Incense has been a part of our lives for centuries. It was used in religious practices as far back as ancient Egypt and Babylon, but may be much older. It is used for everything from religious practice to simply combatting unpleasant odors.

If you’re new to burning incense and want to try it out, the good news is that it’s pretty simple to use. There are many different kinds of incense, each with its own characteristics. We’re going to cover just a few of the most common types of incense.


Cone incense is a combination of combustible materials and aromatic oils molded into the shape of a cone. Place the cone point up in an incense burner. Cones produce more heat than sticks or coils, so you’ll want to make sure your burner is heat proof. Spreading a layer of sand, salt, or uncooked rice can also help absorb the heat.

Light the tip of the cone with a lighter or match, and allow to burn for five to ten seconds. Then blow the flame out, leaving the smoldering ember behind. Allow the cone to burn down to the base.

Incense cones will burn for around 30 minutes, but may produce more smoke than other kinds of incense.


Never leave burning incense unattended. Incense left burning can cause fires and put you and your home in danger.

Always use an approved incense burner, preferably made from heat proof materials. Some types of incense may come with a cardboard burner on the box; do not use these burners.

If burning powder incense or resins on charcoal, do not use charcoal designed for a backyard grill. These pieces of charcoal can release noxious fumes in your home and may be hazardous to your health.

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