Incense is a substance that can come in the form of powder, gel, or gum that you burn to release aromatic scents into the air. Incense is made from different kinds of plants and produces diverse aromas.
People have used incense for millennia across cultures, mostly in religious settings. During religious functions, people burn incense to aid their supreme beings in prayer and sort out their spiritual connotations.
However, you may use incense for aromatherapy, meditation, celebration, and aesthetic purposes, in addition to religion. Some people use them as deodorants and insect repellents.
This article will cover all there is to know about incense, in particular incense cones. But first, let us start on a lighter note with these fun facts about incense.
Interesting Facts About Incense
- The first record of incense use dates back to China in 2000 BC.
- Incense main elements are natural parts of plants like bamboo sticks, fragrant branches, and dried paste from aromatic flora.
- Frankincense is the most popular incense globally, with numerous uses in the medical sector and relaxation industry. Pure frankincense is edible with anti-cancer properties.
- The name frankincense has the word incense in it.
- Some incenses have the most outrageous sources. The Ambergris comes from the whale’s intestines, and it is a valued scent in the perfumery industry.
- Sandalwood takes 14 years to mature.
- The longest incense stick in the Guinness World Book of Records measures 15.71 meters long.
- Citronella is a natural insect repellant incense and the safest insect repellant to use.
Composition of Incense
Incense is a plant-based product that is set ablaze to provide aromatic benefits. The composition of most incense are resins, barks, roots, dried fruits, seeds, and blooms.
The specific kinds differ according to the parts of plants used to make the incense, region, manufacturer, and purity of the bouquet.
Some of the most unmistakable incense scents are:
Types of Incense
Aromatherapists categorize incense into two classes: Indirect burning and direct burning.
Our focal topic, incense cones, belongs to the direct burning class.
Indirect Burning Incense
These are also known as non-combustible incense. Instead of a direct flame, they are roasted with an external heating medium. They are available in fine powders, granules, pastes, and whole chunks.
Typically, you can use charcoal or glowing embers as a heating source and place the incense over the flame. It burns the more delicate bits faster while taking longer to exhaust the chunks. This is due to their large surface area.
In any case, finer incenses produce a concentrated and robust scent over a short period.
Direct Burning Incense
Direct burning scents have a combustible part that you can light with a flame, and they dissipate the fragrance as they burn slowly. If you light it, the incense will burn until it runs out unless you manually extinguish it.
Moldings of incense cones consist of fragrant parts and a combustible item commonly known as a binder. The binder is typically odorless, so the only scent perceived is that of the fragrant aromatic element.
Coils, cored sticks, powder, dhoop, paper, rope, and incense cones are the most common types. Now let’s dig a little deeper and find out more about incense cones.
What are Incense Cones?
Incense cones are cone-shaped mixtures of aromatic material. In the 1800s, the Japanese invented incense cones. The following properties distinguish them.
- They contain a balanced oil content to make the fragrance gentle.
- They have an oxidizer required to start and maintain a steady rate of ignition.
- They have a binder with no odor.
The cone is typically made of pressed incense dough. This mixture is then formed into various shapes and sizes and allowed to dry. If the drying process is not done correctly, the fragrance will warp or become distended.
This drying procedure entails the maker turning the cone over and over to ensure that it dries uniformly. The makers dry the cones in a climate-controlled room.
How to Burn Incense Cones
Because incense is typically very smoky, it is not recommended to burn it in a poorly ventilated room. To begin burning, place the cone in a heat-proof container and ignite the top portion of the cone.
It would be best if you exposed an open flame to that area until the top of the cone turns orange. It’s ready to spread the fragrance once it gets a glow.
Tips to Maximize the Incense Cone Burning Experience
Here are a few tips to make the most out of a burning incense cone experience:
- The best heat-proof materials to use are ceramic, metallic, or insulated ashtray.
- Use sand at the bottom of the chosen container for added insulation.
- Place a burning cone away from any flammable item.
- To avoid burning the cone faster, gently fan the open flame to remain with the orange glow.
- Dry off a new incense cone to remove the excess oil and moisture.
- Keep burning incense away from winds.
- It is best to put off the incense cone by dipping it into the sand.
- Store the cone in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- It would be best to burn incense cones away from children and pets to avoid burning accidents.
Benefits of Burning Incense Cones
Burning incense cones has a variety of health and mental benefits. Since time immemorial, civilizations have used incense to elicit specific responses in the human brain and body to initiate particular feelings.
The following are some of the benefits of burning incense cones in your surrounding, along with a few flavor suggestions for maximum impact.
To Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
By regulating bodily actions such as heart rate and perspiration, incense cones help reduce tension and worry. When you take a deep breath, it helps you calm your mind and relax when stressed, worried, or anxious.
