries for its fragrance.

Lavender Incense

Lavender represents 39 flowering varieties of the mint family. The oil from its flowers is used extensively for aromatherapy, including incense. It has long been associated with medical uses, such as relieving tension headaches and respiratory conditions, and it can even work as a mosquito repellent. With its calming, sedative effects, lavender has long been used as an aromatic bath additive.

Patchouli Incense

Patchouli is another aromatic member of the mint family, with a heavy, strong scent. It is commonly used in perfumes, especially men's perfumes. Patchouli scent has been referred to as powerful, pungent, mossy, and musty. Originally used to prevent moths from infesting silks as they were transported to Europe from Asia, patchouli has become associated with exotic, far-away lands. It has widespread commercial uses, including as a fragrance additive for paper towels and fabric softeners.

Rose Incense

From the earliest periods, the beautiful rose fragrance has been used throughout the world. Oil from roses has a distinctive floral scent, often used in aromatherapy for relaxation. It takes several pounds of rose petals to produce one ounce of rose oil, making it an expense process. Even with its high prices and the availability of synthetic compounds, genuine rose oil is still very popular for perfumes.

There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of subtly different incense aromas available for you to try. Consider trying some of the most popular fragrances to begin with then move on to discover the amazing properties to calm and invigorate in equal measures.

About the Author

Mark Miles is a writer for the online incense store the Crafty Jungle. A family run online shop providing high quality incense sticks and incense cones from the UK to worldwide.

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How to Make Incense Sticks : Types of Incense

Why do people light incense sticks at Japanese temples?

Im just curious and cant seem to find it on the net

Shinto is an ancient pantheistic religion where each local area has its own kami or god....and this religion is no longer practiced in it pure form, but has adopted many Buddhist practices into it.

Kami usually accepted gifts of wine and rice. Simple prayers were written onto bits of paper and handed out or used to invoke the kami's help, and these bits of paper were then burned.

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