Incense recommendations – fragrance for relaxation


Strictly speaking, incense is not part of reiki practice, but it is definitely part of Japanese traditional culture to burn incense for both religious and relaxation purposes. When it comes to fragrance it is personal preference, but personally, I love the smell of incense sticks and cones and I love to burn them. In fact, I have a little altar in our living room where I burn short incense sticks every morning and at the end of the day.

In this post, I will introduce different types of incense you can use at home for relaxation. When I give reiki, I often burn an incense stick before the session and air out the room, but never burn during the session as the smoke could bother the client, and some people do not like the smell of incense.

Mainichi-Koh Sandalwood Incense 300pcs incense sticks

mainichi-koh incense sticksMainichi-Koh is a household name in Japan, and perhaps the most commonly-known incense sticks around, usually used on Buddhist altars, but also used to purify the air. If you like sandalwood, they are perfect for relaxation. They are not smoky or does not give off strong smell as some others may. These are usually available in Japanese supermarkets and are reasonable in price.

Burning time: 30 minutes

Product name: Mainichi-Koh Sandalwood Incense 300pcs incense sticks

Price: $10.38 from


Shoyeido’s Avenue of the Villa Incense, Set of 10 Coils – Nijo


These are good quality incense coils which burn for long time (two-and-half hours) and give light but very pleasant fragrance. Great for summer evenings.

Burning time: 2 ½ hours

Product name: Shoyeido’s Avenue of the Villa Incense, Set of 10 Coils – Nijo

Price: $20.12 from


Japanese Ceramic Incense Plate – Pink Plum


I have several types of incense holders from small to large. Small ones are convenient for carrying it around while the larger ones are good so that fallen incense ashes don’t spread on your table or floor and make a mess. This plate is tastefully decorated that it could also used as a small candle holder.

The incense holder like in the photo is good for both incense sticks and cones. There are also wooden holders which are light, but it will burn when you put a cone directly on the wood.

Product name: Japanese Ceramic Incense Plate – Pink Plum

Price: $9.32 from


Incense cones

incense-conesIncense cones are not traditionally Japanese but more common in Southeast Asia like in Thailand and South Asia like in India. They tend to have stronger smell and more smoke than Japanese incenses, but good for those who like distinct fragrance. Fragrances include: lavender, lotus, white sage, frankincense, sandalwood, etc.

Burning time: 25 minutes

Product name: 12 Assorted Boxes of HEM Incense Cones, Best Sellers Set #2 12 X 10 (120 total)

Price: $12.45 from

Incense sticks

incense-sticksIncense sticks (on wood) are also not traditionally Japanese, but they are more common in other parts of Asia. Incense sticks come in all qualities, but these incense sticks offer good quality fragrance, which include nag champa, sunrise, sandalwood, midnight, patchouli, celestial, 12 sticks each.

Burning time: 1 hour

Product name: Satya – Set of 6 – Nag Champa, Sunrise, Sandalwood, Midnight, Patchouli, Celestial 15 grams

Price: $9.19 from


Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. If there is a product you’d like me to review, please let me know by leaving a comment.

4 thoughts on “Incense recommendations – fragrance for relaxation

  1. Hi
    It’s interesting that when I began to research Incense and it’s uses I found that different scents seem to relate to different emotions?

    Then I read your “What is Reiki” page and see the 5 principals or “Go-kia” and can see how incense fragrances and Reiki really fit together like a hand in a glove.

    And all of it stirs my memories of how the elements play into Feng Shui? As a Reiki “practitioner” — are you into the 5 elements and more “technical” aspects of which incense fragrance plays into different problems?

    I think I’ll burn some Sandal Wood Incense now and relax.


    • Hi Mike, thank you for your wonderful comment! I have always liked incense and it’s something I grew up with in a Buddhist home as it is part of the ritual of prayer. I have not explored so much in the 5 elements of the Feng Shui but I am sure there are correlation between the elements and the fragrances, which is worth exploring. For me the incense plays a role in “clearing and cleaning” the space and the energy, and helps us to relax so that we can center ourselves and connect with the universal energy. BTW, sandalwood is one of my favourites!

  2. Japan and it’s people intrigue me. I have to visit Japan before I breathe my last breath on this earth. Ancient Japan and its culture are of particular interest to me.

    I do believe that fragrances can relax one. Am referring to natural flower/plant fragrances . Am not sure about burning incense. I have experienced some of the fragrances given off by incense sticks and yes, many of them are awesome, however, isn’t it unhealthy to breathe in any form of smoke?

    • Hi Roy, thank you for your comments. I agree with you that smoke is not healthy to breathe in and I wouldn’t recommend being too close to incense burning no matter how pleasant the smell may be, especially if you have respiratory conditions such as asthma. There are fragrances that I love (and dislike) but I’m also careful not to use too much, so I often burn an incense after a reiki session to purify and clear the air. 

      I do hope you’ll have a chance to visit Japan in the near future!  

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