incense arranged

Incense Cones Vs Sticks. Which is Better?

One of the best ways of making a home smell good and create a soothing vibe to relax after a long, tiring day is using incense. The fragrant smoke slowly drifts around your entire house, filling every nook and corner with an essence of peace, tranquility, and meaning. Just watching the heavy smoke of a backflow burner can bring about an aura of calm, with the scent further improving your mood and getting rid of all the exhaustion.

The most common formats for incense are incense sticks and incense cones, along with resins and other assorted uncommon formats. Which is best? In this article, we’ll look at Incense Cones Vs Sticks, and discuss the pros and cons of each of these incense types.

6 Clever Ways to Burn Incense Sticks Without a Holder

Lighting a stick of incense can entirely change the mood in a room. But if all you have is an incense stick and nowhere to put it, you may be frustrated! You may ask yourself what can I use as an incense holder?

Typically incense sticks are burned in incense holders like this. But if you don’t have one, or maybe yours broke, you’ll need to improvise!

In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at how to burn incense sticks without a holder. We’ll look at six simple ways to embrace the calm and meaning of incense.

Will Incense Set Off a Smoke Detector?

We all know what it is like when you’re we’re cooking something on the stove and suddenly the smoke alarm starts beeping loudly out of nowhere. Of course, that causes a frenzy around the house, and if you’ve got kids and pets, it is much harder to control the situation. Thankfully, smoke alarms are not as sensitive as they once used to be; however, you might still want to be extra careful around them, especially if you are fond of burning candles and incense.

If you are a fan of incense, you might be wondering, “will incense set off a smoke detector?” Well, in short, old-style ionic smoke alarms will set off immediately when incense is burned. However, that may not be the case with newer, photoelectric alarms. 

To learn more about incense, whether it can set off your smoke alarm or not and how to avoid that from happening, keep reading. 

incense smoke

Does Incense Go Bad?

Incense is favored by many thanks to its unique scents and long, meaningful traditions of ceremonial use. In addition to this, it’s often used for its health benefits. Many times, incense can promote sleep and even help boost your concentration. It’s easy to buy lots and lots of it, and to start a collection.

But, does incense go bad? Unfortunately yes, incense eventually loses its scent and goes bad. It’s a question many incense lovers ask. Below is more information about why this happens and how you can prevent it. 

incense stick

Best Natural Incense Sticks 2022

Natural incense sticks have been around for more than 2000 years. Ancient Egyptians in the 5th dynasty were the first ones to burn incense sticks during worship and while practicing spirituality. The Babylonians used to light them while praying to their sacred oracles. The usage of incense sticks spread from Greece to Rome and now has taken over the world.

In today’s world, incense sticks are used during congregations, mainly in temples all over India. They are also used during yoga, meditation, and therapy because they calm the body and provide a relaxing sensation.

In this blog, we’ll look at several of the best natural incense sticks. We’ll consider their key features and specs so you can make your purchase decision wisely! Keep in mind that the products we will review ahead are natural incense sticks. This means that they do not contain harmful synthetic fragrances and ingredients.

If you are in a rush and don’t have time to read ahead (although we strongly suggest that you do), our best pick is Shoyeido’s Eternal Treasure Incense!


Best Electric Resin Burner 2022

Incense is one of nature’s most important perfumes. Resin incense is the purest form of incense, and has been used since time immemorial. Resin is the natural sap that comes from the bark of a tree, or woody shrubs. This is made into little nuggets. It can also come in the form of wood pieces, dried leaves, seeds, roots, and the petals of flowers. There is no danger in using incense in its purest form. In fact, it’s been used since ancient times, for the powerful properties that help the mind to find peace and relaxation. Frankincense is one of the most popular resin incenses.

When incense is burned, it emits an aromatic vapor. Within this vapor are the naturally occurring chemical compounds that can benefit our wellbeing. Traditionally, incense nuggets are burned on hot charcoal. The problem with this method is that it is a hassle, and adds smoke to the air. By using the hot plate of an electric resin burner, you can cut out the use of charcoal altogether.

