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Incense and Its Uses

Updated on November 20, 2017

Incense Has Many Uses

Incenses have been used for thousands of years, for many reasons and I'll cover just a few of them in this article. I'll also go briefly into the history of incense, and its use in religion.

Of course, in my opinion, the best thing about incense is that little extra something a beautiful scent can add to your home. It can make your home feel more friendly, clean and fresh, and we all want that, don't we?


A Very Brief History of Incense

Incense has probably been used by mankind since fire was discovered. The ancients would have realised that many substances gave off different aromas when burned, and would most likely have started to use those they liked best. Incense has been used in this way for thousands of years.

Incense can be used to make you become more sensitive, and this would have led to it being used for sacred purposes, ceremonies, and the like. Incense was also probably used as a healing aid.

In the ancient world, the incense, Frankincense, was often used as currency, as it was extremely valuable. The Queen of Sheba is supposed to have used it.

The ancient Chinese used sandalwood and cinnamon, among other types, and these are still used today.

In the Indus (India) region, oils were frequently used in burners, mainly for their aromas, but also for their healing properties.

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Image by Snakesmum
Image by Snakesmum

Some Of My Favourite Incenses


One of my favourites is clove. It isn't always readily available, but has a very nice aroma, and I burn it quite a lot. It really makes the living room smell fresh and clean.

In magic, clove incense is often used in love spells, and clove can also be added to other incenses as an alternative to saltpetre. It can be used to drive away negativity, and is also useful in increasing sensitivity.


Myrrh is associated with the moon, and its element is water. It is sacred to the Goddess Isis.

In magic, Myrrh is used in protection, exorcism, blessing, and consecration. It can be used in amulets, and can help raise magical energies. It is a good incense to purify your home and protect it.


Cinnamon is another incense used for raising sensitivity, especially spiritual sensitivity. It can also be used for healing and money rituals. It is also alleged to be an aphrodisiac! Cinnamon can also be used to raise energy, as it is related to fire and Mars, and is great for burning before spellwork as a cleansing agent.

I just like the aroma, and use it quite often as a room freshener.


Frankincense is used to bring about peace and calm. It can be burned in times of stress or confict to relieve the situation. Frankincense is often used in religious ceremonies, and is believed to have healing properties.


This is another favourite, although it isn't always the strongest scent around. It is rather too sweet for some, but I've always liked it a lot. Vanilla is an air incense, and is associated with intelligence and thought.


More Favourite Incenses

Nag Champa

This is a bold, and smokey scented incense, and is very popular in temples. It contains sandalwood. and is used to purify an area. Nag Champa is often used by those who wish to meditate, and is frequently used to purify an area, or for sacred purposes.

This is another incense which appeals to me, and I use it quite a lot, for no reason, except that I love the aroma wafting through the house.


Vanilla is associated with the element of air, and it's a good general incense. It should be burned when you need a clear mind, as it is thought to assist mental capacity and intelligence. It is also associated with the deities Thoth and Hermes.

Vanilla is another incense which I burn because I really like it.


Lavendar (Or lavender' both are correct) is a beautiful incense to make a room smell friendly and relaxed. It is alleged to be great to use in magical spells meant to make you more attractive, and in love spells. It is associated with the water element.


Yet another of my favourite incenses. I love this one, and also love perfumes with a sandalwood flavour.

Sandalwood is linked with the element of fire, and is seen as a good incense to burn for any deity. It can also be used to sanctify an area.

Frangipani Flowers
Frangipani Flowers | Source

Frangipani Incense

Frangipani, or Plumeria, are native to Mexico, and the warmer parts of Southern America. It can be grown in many tropical and sub-tropical areas. One of the nicest aromas I can remember is the scent of the Plumeria in the frangipani garden in the Darwin Botanic Gardens. They have a huge variety of colours there, and it's a beautiful spot, on a slope.

There are quite a few different frangipani incenses on the market, and it's one of my favourite types. I even had frangipani flowers in my wedding bouquet.

In magic, frangipani can be burned to restore harmony and peace, as it is a soothing herb. It is also sometimes used to draw things to you, and to gain the confidence and trust of people.

Using Incense

Incense scents your home with beautiful aromas!

Burning Incense


Incense In Religion

Eastern religions, such as Taoism, Shinto, and Buddhism use incense in their temples, and they burn many different varieties.

At ordination, Buddhist monks and nuns may have their scalps burned with incense to produce scars.

The Catholic and some Protestant churches also use incenses in their services, and again, the incense may be of various types. Incense is burned in a thurible, which is swung by a priest or acolyte, both before and during the ceremony.

Hinduism uses incense on a daily basis, either in a temple or on the home altar, and it is burned as an offering to many gods.

Islam and Judaism do not seem to use incense in their worship, currently, from what I have been able to discover.


Rose Incense

Rose incense is a gentle, calming scent, which can be used in love spells, offered to any of the deities such as Venus who are connected to love.

It is a healing herb, and can also increase your psychic awareness. Rose incense is sometimes used to ease grief.

For me, it's a very pleasant aroma to have in my home, but I'd rather go into the garden and smell the roses, especially on a warm evening.

Salvia apiana

Image by Stan Shebs.
Image by Stan Shebs.

White Sage

White sage is a salvia, Salvia apiana, and it is native to the United States, in the South-West, and also can be found in Northern Mexico.

White sage has been used in purification rituals by many native peoples in the US. This is also known as smudging, and is commonly used by Wiccans in their rituals. It is used to clear a home or person of negativity.

It is said to have a scent similar to that of camphor.

All about incense - what's your favourite?

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 24 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      My white sage is growing like crazy, and needs to be cut back. It's a great cleanser.

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 24 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      New scents here to try! I'm a big incense fan, and many of your faves are mine too! Never tried white sage or plumeria. I buy most of mine from someone who makes it by hand on ebay. Nice hub, well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      A really good lens. I enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      I'm quite fond of the scent of sandalwood - lovely lens!