Incense and relaxation go hand in hand like crystals and healing. And we could all use some relaxation these days! But how can you find the best one when there are so many out there? Well, we have done the research for you and found the most effective incense for relaxation. So you get ready for some serious zen! Oh, and we also threw in 10 more because choosing is tough.
Why ‘Natural Incense’ for Relaxation?
Our Pick: Lavender
So, we may have some bias when talking about this particular scent. When I was young, my mom would put lavender oil onto the back of my pillow to help me sleep. And boy did it work!
But don’t worry, we are not expecting you to blindly trust a stranger’s childhood memories.
Lavender is one of the most commonly used ingredients in aromatherapy and perfumery. It is also a very widely-used essential oil. And its popularity is well deserved.
It produces a sweet, clean scent with floral notes. This makes it a great natural air freshener, and it also has a powerful impact on our emotional wellbeing.
Incense for Relaxation
Stress and anxiety are a factor in everybody’s lives right now. And it’s not hard to see why with the pressure of work, relationships, health, and finances. So, it’s no surprise that people are turning to natural sources for stress relief.
One of the biggest and most well-known benefits of incense is its ability to relieve stress. But few people understand exactly how this mechanism works. Or, that the many different scents and types can have different impacts on our wellness.
Below we take a deep dive into more of the best incense for anxiety and stress reduction. And we will also look at incense for general relaxation, and how to use them.
How to Use Incense to Relax
Time needed: 50 minutes.
Follow these steps to get the best, most relaxing experience from your incense.
- Find a comfortable position
This should be somewhere in your home, where you can sit comfortably. Try to sit up instead of lying down. You don’t want to fall asleep while your incense is lit!
Tip: we open our windows to allow the fresh air to combine with the incense fragrance. This slightly dilutes the smoke and smell but keeps the relaxing effects
- Light your incense
Ensure you do this on a heat-proof surface to prevent damage and fire risk.
- Close your eyes
Take long, deep breaths and focus on the air filling and leaving your lungs. Try not to allow thoughts or stresses to enter your brain. But if they do, allow them to pass by and refocus on your breathing.
- Repeat positive affirmations
Repeating affirmations reduces anxiety, boosts positivity, and enhances feelings of self-worth. For example, try repeating “I embrace peace and calm. I am worthy of rest”.
- Extinguish and dispose
Ensure there are no embers remaining and dispose of the ash safely once it has cooled.
What is Incense?
Incense comes from the Latin word ‘incensum’, meaning ‘something burned’. This is a great indicator of its versatility. Thus, any aromatic or fragrant natural product burned to produce a scent is a form of incense.
Commercial incense usually comes in one of 4 forms: sticks, cones, coils, or loose incense.
What are Incense Sticks?
Incense sticks are the most common type of incense available today. They consist of a combination of fragrant aromatics and combustible wood powders. This forms a paste, which is then set around a small stick, usually made from bamboo.
Incense sticks are a great choice for occasional use. This is because they need minimal effort to light and watch. It is important to note that burning incense sticks regularly has its cons. Incense sticks can be quite harsh when burnt a lot, and with excessive burning, can become strenuous on the lungs. We advise burning natural incense such as resins, flower petals, herbs and cold pressed botanicals.
What are Incense Cones?
Cones are a coreless alternative to sticks. Manufacturers create this incense by shaping the wood powder/essential oil paste into a cone. This means they do not have a base that the incense material is set around.
Therefore, cones usually produce more smoke and stronger scents. However, they burn more quickly than incense sticks. Yet again Incense cones can also become harsh and harmful if burnt regularly. We recommend burning once a week.
What are Incense Coils?
Incense coils are the longest-burning type. Similar to cones, coils are not formed around a core. They are usually molded into a coil shape from long strings of incense paste and left to dry for up to a week.
The length of the coil gives it a much longer burn time when compared with incense sticks. So, if you have a large space or need a scent that will last an entire day, incense cones are a great choice. Yes you guessed it, only burn coils on occasion.
What is Loose Incense?
Loose incense refers to incense in its most natural form. These can be resins, such as Myrrh, Frankincense, and Copal. Or, it could be dried herbs or plant matter such as lavender or rose.
Oftentimes, loose (resin and dried plant) types combine to form beautiful scent combinations. Loose incense is our favourite! It is kind to the body, mind and soul.
Other Great Natural Incense Botanicals for Relaxation
There are so many types of incense that help to create an environment of calm and peace. Whether it is incense sticks, cones, coils, or loose, there is a scent out there for everyone. Read on for our 10 favorite incense for relaxation in 2022.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of the ‘Cinnamomum’ genus of trees. It has an intense, spicy aroma that is very distinctive. Often used in cookery and baking, cinnamon is commonly associated with winter thanks to its warm, hearty scent.