In this article, we look at several electric incense burners, and provide some context for these items. We’ll start with the Best Electric Resin Burner, the AM Regulator.

Why Is My Essential Oil Diffuser Making Noise?

While you may expect an essential oil diffuser to make a little bit of noise (it is a machine, after all), it’s not usually normal for a diffuser to get loud enough for you to notice. If you find yourself asking the question Why is My Essential Oil Diffuser Making Noise, that’s a good clue that you’ve got an issue to deal with.

Instead of gritting your teeth and trying to ignore your office or room diffuser when it gets loud, it’s important to try and diagnose the issue before it gets worse or potentially even breaks your diffuser. While this can sound daunting, diffusers are pretty simple machines, and figuring out what’s wrong with them isn’t as challenging as you may assume.

In today’s guide, we’re going to look at some of the root causes behind essential oil diffusers making loud noises that they shouldn’t be making. 

We’ll also go over some of the more legitimate reasons why your essential oil diffuser might be making noise. This should make it easier to determine whether or not your diffuser is working properly based on the sound you’re hearing.

Plant Photo

Essential Oil Vaporizer vs Diffuser

Essential oils are some of the most popular tools to use when it comes to living a natural lifestyle. They’re similar to incense, but you’re not dealing with smoke and the potential harms there.

In most cases, essential oils need to be evaporated in some way. Two of the more common ways to expel essential oils are vaporizers and diffusers.

In this article, we’ll look at Essential Oil Vaporizer Vs Diffuser, and explain what these terms mean. The long and short of it is that most manufacturers refer to machines that turn essential oil into nice-smelling mist as various items, including diffusers, vaporizers, nebulizers, humidifiers, etc. There’s tons of overlap in these terms, and most amazon listings through multiple variations in the descriptions.

We’ll try to break it all down here. But first, we’ll start with a short introduction to essential oils, and then we’ll discuss vaporizing and diffusing.

How to Burn Frankincense Without Charcoal

Much of the highest quality frankincense is only available in resin form. Incense sticks and incense cones just don’t do frankincense justice. In order to get the full majesty and meaning of frankincense, burning resin incense is the way to go.

But many of us don’t want to deal with troublesome charcoal discs. The self-lighting ones contain questionable chemicals that could be harmful and could damage walls, and the non-self-lighting ones are a pain. Is there a way to burn frankincense without charcoal?

In this article, we’ll look at a few electric resin incense burners, and explain how to burn frankincense without charcoal.

Incense Sticks

Is HEM Incense Natural?

In the United States, one of the largest brands of incense sticks is HEM Corporation, a company with numerous state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities all over India. HEM exports incense sticks, cones, fragrance candles, potpourri and other aromatic products worldwide. Is HEM incense natural, or is it a more synthetic product?

If you have ever visited India and set foot in a religious sanctuary, you must have noticed a amazing smell in the air. That is the smell of burning incense sticks, or as in India, they like to call it “agarbatti.”  

The use of incense dates back at least to the 5th century, when the ancient Egyptians used it during meditation and religious rituals. Incense was also widely used to keep away or kill insects and pests. Today, incense sticks and cones are used in many different parts of the world, especially in temples, mosques and churches.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at HEM incense, and consider whether it is natural or synthetic incense.

incense stick

Incense Gives Me a Headache. What’s the Deal With That? Find Out Here!

Incense gives me a headache! This phrase is often uttered by people who inhale its scent. Many wonder why does incense make my head hurt?

Incense has been used since ancient times, particularly in religious services. This item is popular for its spiritual connections and strong aroma. A few also use it to help their home smell better. 

While many enjoy burning it, incense can have some negative side effects. One of the most common is headaches. 

This article will explore the reasons incense can produce headaches. You’ll also find a handful of alternatives to try if you want that aromatherapy experience without the incense.

