InScents is closed for a short time, so please return back some time soon! :)

Are You a Frequent Incense Buyer? Every Time You Buy From You Will Earn Points Toward Getting 10% Off Future Orders!

Incense Meanings

About Incense Meanings

If there is anything that dates back thousands of years and is yet modern and contemporary, it is incense. These versatile biotic substances not only add fragrance to your life, but also heal your mind and body in a delightful manner. Incense meanings can be best understood by studying their history and the effects they have had on people of all ages. Below, we will also describe incense and the different meanings to which it is burned.


It is believed that incense was first used in ancient China as long back as the Neolithic times. Its popularity continued as people found out more about incense meanings and their uses. These were produced from plants and herbs like cinnamon, sandalwood or cassia and used during religious ceremonies.

For the ancient Egyptians incense meanings had a new dimension. They found these efficacious to ward off evil spirits and also counter unpleasant odours.

In the Indus valley Civilisation, people used essential oils along with herbs to produce incense.

The Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and many other ancient civilisations had their own incense meanings and purposes. In the medieval churches, incense was used to mask the scent of tired and unwashed pilgrims who congregated during various occasions. Large incense burners were used for this purpose; these were either kept on stands or hung from ceilings.

Materials used

Although the words incense and fragrance are used synonymously, incense actually refers to the material that goes into its production, not the aroma itself.

If you have to understand incense meanings, you need to know about the materials that go into making it. Frankincense, Patchouli, Balsam, Sandalwood, Myrrh and Labdanum are some of the most commonly used materials in incense.

Locally available herbs and roots were mostly used in incense preparation. But with the passage of time and advent of civilisations, sage and cedar from North America or sandalwood and cinnamon from India migrated to all parts of the world and captured the hearts of millions. This popularity led to the emergence of new incense trade routes.


For different users, incense has differing meanings. This is related to the effects they create on the user and the ambience.

People have been known to burn African violet, chamomile or sandalwood to create an ambience of a sacred sanctuary within their house.

Lavender, lemon, lilac and pine are known for their ability to bring a spiritual well being and inner peace in individuals.

To some individuals, incense is a medium through which courage, strength and confidence is infused in the soul. Rose, peppermint, musk, gardenia and frankincense are some such incense.

Traditionally, allspice, aloes, basil, cedar wood, sage, poppy, oak moss, nutmeg and mint have been believed to be harbingers of prosperity and wealth.

In many of the ancient civilisations, incense had been synonymous with powers to ward off evil spirits and negative forces and create a protective wrap around homes. Bergamot, carnation, eucalyptus, juniper, frankincense and ginseng root are some of them.

One person wrote:

Cleansing: Cedar, Clove, Dragon's Blood, Elmi, Frankincense, Gold Copal, Hyssop, Iris, Juniper, Laurel, Lavender, Pine, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Grass, White Sage.

Creativity: Benzoin, Cassia, Clove, Dream Herb, Elemi, Frankincense, Gold Copal, Hops, Juniper, Mastic, Star Anise, sweet grass.

Dreams: Aloeswood, Dream Herb, Hops, Laurel, Mastic, Mugwort, Sage.

Meditation and Prayer: Aloe, Aloeswood, Benzoin, Black Copal, Cedar, Dammar, Dragon's Blood, Elemi, Frankincense, Galbanum, Juniper, Laurel, Mastic, MyrrhSandalwood, Sandarac, Spikenard, Storax, Balsam.

Relaxation: Aloe, Aloewood, Amber, Anise, Benzoin, Black Copal, Cinnamon, Galbanum, Gold Copal, Marjoram, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Storax Balsam, Sweet Grass, Vetiver.

Sensuality. Balsam, Benzoin, Black Copal, Cassia, Clove, Iris, Musk seeds, MyrrhPatchouli, Propolis, RoseSandalwood, Spikenard, Vanilla, Vetiver.

Sleep. Aloe, Amber, Cinnamon, Dream Herb, Galbanum, Myrrh Saffron, Sandalwood, Spikenard.

Strengthening. Amber, Calamus, Cedar, Clove, Dragon's Blood, Elemi, Frankincense, Galangal, Iris, Juniper, Laurel, Lavendar, Mugwort, Pine, Rose, Rhododendron, Star Anise, Sweet Grass, Tyhme.



Like to know more? There's quite a comprehensive list here.

Incense is a rejuvenator and a healer. Incense meanings, as you have already found out, differ from one user to another. Understand your own incense, get it from a reliable store and feel its magical touch on your heart and soul. 

At we offer free shipping on all orders. Feel free to shop around the site for your favourite incense in bulk.