Having the best incense burning in your home creates such a moment. It's akin to lighting a candle but with far more drama. This aromatic tradition, rooted in centuries of use for its healing properties and ability to clear negative energy, holds an undeniably transcendent quality, often gracing spiritual and religious ceremonies.
Of course, incense has come a long way since its ancient origins. From papers to powders to sticks — all available for purchase at the best home decor stores — there are numerous ways to create a uniquely personal experience. “Incense is my favorite home fragrance product because it's so versatile,” says Kristen Pumpher, P.F. Candle Co.'s Founder & Creative Director. “You can use a cone for a short period of time, a stick for long weekend mornings, or a paper incense when you just need a quick boost,” explains the fragrance expert. Offering a uniquely novel experience from a slow-burning candle or an always-on scent diffuser, incense delivers a short but intensified burst of instantly blissful aroma — smokier and more atmospheric.
If you’re new to incense, consider it your new aromatic ritual — morning, noon, or night. I'm a convert to the $8 paper incense from Burke, top of the list below, which really does elevate the way my apartment feels. Best of all, its aroma emanates gently even when I'm not burning it, filling my home with its scent for around 3 months.
So indulge in the 12 best incense picks we could find, along with a curated selection of burners to ensure you partake in style.
Discover designer-approved scents for an elevated at-home ambiance.
Best Smelling Incense
Style Editor Approved
Delicately fragranced with white florals, these paper leaves instantly uplift your mood when burned. Crafted by one of Japan’s oldest incense makers over five years, these leaves, when left unburned, create a halo of fragrance for up to three months.
P.F. Candle Co's Wild Herb Tonic Incense Sticks stand out among the brand's diverse incense options, and they just so happen to be Pumpher's favorite. She describes the scent as refreshing, relaxing, and aromatic, adding, "I like to burn a stick on weekend mornings or when I'm taking a bath."
These hand-dipped incense sticks, a blend of essential and fragrance oils, evoke the essence of a coastal retreat with sea breeze, flowers, and tonka beans. Enjoy a warm and coastal atmosphere that feels like a 30-minute vacation.
Embark on a journey to 1960s Paris with this captivating incense by L’Objet. A unique blend of cognac, lipstick, incense, leather, and caramel creates an aura of mystique. If glamour had a scent, this would be it.
Indulge in the warmth of chai with these inviting incense cones. Sweet, spicy, and slightly woodsy, the familiar aroma is enhanced by notes of neroli, lime, and balsam of Peru, adding an exotic touch.
For the indecisive, these mini paper incense books offer a variety of scents with quick burn times, ensuring you discover your new favorite fragrance — and the opportunity to change it again later.
Transform your space into a spa-like retreat with these bamboo incense sticks. The succulent blend of Italian bergamot, cyclamen, frankincense, juniper, orange flower, and musk creates a bright and relaxing ambiance.
Elevate your incense ritual with manifestation papers featuring positive affirmations. Choose between “Manifest,” with a blend of clove and geranium, or “Lucky Girl,” featuring cedarwood and bergamot.
Unwind after a long day and retreat swiftly into “Dreamland” with the soothing scent of lavender. The generous box contains 60 incense sticks, ensuring many a good night’s sleep.
Fit for a queen, these "Royalty" incense cones exude a flowery fragrance reminiscent of high tea with scones, strawberry jam, and a luxurious drive home in a '52 Bentley with tatty leather seats.
Aesop, best known for skincare, also offers some really lovely incense. A blend of sandalwood, clove, and cinnamon, this has all the woodsy spice sophistication we would expect from a luxury brand.
Stylish Incense Accessories
Purify your space and eliminate ash mess with this lightweight, heat-safe ceramic vessel. Its two-tone design adds a stylish touch, making it a perfect addition to a bedside table.
Elevate your decor with this artistic circular incense holder made of solid marble. Its the perfect mantle decor idea or addition to any space with maximum visibility.
Inspired by Mesopotamian architecture, this four-tiered incense holder suspends the incense stick perfectly upright, creating a focal point with a touch of historical inspiration.
This versatile piece doubles as both a candle and incense holder, maximizing decor and saving space. Its sculptural pedestal base and glossy black finish make for a stately appeal.
Polished stainless steel and a unique four-part modular design make this incense holder an eye-catching addition to any home. I've never seen anything like it — in the best possible way.
HOW SHOULD I BURN INCENSE CONES?
Livingetc knows design.
While much of burning incense is fairly self-explanatory, the cone variety may raise more than a few questions due to its unique shape, making it feel a little challenging to approach. According to Pumpher, it's actually quite easy, but she emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the cone is fully ignited before blowing it out. "Allow the flame to sit for a couple of seconds, otherwise you'll have to keep re-lighting it," she advises, adding, "I usually open a window when I'm using incense to make sure it's not overly smoky."
Discover the clever “scent layering” trick favored by people with the best-smelling homes.
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Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.
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