Why Does My Incense Smell Like Smoke?

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People burn incense sticks, cones, etc. But it’s a turn-off to smell thick smoke rather than incense! Whether you’re burning it to eliminate harsh scents, relax, or merely make your house smell beautiful, not smokey.

Why does my incense smell like smoke?

There are many various types of incense available, each with its own set of ingredients and quality levels. It all relies on the incense’s freshness and the components used to produce it.

Continue reading to discover why incense can smell smoky. And learn what types of incense you can buy to avoid smokiness.

Why Does My Incense Smell Like Smoke?

1. Cheap quality incense

If you are burning an incense stick that is made with low-quality ingredients, you should expect a lot of smoke smell for a while. Chemical fastens up, and synthetic scent oils (even potentially from well-known brands) can create murky smoke when incense is lit.

There are essential oils made from natural plant ingredients that aren’t poisonous. But they aren’t the ones we are talking about.

We refer to the fully artificial smells that don’t produce intense smoke. This can be dangerous to your home and health.

See our article on natural incense for more information.

2. Timber core incense

A few incenses can be created using natural components. But natural incense produces more smoke than preferred. This is because it contains a bamboo core. The wooden core of the incense is also burning while the incense fragrance smolders.

This can cause your incense to smell more like a blazing campfire rather than lilac or lemongrass in certain situations.

Sticking to resin incense and electric incense burners will sidestep this issue.

3. Broadness of wooden core

However, you can light incense with a slender wooden core without emitting smoke. Nippon Kodo's Herb & Earth  series is a wonderful instance of this.

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Last update on 2024-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Their wood incense is manufactured with natural materials, and the wood is so slender that people sometimes fret that it wouldn’t hold up the incense stick. There is little smoke created, and the powerful incense is the only thing you’ll smell.

Contrary Opinions

Another thing to remember is that everybody has different reactions to incense. Some people are allergic to incense and gag when they walk into a room with it burning.

So bear in mind that everyone is unique and everyone has their sensitivities.

Another person may severely despise a product that you enjoy! If your incense stick has a strong smell like smoke, you may need to try some different high-quality brands, and switch to backflow cones, resin, essential oils, etc.

Can You Have Smoke But No Smoke Scent?

A few mid-tier incense brands emit a modest cloud of smoke without the unpleasant smell. Some incense connoisseurs frown on companies that make their scents out of coal. They often dunk them in perfume oils.

Yet, the excellence of the charcoal utilized is critical. Gonesh , for example, creates incense using their patented High Charcoal. While these incense sticks produce more smoke than the Nippon Kodo  incense stick, the smoke is not offensive.

It’s also not a large enough amount to induce your eyes to become dry.

Extra Rich Arctic Chill is one of the people’s favorite Gonesh scents. It has a light, crisp aroma that helps me concentrate. People see smoke when they burn it, but they don’t smell a smokey odor.

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Last update on 2024-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is it possible to make the smoke go away?

There are a handful of options if you fancy keeping using your existing incense while reducing the scent of smoke.

1. Use an Electric Resin Burner or Air Purifier

If you don’t mind working with resin incense such as Frankincense, an electric burner can get you the purest resin scents, with no charcoal, no wood, no nothing but incense and heat!

Because the material in funnels is crushed into one tiny clump, they emit smoke.

Resins emit extremely pure scents, but in the past, they were burned with smelly, unhealthy charcoal tablets.

Resins emit extremely pure scents, but in the past, they were burned with smelly, unhealthy charcoal tablets.

A low-smoke environment can be achieved using an electric incense burner. In addition, because they burn at a lesser warmth, your incense will burn more gradually, providing a longer-lasting scent.

These burners are a great hybrid between incense and essential oils.

2. Use A Burner Case

Most of the time, we observe incense being burned directly from an incense burner. One can also put them in soil containers or a vase filled with sand.

But incense cases, commonly known as coffins, are also available. These jars won’t eliminate the incense smoke created by the incense. They will diffuse it and keep it from overwhelming the atmosphere around you.

Although it isn’t a perfect solution, these coffins somewhat attenuate the smoke smells. You can fire both incense cones and sticks with the cover open or shut. This type also includes a storage container for the sticks you’re about to burn.


Incense has been used for centuries predominantly for ceremonial purposes and has many advantages.
But, research reveals that smoke produced from incense may be harmful to health, including for dogs and cats.

Stick incense can cause a bad smell like cigarette smoke and can set off smoke alarms in some cases.

But higher-quality products can emit less smoke, depending on the components and how they’re lit.