Incense 101

Incense Sticks

Incense is made out of biotic materials, like sage and resin, that is burned to create a strong aroma. Incense is typically rolled into a very thin stick and the ends can be ignited with a lighter. Once lit, the incense will begin to burn and release smoke and fragrances. Because it creates ash, you need to place the incense in a holder. This will collect the ash so you can dispose of it later. 

While incense usually comes in a stick form, it also can come as incensed wood, coils, incense cones, and sachets. 

Incense has been used for thousands of years for ritual, spiritual, and religious purposes. Through various cultures and environments, incense has taken on several meanings.

Incense Gives Me a Headache – The Secret Behind It

scream in the desert

Can incense cause headaches, really? It doesn’t seem that incense would! But yes, incense certainly can cause headaches.

Incense can cause headaches for a few reasons. One is because it may contain benzene. This chemical emits a sweet aroma, but can irritate the nervous system. When your nervous system becomes desensitized by the chemical, it will cause you to develop a headache. 

In addition to this, some incense could have formaldehyde. Studies have shown that when incense burns in a home, it can emit up to 103 ppbv. The more often you burn it, the more your residence will be filled with this toxic chemical. It’s a good way to get rid of pesky fruit flies!

It can be hard to determine which incense is natural, and which contain questionable substances. The language large companies like HEM incense use is vague, and it’s not always clear if popular brands like HEM incense are synthetic or natural.

An additional concern is charcoal from resin incense censers. Charcoal can be harmful to inhale, and you may want to choose an electric incense burner for this reason.

In some ways, incense can be harmful to your health, as well as the health of cats and dogs. And remember, the ash should be cleaned from the incense burner regularly. Also, be wary of incense damaging your walls and triggering those darned smoke detectors.

Improve Air Circulation

The easiest way to mitigate headaches from incense is to improve air circulation in the area where you’re burning incense. Open a window, open a door, get some cross ventilation going to move the air around a bit.

You could even get a fan to improve circulation, but often opening windows and/or doors will solve the problem.

Are Incense Headaches Dangerous?

If you suffer from one headache when burning incense, it probably won’t cause you much harm. However, the longer you expose yourself to it, the more troublesome they could be. You might find that your headaches feel more intense and happen frequently. Over time, the headaches could also affect your memory and focus. 

Burning Incense Side Effects

Besides headaches, incense could result in a few other health risks. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Poor metabolism
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic inflammation

5 Alternatives to Avoid Incense Headaches

Incense gives me a headache, so what can I use instead? 

If you enjoy incense but don’t want to risk harming your health, there are a few similar alternatives you could consider. 

Essential Oil Diffuser

ASAKUKI Ultrasonic Diffuser

Essential oils are a great way to fill a room with a calming scent. Unlike incense, it doesn’t create smoke. Instead, it a vapor that contains traces of essential oil. Sometimes this oil is expelled through a humidifier, sometimes through a nebulizer. But most commonly an essential oil diffuser is used, similar to the one shown above by ASAKUKI.

The oils are derived from plant oils that go through a distillation process. The extract will then be mixed with a carrier oil. 

There are a vast amount of essential oils you can choose from. Most of these also come with their own health benefits. 


Peppermint essential oil can increase your energy. It can also decrease stress. 


You can use rose essential oil to reduce anxiety. It will also fill the room with a delicious floral scent. 


This herb can boost your mood and reduce feelings of negativity. 


Jasmine is best to use to calm depression and anxiety. It can also encourage you to sleep. 


Sandalwood is known for its soft and slightly sweet smell. It’s best to use to control your nervous system and to improve your focus. 

Using A Diffuser

To use an essential oil diffuser, fill water up to the interior line. Then, add about 3-5 drops of the essential oil. You can use one or mix different types. Secure the lid and turn the device on. In a few minutes, you’ll start to see water vapor escaping through the top. Eventually, this vapor will fill the space with the essential oil. 

Scented Candles

Woodwick Scented Candle

Candles can help you relax and fill a room with a calming scent. 

