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About the Different Types of Incense

Updated on November 8, 2012

Incense smells great but all of the different types of incense can be overwhelming and confusing to a new user. The array of styles of incense needs to be burned differently which can make it smell differently. You will also need to choose the correct burner for your type of incense from the large selection of burners available.

Stick Incense AKA: Cored Incense

Stick incense is the most popular and well known type of incense. It is frequently also called Cored Incense because the incense has a core typically made of wood and used to help the incense burn. Unfortunately the core can also give the lower quality Stick incense a scent like something is burning.

Higher quality brands such a Wild Berries or Satya Bai manage to avoid the scent of something burning. Because of this they are more expensive and hard to find outside of head shops, sometimes you can't even find the better brands there. I find the best place to get high quality stick incense is off the internet.

Uncored Stick Incense AKA: Senko

Senko incense is shaped like a stick but it has no core. This gives it a much purer smell and they frequently have some of the more unique scents among incense.

This type of incense is most popular in and originated from Japan. Sometimes a small amount of incinerary material is added such as charcoal or gun powder. These materials don't inter-fear with the scent of the incense as much as cored incense.

Cone Incense

Cone incense is the second most well known type of incense and is frequently sold along side cored stick incense. This type of incense usually doesn't last as long as a stick since the standard size is small. They are still sometimes made in larger sizes.

This can be a great incense type to experiment with since it won't last as long allowing you to dry out different scents more quickly.

Loose Incense AKA: Powdered Incense

Loose incense is also sometimes called either powdered incense or potpourri. Lately it's name has been dragged through the dirt in the media due to manufactures of research chemicals disguising herbs doused in chemicals meant to get your high as potpourri. Don't let that make you think that all loose incense is bad.

The most common place that you will find loose incense is in crafts stores in the form of potpourri.

Coil Incense

Coil incense is the lease known of the types of incense. It is mostly used in religious temples for it's long burning times. It is the same as Senko incense except that instead of forming a stick the incense is formed into a spiraling coil.

This type of incense can burn for many hours before going out. It can even burn for days. This is why temples will frequently have large incense coils hanging from the ceiling, those large coils will burn forever.


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