Incense Cones vs Sticks: Two Types of Incense Explained

There are many different types of incense, from sticks to cones and even raw resins (like Frankincense and Myrrh). Today, the most popular types of incense (due to ease of use) are sticks and cones. If you’ve been looking around for the best type of incense for you, you’ve probably wondered – should I be using sticks or cones? And what are the main differences in terms of ingredients and scent? Let’s take a look…

Incense Sticks vs Cones - How Are They Made?

The first type of incense sticks consist of aromatic ingredients bound to a bamboo core. This sort of incense has its origins in and associations with India. Nag Champa incense, one of the most popular types of Indian incense is almost always made with a bamboo core - our Mother’s India incense sticks are a classic example of these.

On the other hand, traditional Japanese incense sticks do not contain a bamboo core and consist of pure aromatic ingredients. As a result, they are often less potent than Indian varieties of incense and have more focus on the nuances of scent.

Incense cones are made in a similar way to coreless incense. Aromatic ingredients are compressed into the cones shape using a binding agent. Incense cones are more often found within the world of Indian incense rather than Japanese.

Burning Times and Scent

The lack of bamboo core in incense cones makes for a purer scent and less excess smoke, though scent is a lot more intense in comparison to incense sticks. Cones tend to burn quicker than sticks and produce an intense aromatic in a shorter burst. This makes them ideal for quickly fragrance a room.

Incense sticks on the other hand are much more suited to meditation/appreciation due to their slow, steady burn. The scent from an incense stick is less intense compared to cones and so may be the best option for burning incense in a smaller room.

Which Are Best? Incense Sticks or Cones?

If you’re looking for steady burning incense (ideal for meditation, yoga etc), incense sticks are the best choice. If you’d prefer a fast intense burn to quickly fill a room with fragrance, cones may be better option.

In terms of ease of use, tradition, and appreciation of incense, you can’t go wrong with incense sticks and overall, these are the most popular form of burning incense and less likely to include unnatural/toxic ingredients. Of course, at Lotus Zen, we only supply the best quality incense sticks!

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