While candles will create smoke, you could opt to use those that burn cleanly. One way you can tell if a candle does is by looking at its wax or wick type. Ideally, you should only invest in soy or beeswax. You’ll also want to use a cotton wick or wood candle wick candle

If you prefer not to burn a candle, you could try wax melts like this Candle Warmer. These use a heat source (such as a light bulb) to melt. 

Candle Warmer Melter

Regardless if you use a regular candle or wax melt, never invest in paraffin wax. Paraffin contains chemicals similar to incense, including benzene, that could result in headaches and other health concerns. 

Bake Something

A unique (and tasty) way to fill your home with great scents is to bake something. You could make some cookies or throw apples and spices into the oven on a baking tray. The scent will fill your living space with mouthwatering smells. 

Essential Oil Diffuser Sticks

Essential Oil Diffuser Sticks

If you enjoy the strong scent of incense, but don’t like the idea of burning something, diffuser sticks might be ideal. 

Diffuser sticks are usually made out of rattan wood. This surface will absorb the oil it’s placed in. The fragrance from the oil will spread throughout the air as it evaporates. 

When you use diffuser sticks, you need to make sure to flip the reeds every few weeks. This way, you’ll get a fresh burst of aroma. 

You’ll find plenty of oils you can use for this option. These range from spices to floral scents. They also come in a variety of designs so you can purchase one that matches your preferences. 



You could blend your own potpourri mix to replace incense. This mixture of herbs, flowers, fruit, and spices is beautiful and has a great smell. 

To make it, grab some objects (like flowers, cinnamon sticks, and orange slices) and lay them on a baking sheet. You could also drizzle some essential oils, like lemon or lavender, over them. 

After you do this, put them into the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours. As they rest inside the oven, they will start to dry. Once they are completely dried, remove them. When your mixture is ready, pour it into a decorative bowl. 

Of course, you can also purchase pre-made potpourri as well.

Conclusion: Why Does Incense Give Me a Headache?

Many incense brands contain unhealthy chemicals like benzene that can cause headaches. Additionally, if you’re breathing in a lot of incense, you may simply be not getting enough oxygen. And if you’re using a charcoal burner, you may be inhaling way too much charcoal.

These can all lead to headaches and nausea.

The good news is that for those headache-sufferers, there are plenty of options out there like essential oils, potpourri, and scented candles. These shouldn’t lead to headaches.

incense smoke

Are Incense Sticks Harmful to Your Health?

Are Incense Sticks Harmful To Your Health?

Incense sticks are very popular, they’re the “old guard” of Armoatherapy. They are traditionally used as part of people’s culture and religion, but many people worldwide also use them for general aromatherapy. Some simply love how they make the room smell and some even use them to improve their room’s ambiance. As you light up an incense stick, have you ever wondered about the safety of the smoke that it produces?

We’re here today to answer one of the most common questions about the use of incense sticks. Are incense sticks harmful to your health? If they are, then should we completely avoid them, or are there ways to make the use of incense sticks safer for your health? Do they harm our bodies like cigarette smoke or are they worse?

Incense Sticks VS Cigarettes

resin incense burning

The main reason why many consider incense stick use as highly dangerous to health is because of research that compared the effects of incense smoke and cigarette smoke to animal and bacterial cells. They noted if there are any mutations in the DNA when the cells are exposed to the smoke. 

The research shows that some of the incense smoke that was tested produced a greater effect as compared to the tobacco smoke. However, this research has limitations like only testing 4 incense and one cigarette.

Additionally, some even question it because some of the researchers who worked on it are also employed by a tobacco company.

However, that doesn’t also mean that the research should be ignored. Anything that is burned and produces smoke like coal, tobacco, or incense can potentially irritate the lungs and cause damage to them. 

Are Incense Sticks Harmful To Your Health?

Even if we discovered that the research stating that incense sticks are more dangerous than cigarettes still needs additional tests, we still can’t conclude that incense sticks don’t pose a threat to health.

There are still health risks involved with the use of incense sticks and they are as follows:

Lung Cancer

Incense smoke produced due to the burning of various ingredients for the scent plus the combustible material could increase the risk of developing lung cancer as per research.