Its spicy and uplifting aroma brings feelings of protection and security. This makes cinnamon the ultimate relaxant. Burning cinnamon incense sticks also dispels negative energy and draws in positivity.
Jasmine is a member of the olive family, known for its sweet, fragrant aroma and beautiful petals. This means it is the first pick for use in aromatherapy and yoga settings.
It is also a great aromatic for adding delicate flavor to food and drink. Jasmine rice is one of our favorites!
And when it comes to calming, jasmine is the best. This is because the scent from jasmine incense creates deep feelings of relaxation. When its smoke contacts the central nervous system, it stimulates positive emotions.
Lemongrass is a fragrant member of the grass family and has a clean, fresh scent with citrus notes. Like Jasmine and Cinnamon, it is commonly used in cooking, particularly in South East Asia. It also makes a delicious and soothing tea!
Chamomile incense is made from a daisy-like plant of the same name. You may know of chamomile from the many varieties of herbal tea that it makes. People drink chamomile tea most commonly before bedtime and it’s not hard to see why.
Chamomile incense has the same effect, it slows the brain and creates a sense of emotional ease. This makes it the perfect choice, whether you are looking to calm your feelings, or get a great sleep.
Frankincense is a sacred incense dating back to ancient times. As a resin, Frankincense can be burned either in the form of sticks, cones, coils or as loose resin. It has an earthy smell with hints of spice and pine. These fragrances create a great space for grounding and meditation.
Frankincense promotes spiritual connection, reduces anxiety and depression, and creates a calming energy. This makes it a great incense to burn for all around mental wellbeing.
Rose incense has a fragrance just as beautiful as the flower itself. It is sweet and earthy with strong floral notes. Manufacturers take petals of the rose plant and extract oil to create rose incense. Much like the plant, rose incense is commonly associated with love and romance,
However, it’s not just romance that gets a boost from rose incense. Its smoke has a profound impact on stress and anxiety, allowing the user to relax and unwind. It is also known to improve memory and is a great tool for deep meditation.
Pine is wonderfully versatile. It has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. As incense, pine is usually loose and comes in two forms: resin – similar to frankincense – and dried needles. They produce a powerful, fresh, woodsy fragrances.
Pine has a legendary ability to strengthen the spirit and inspire confidence from within. Additionally, it creates a deep sense of calm in the space it is being burned. This is thanks to its earthy properties, which give it a powerful grounding ability.
Sandalwood is a sacred wood derived from a group of shrubs that are notoriously difficult to grow. This makes sandalwood particularly prized and expensive. It has a powerful woody fragrance which creates a warm and inviting environment.
Sandalwood is a powerfully cleansing incense for many reasons. Firstly, it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. This makes it an excellent incense for cleansing the energy of a space. Additionally, it promotes good sleep, which makes it an excellent incense for relaxation.
Patchouli incense produces a musky smell, which can be both earthy and cleansing. It is made from the patchouli plant which is a member of the mint family. So it’s no surprise that this refreshing herb goes on to produce a popular essential oil and incense.
Because it is a part of the mint family of plants, Patchouli is a great incense for cleansing a home. Think of that freshly-brushed teeth feeling!
But it is also one of the best incense for cleansing energy too. This works by dispelling negative energy and replacing it with positivity. This gives it a powerful calming influence.
Vanilla incense is derived from the spice which comes from various tropical environments. As far as incense goes, we find vanilla to be very underrated and a great all-rounder. It has a sweet, spicy, and inviting fragrance that often appeals to our memory. Think vanilla ice cream!
Vanilla incense sticks create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere when burned. But that’s not all. They also improve creativity and enhance focus. So, this makes it a great incense to burn if you’re looking to relax, or need to regain your creative flow.
The Bottom Line
While lavender is our pick for the best incense for relaxation, the other fragrances should not be overlooked. They all have powerful healing and natural stress-relieving properties. All you have to do now is choose which scents you like the most and you are on your way to some serious relaxation.
People Also Ask
Firstly, many incenses are made from natural ingredients, including herbs and resins. These substances can have calming properties that can help to ease the mind and body.
Additionally, the act of burning incense is usually accompanied by slow, deep breaths. This deep breathing can also help to relax. Finally, the scent of some incense are very soothing, which reduces stress levels.
Incense can help relax because the smell causes the brain to release serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter that helps promote relaxation and well-being.
Some scents, like lavender and chamomile, have relaxing properties and are often used in aromatherapy. When used in combination with deep breathing or meditation, incense can be a powerful tool for promoting calmness and peace.