Rosemary and Lavender are the best incense cone flavors to use for this purpose.
To Help Relax the Body and Mind
If you want to unwind and relax your mind and body, an incense cone scented with Frankincense, Sandalwood, or Cedarwood is the way to go. Inhaling the fragrant scent of these fragrances calms both the brain and body.
You can use them while studying, taking a bath, or eating a meal. They provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Incense Cones are Instrumental for Meditation
While meditating, burning incense cones can help you focus better, allowing you to get more out of your sessions. The burning size of the cone measured the length of time spent meditating in ancient times.
The best scents to burn for meditation are lotus and sandalwood.
Incense Cones Significantly Raise Spirituality
In some faiths, incense was and still is quite popular. Incense is sometimes burned by Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims to welcome good spirits and ward off evil ones. It creates a peaceful environment in which you can relax and connect with your spirituality better.
Burning Incense Cones Stimulate Creativity
The best creative ideas come to the surface when one’s mind is calm and tranquil. Content creators burn incense cones to stimulate their creativity and aid in the creation of masterpieces.
Citrus, geranium, ylang-ylang, and lemongrass fragrances are some examples in the aloeswood category. They are at the top of the list of the best creativity-boosting incense cone flavors.
Burning Incense Cones Initiate Peaceful Rest
We live in a fast-paced world where many people suffer from sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Insomnia occurs when you either fail to fall asleep or are unable to stay asleep. Nonetheless, the fumes from an incense conde can help you relax the mind and body in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
The best types to use to combat insomnia are chamomile and vetiver.
However, if you must sleep with the cone on, keep it away from any flammable materials. A better option would be to burn the cone an hour before bed and dim it when you go to bed. It is always preferable to be safe than sorry.
Burning Incense Improves Your Health
The essential oils that dissipate to the air contain medicinal properties that heal the body. On a physiological level, they improve mood and aid in treating stress, anxiety, and depression. They also benefit the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and immune systems. This leads to a better, healthy life.
All incense cone flavors have medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and other healing properties.
They are Potent and Safe Air Freshening Options
If you dislike synthetic air fresheners, I would strongly advise you to use incense cones instead. Most incense cones constitute natural components and lack the toxic elements found in manufactured aerosols.
They are so potent that they make the air smell divine and ensure good health for anyone inhaling the blend.
Potential Downsides Of Burning Incense Cones
Despite incense cones having numerous benefits, certain downsides may arise. Some of those disadvantages are:
Insense Smoke May Trigger Respiratory Discomforts
When the exposure to incense cone smoke exceeds, you may inhale every delicate particulate matter present in the smoke—the good and the bad. When you burn it in an enclosed space without proper ventilation, these pollutants may build up and add harmful concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide.
When you continually inhale these three gases, they irritate the respiratory tract, potentially causing issues like asthma attacks, lung inflammation, and even cancer in the long run.
A study in Singapore in 2008 on adults exposed to long-term incense smoke showed that they were at high risk of contracting squamous cell lung cancer. Another in 2009 of Oman children showed that incense smoke was a trigger to asthma attacks.
The solutions to these downsides are:
- Increase the ventilation of the home.
- Use safer and all-natural incense cones.
- Burn the incense in one room of the house to lower its concentration.
Despite it being a minor issue, it is still a reason to be more careful. If the igniting flame is not put out and gets into contact with a material that can burn, the results may be devastating.
The plausible solutions are always to supervise the cone while it burns. Never fall asleep while it burns, and place it on a non-flammable surface away from flammable items.
Burns and Accidents
If you touch an incense cone that is lit up at the tip, you will get burnt. Also, feeling the base after it has been on may cause some minor burns on your skin. Therefore, you should first turn it off by dipping the tip in the sand and then store it in a cool and dry place.
When you burn an incense cone in a household with kids and pets, you should be extremely careful. Place it on surfaces high enough that both your child or pet will not reach it. It would be best if you prevented either of them from getting burnt or tipping the burning incense cone over, causing a fire.
Where to Purchase Incense Cones
You can buy incense cones from numerous suppliers, but the most popular place to get them today is via online e-commerce platforms like Amazon. On Amazon, you can get them in various sizes for different prices. Below are some of the best sellers on Amazon.
- Kiru Palo Santo incense cones for cleansing, meditation, and yoga
- Ru S incense cones assorted packet with 160 cones
- Hem stores various incense cones
Incense cones have quite the portfolio from medicinal benefits to meditative and the apparent being air freshening. Even so, when you want to use them, there are still a few rules to follow to guarantee safety for you and everyone else around you.
So buy a pack, preferably the assorted kinds, and give them all a try. I was hoping you start with the ones mentioned above and confirm that the Lavender relaxes and the ylang-ylang invokes creativity.