This is because the burnt particles contain carcinogenic matter like benzene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and carbonyls.

However, that clearly doesn’t mean that lighting an incense will guarantee cancer!

Long-term use does conceivably increase the risk, though, especially in poorly-ventilated areas. 


Asthma is a respiratory condition that makes it difficult to breathe. It can be a genetic condition but can be triggered by various environmental conditions. Aside from potential carcinogenic materials, the smoke from incense sticks can also have irritants that can trigger asthma attacks.

Contact Dermatitis 

Contact dermatitis is a condition wherein the skin gets irritated by certain substances. It becomes itchy and may develop redness, blistering, swelling, and even ulcerations.

Depending on the ingredients used for the incense sticks, it possible to have contact dermatitis simply by handling them. Picking the best incense sticks you can will help.

Potentially Poisonous

Even if out of curiosity, you shouldn’t try to taste incense sticks because they can contain poisonous ingredients.

Although we don’t ingest them, it is still possible for children and pets to accidentally do that. Additionally, in general, it’s best to not burn incense around dogs and cats.

Benefits Of Incense Sticks

Even if there are health risks involved in using incense sticks, there are still a lot of people who use them. This is because there are many benefits that we can get out of using them. Such benefits include the following: 

Reduces Stress

Incense Sticks

One of the most common reasons why people use incense sticks like the above Hem incense sticks is for relaxation. Beyond that, it also helps the body by reducing stress and anxiety. There are many different scents that can provide this kind of benefit.

Helps With Focus

Another reason to light up incense sticks is to help you focus. When you relax your mind and focus on the moment, you can better do what you have to do. Incense sticks that have cinnamon are great for focus and they can also help with creativity.

They are also great for those who practice yoga, daily meditation, or while praying. See our article on the meanings and uses of incense for more tips here.

Cinnamon Apple - Box of Six 20 Stick Tubes - HEM Incense
Cinnamon Apple - Box of Six 20 Stick Tubes - HEM Incense
Quality incense from HEM, one of the leading incense makers in India.; Box containing six 20 stick tubes of incense, for 120 sticks total.

Last update on 2022-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Helps With Sleep

Depending on the type of incense stick that you use, it can also help with sleep problems. Lavender incense sticks are great for those who have insomnia.

Burning them before your sleeping time can help you fall asleep easier and it can also help you feel refreshed when you wake up.

Last update on 2022-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cleans The Air

Many of the incense sticks like Frankincense contain ingredients with anti-bacterial properties. Burning them would release them into the air and make the air cleaner.

Additionally, the scent they emit also helps cover the unwanted odor due to cooking or pets. It also helps improve the ambiance because of the fragrance it emits.

Frankincense - Box of Six 20 Sticks Tubes, 120 Sticks Total - HEM Incense From India
Frankincense - Box of Six 20 Sticks Tubes, 120 Sticks Total - HEM Incense From India
Frankincense - Box of Six 20 Sticks Tubes, 120 Sticks Total - HEM Incense From India
−$4.21 $5.19

Last update on 2022-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Safer Way Of Using Incense Sticks

We’ve discussed the risks and benefits of using incense sticks and incense cones. It is now up to you to decide whether to use them or not.

If you decide to use them, here are a few tips you should keep in mind to improve your safety while using them. 

Carefully Select Your Incense Sticks

Not all incense sticks are made of the same materials. Get the ones that are of high quality like those from raasjee and Shoyeido (some of our favorite brands of incense.

Even if they seem more expensive, they’d be less harmful to your health and that is what matters most.

Also, consider getting those that are made from organic and natural materials such as these made by Juccini. Note that some incense popular brands like HEM may use synthetic ingredients in their incense.

Last update on 2022-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Increase Ventilation

Inhaling incense smoke can lead to headaches. To lessen the risk of inhaling the particulates, you can open windows to improve the airflow while you are burning the incense.

It is always advised to burn incense in a well-ventilated area. This will reduce the damage to your walls and to your electronics from burning incense, as well.

