Styles and Types of Incense Sticks
The history and tradition of incense is a long and complex one. Many different societies and cultures each had their own rendition and style of producing incense sticks
. Regions such as India, Japan, China, and Tibet have held their own unique and profound influences upon such traditions.
In the below section we are going to discuss different styles of incense available throughout the world.
Masala Incense Sticks
Masala incense sticks are one of the more common Indian varieties of incense and they often incorporate traditional, recognizable ingredients such as herbs, flowers and resins. The combined mixture is formed into a paste and spread over a wooden stick.
Durbar Incense Sticks
Although durbar styled incense
is quite similar in composition with traditional masalas, the ingredients are slightly different. Especially to a western audience. Durbars are often laden with oil and hold a complex aroma which is often to fuse sweet and spicy elements. It is not uncommon for these to be slightly wet or soft to the touch.
Champa Incense Sticks
is one of the most popular incense styles in the world. The scent usually combines the sweet scent of plumeria with the base scent of sandalwood, although sometimes magnolia is sometimes used in place of plumeria. These ingredients are often combined with halmaddi, a resin harvested from the Ailanthus Malabarica tree, which gives champa styles a unique twist.
Fluxo’s typically hold a rich and complex scent, and often incorporate a wide number of ingredients. Although the scent may vary depending on the ingredients, they are typically quite pungent and detecting individual subtleties is typically quite difficult. A good representation would be Sri Sai Flora Fluxo, which is quite popular in India but may not be well-suited to a western palette.
A cheaper variety of incense is the hand-dipped variety. Many of these still smell amazing but sometimes lack the depth of traditional varieties. These are often made from a wood/charcoal core which is then dipped into fragrance oil. A good representation of a quality hand-dipped incense would be Wild-Berry, an incense manufacturer originating from Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Some manufacturers also combine hand dipping with more traditional methods as well.
Dhoop sticks are a malleable variety common in India and Tibet. These are a core-less, bendable variety.
Senko incense sticks are a core-less Japanese variety. Also referred to as senkou, senkoo, or sen-koh.
Simpoi incense sticks are a Tibetan variety. These are usually thick and hand-rolled.