Best Incense for Meditation: 11 Scents To Try

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By Anna Marikar

Many people are drawn to incense as an aid to achieving serenity and tranquility, and in this post we will help you find the best incense sticks for your meditation session.

If you want to create a space that’s conducive to meditation, you have to be intentional about it. Setting up the right calming environment, with a peaceful and clean space, relaxing scents, and somewhere to sit comfortably, will put you in the best position to get the most out of your meditation.

burning incense sticks

In our fast-paced world where everyone is constantly running around, it is difficult to find the time to sit and reflect. But doing so is necessary to attain peace of mind – and using incense can help you get into that meditative state.

When you are constantly distracted by work, family, and social obligations, it is difficult to find the time to do anything truly beneficial to you. Meditation will help you clear your head and gain some much needed perspective on life.

Why Burn Incense For Meditation?

Let’s learn why incense is one of the best things you can use for meditation, before we jump into the different scents and incense sticks to try.

Meditating with incense helps you focus, clear your mind, relax, calm down, and helps with concentration.

The burning of incense helps to achieve deep meditation, enhancing your focus and adding to your relaxation. There are so many different types of incense, so read our guide below to find one that will work best for you. Experiment with a few different scents until you find one that feels right.

Use of incense is an ancient tradition in many spiritual practices

incense cones for meditation

Incense Sticks Vs Incense Cones?

Buddhist monks use incense sticks specifically coreless incense sticks as they burn leaving nothing behind and burning completely.

When you choose incense with no core, you won’t get the wood burning smell from the stick – just the pure fragrance of the incense, and this is the same with incense cones.

11 Most Effective Incense for Meditation & Relaxation

If you are into spiritual growth and seeking to connect to your true self, then it is important that you meditate.

Let’s look at some of the different fragrances that are popular for meditation, so you can see which one feels right for you.

This is perfect for people who are interested in experimenting with different methods of meditation. So if you are looking for a way to meditate better, try out incense. It’s always better to start with something you enjoy!

incense for meditation


Frankincense is one of the most traditional incense choices for meditation. It is known for it’s calming effect on the nervous system, which has been scientifically proven as it actually contains phytochemicals which affect the cerebral cortex and limbic systems.

Frankincense has a scent that’s earthy and woody with a hint of citrus. You can also go for frankincense and myrrh incense (like this one) to reap the calming benefits of both.

Amber Incense

Amber incense has a sweet fragrance, that is woody and floral and is great for emotional balance.

Meditating with amber incense is also great for stress relief and deep meditation.

Lotus Incense

Using lotus incense elevates your mood and is great for calming, and bringing about emotional clarity.

Lotus incense has a lighter scent, it is subtle and flowery.

Sandalwood Incense

Whether you use pure sandalwood incense sticks or a blend of sandalwood, for example with patchouli and vetiver, Sandalwood is an ideal choice of incense for meditation.

With it’s earthy scent, sandalwood is known as one of the best incense for anxiety because of its special calming effect.

Pine Incense

Pine is a perfect every day incense, try the Japanese morning star pine incense.

Cinnamon Incense

Cinnamon incense sticks are great for enhancing your mental clarity, and your concentration.

Cinnamon is an energy enhancer overall, so can leave you feeling more purposeful and focused after your meditation practice.

Ylang Ylang incense

This incense is calming and comforting. It will help to balance your energy and filter out negative energies.

Note that ylang ylang incense can also increase sexual energy and sexual desire.

Oud Incense

Oud is personally one of my favorites. It has been used since ancient times and is very popular in the Middle East.

Burning oud incense (also known as agarwood) is a natural stress reliever, and great for grounding.

Rose Incense

Rose incense is a sweet scent that is quite strong and floral, so this may not work for everyone but it is worth trying to see if this incense suits your meditation or not.

Rose incense can help us feel emotions more deeply, and connect with a sense of love, empathy and compassion.

Sage Incense

White sage has a powerful cleansing property which you can use to cleanse negative energies from your space.

You are probably familiar with smudging with white sage to cleanse an area, cleanse crystals or a tarot deck, but you can also leave a sage incense stick to burn during your meditation session.

white sage

Some people recommend that after using white sage to clear the negative energies from your space, you can use Palo Santo to bring some positive energies.

Note: Avoid clary sage around pregnant women as it can induce labor.

Jasmine Incense

Jasmine is a lighter scent, to calm and balance. It promotes happiness and relaxation.

Jasmine incense has a very feminine scent, which can help you get in touch with your feminine energy.

Green Tea Incense

Green tea incense is ideal for morning meditations, because of its energising and refreshing properties.

Meditating with green tea incense will help you feel revitalised.

Note: You can also use all these fragrances as essential oils, and diffuse them into the air throughout the day to maintain a calming environment in the home.

What Do I Need to Get Started with Burning Incense For My Meditation Session?

Depending on whether you want to go with sticks, or cones, you may need…

Many packs of incense sticks come with a basic holder, but you may want to invest in something a little sturdier that you can use over and over and that will catch the ash.

How Long Does It Take An Incense Stick To Burn?

Depending on the length and quality of your incense stick, it will typically take around 25-45 minutes.

What Are The Best Brands Of Incense Sticks And Cones?

Today, you can find many different kinds of incense to choose from. Some of them are made with natural ingredients, while others may include chemicals.

It’s always best to go for natural materials and natural ingredients.

The following brands are recommended as some of the best incense sticks, or incense cones to use.

HEM incense sticks

HEM Meditation incense sticks are handcrafted in india

Shoyeido incense sticks

Shoyeido incense sticks are crafted in Japan and these Japanese incense sticks are very popular for meditation.

Primo Incense

Primo incense sticks are high quality, and produce less smoke. 

Nag Champa

Another popular brand for non toxic incense sticks

Nuhr Incense Cones

We absolutely love these high quality incense cones with oud.

Different people prefer Indian incense sticks or Japanese incense sticks, the important thing is that you find the right tools that work for you, with the type of incense that pleases your own sense of smell and makes you feel relaxed. The best incense scents can be a personal thing and you may need to experiment a few times before you find the best incense product that really suits you for meditation purposes – and that is okay!

We all know that meditation is good for the soul. Incense is also good for your soul, having been used for many centuries for purification and healing. So, combining them both gives you a winning combination. 

Get the Most out of Your Meditation Practice with the Right Incense.

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11 best incense for meditation. The most relaxing, calming, grounding and cleansing scents to use for your meditation session
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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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