Consult With Your Doctor

If you know that you have respiratory issues then it would be best to avoid burning incense. It can trigger your respiratory problems.

However, if you really want to use them, you should at least consult and clear it out with your doctor first. 

Don’t Leave A Burning Incense Stick Unattended

A burning incense stick has an ember and with the right conditions plus a flammable material, it can ignite and accidentally cause a fire (or just go out). Make sure you keep an eye on it, especially if you have children or pets.

Also, consider buying an incense stick holder or backflow incense burner so that the ashes don’t fall off everywhere and to help secure the incense stick in place. 

Folkulture Incense Holder or Incense Burner Holder, Modern Insence Ash Catcher or Insense Stick...
  • PERFECT INCENSE HOLDER- 12 inch long and...
  • MODERN GIFT- Our Incense burner holder...

Last update on 2022-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Choose an alternate Aromatherapy Solution

Essential Oils

If you’re looking for the calming scents of incense, but don’t want to deal with the smoke and fire, you can switch over to essential oils. These oils are expelled into the air through a nebulizer, humidifier, or diffuser. There’s no smoke, and no flame, so they’re almost certainly safer.

The rituals associated with incense are gone, but essential oils are an excellent substitute for incense for those concerned with their health.

incense arranged

Incense Meanings and Uses. 25 Scents of Incense!

What is your favorite incense? With hundreds or even thousands of incense out there, what made you choose that specific incense? Different people burn incense for different reasons. Which one are you?

Some use it to simply freshen up the room and make it smell nicer. Others use it as part of their ceremonies, rituals, and meditations. In fact, incense has been used in many different cultures and religions all over the world. Then there are also those who use it to simply help them relax or be more grounded.

Did you know that all those scents aren’t just created to provide variety? The different incense scents and blends were created for specific purposes. Some of them improve concentration, repel insects, attract luck, promote tranquility, and many others. Of course, different societies, religions, and people attach different meanings to incense, but we’ve tried our best to hit on the most significant Incense Meanings in this article.

If you want to learn more about which incense is best to use for specific reasons, you’ve come to the right post. Below is a comprehensive list of the most popular incenses, their meanings, and uses.

incense arranged

How to Clean an Incense Burner

Incense comes in many forms, though cones and sticks are most common. With those forms also come various types of incense burners. While you burn incense, it is normal for the ash to accumulate on the designated collector of your burner.

Even if there are already ashes from previous incense burning sessions, you can still use your incense burner for another session. However, the ash and sticky resin eventually build up.

There will come a time that you’ll need to clean it. In this article, we’ll look at how to clean an incense burner!

Incense Sticks

Why Does My Incense Keep Going Out? How To Keep it Lit!

So you just purchased a beautiful and exotic incense holder. You lit one of your backflow cone incense, you set it up on the holder, and watch the waterfall of incense smoke.

Backflow incense burners FTW!

But a few minutes later, the smoke completely stops. The incense isn’t completely burned, but it seems the amber has died. So you try to light it up again but it dies again.

Why does my incense keep going out, and how can I keep it lit? And what is the spiritual meaning of incense ceasing to burn?

Read on to find out!

incense stick

Incense and Dogs. Is it Safe to Light Incense Around Fido?

We can get a lot out of aromatherapy. The soothing smells of various herbs and essences can help us relax and feel less stressed. Some even used it to treat various ailments. From incense to essential oils to herbal blends, the right smell can go a long way. But when it comes to incense, that smell comes with smoke, too!

If you have pets around especially dogs, you should be very careful in burning incense. For the most part, incense and dogs don’t mix. Read on to learn all about it, and find out what your alternatives are.

Colorful Incense

Incense And Cats. Is it Safe to Burn Incense Around Fluffy?

Ah, the scent coming from burning incense can be so calming and relaxing. However,  before you light up that incense, take a look around, and see whether your clingy cat is in the room. Or on your lap. Or on your head. Although burning incense can be beneficial to us humans, that’s not the case for cats! In this article, we’ll look at whether combining incense and cats is a good idea.