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Introduction to Incense
Incense sticks have become commonplace and are used for everything from religious ceremonies to simple room deodorizers. The aromatics of incense hold a special place in the hearts of many cultures.
However, there are many different styles of incense.
Incense Sticks vs Cones
The two most popular forms are probably incense sticks and incense cones.
Most people consider incense sticks and cones to be equivalent in nature, but there are several subtle differences between these time-honored iterations.
Features of Incense Sticks
Incense sticks consist of an aromatic paste, either placed upon bamboo cores, such as in India, or extruded into compressed sticks such as in China, Japan and Tibet.
Because of their shape, incense sticks give off a consistent amount of fragrance as they burn.
Many incense manufacturers often only craft their highest quality incense in the form of sticks. This is due to how they are crafted. Incense sticks are usually hand-rolled from a paste or mix of resins, herbs, or other materials. This allows just about any herbal ingredient to be added.
Because they usually contain higher quality ingredients in comparison to incense cones, incense sticks can typically be stored for a longer period of time.
Incense sticks usually burn slower then incense cones, typically lasting about 45 to 60 minutes.
Features of Incense Cones
Incense cones are made in a similar way as incense sticks but are compressed into the shape of a cone.
They have to be pressed and have to be of a specific consistency in order to be properly formed.
Unfortunately, incense cones often require more binder in order to be shaped and are usually of a lower quality in comparison to incense sticks due to different ingredients and production methods.
Because of their shape, incense cones produce more fragrance as they burn.
Incense cones usually burn faster then incense sticks, typically lasting about 20 minutes.
Alternative Forms of Incense
If you’re looking for an alternative to incense sticks and cones, there are many other options available on the open market.
Natural tree resins such as frankincense and myrrh are often burned for their aromatic properties.
Coil incense became popular in Asia. The long coils burn for a much longer time then incense sticks or cones, often burning for up to 6 or 8 hours.
There are a few different styles of kneaded incense, such as Egyptian and Japanese styles.
These typically consist of compressed and kneaded fruits, flowers, honey, and other aromatic materials.
Fragrant wood doesn’t necessarily need to be broken down and placed into an incense stick or cone.
Many people like to heat these fragrant woods on charcoal or electric incense burners in a similar style as resin.
Examples of fragrant woods include agarwood, sandalwood, palo santo, cedar, and juniper.
This article was updated on 07/31/2020.