Our Style Editor's Home Always Smells Amazing — And It's Thanks To This $8 Trick

From cones to papers, these are the most gorgeous smelling incense picks we've tried to date. Plus, style them with editor-approved burners for an elevated aromatic experience

The best-smelling incense, according to a style editor.
(Image credit: P.F. Candle & Co.; Anthropologie; Nordstrom)

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

Stylish Incense Accessories


Livingetc knows design. We spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, bringing only our edit of the very best to you. Find out more about how we review.

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. 

Style Editor

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.