Does Incense Expire?

person lighting incense stick

Something I am commonly asked is ‘does incense expire’?

The truth is that incense does not soil or become rancid. It does not expire in the same way, say a piece of fresh fruit would. However, heavily oil-laden incense sticks may dry out a bit and become a little less fragrant.

If you store your incense correctly, then your incense should quite a while. Cheap incense may become noticeably weaker after a couple years or so, but higher quality incense may last a while longer.

Some resin heavy incense such as agarwood incense may even improve a bit as they age. This is because sometimes these woods smell a bit acrid when they are first harvested. Allowing acrid smelling agarwood to age a little bit helps to mellow the scent out.

I hope you found this information beneficial.

Thomas Reed

Main photo by Herry Sutanto on Unsplash.

2 thoughts on “Does Incense Expire?

  1. Avatar
    WeAreZilla says:

    When I was a teenager in the 1970s, Kmart sold an incense that I really loved. It was called Russian Musk from a company called Mother Nature’s Incense. Now, forty years on, I’m being nostalgic and longing for that smell.

    You wouldn’t believe it but someone recently offered an old stash of incense, including the one I liked so much, tucked away over 40 years, available on ebay. There were like 15 different packets from 3 different companies, all from the 1970s, and even though I just needed one packet, you know I just had to get the lot. How did that work out for me? Well, after 40 years of storage, apparently in a dank musty basement, there was absolutely none of the original scent from any of the incenses. But it is perfect for those times I want my house to smell like a dank musty basement. 😎

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