Incense (from Latin word incendere “to burn”) is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term incense refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces.
Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils and is used for a diversity of reasons for burning it.
Burning of incense has been integral to ancient civilizations, dating back perhaps 8500 years from the Indus valley civilization in India through Sumerian, Babylonian cultures to Greece and Rome, Egypt, Arabia, India and China.
Incense has been in use in several shapes, such as cone, logs, coils, powders, woodchips, resin drops and sticks.
The present form of incense sticks (Agarbatti) is woven into the fabric of life in large sections of people around the world.
Irrespective of the dividing religious beliefs, differing cultural practices and a variety of spiritual traditions, for diversity of reasons, the incense burning is one factor that runs as a common thread among multiple nationalities.
Though the usage was very rigorous in the past, it actively prevails in modern times as a universal ‘lifestyle’ product among communities across continents.
Incense found a common ground in religious, cultural, spiritual as well as health and lifestyle of millions of people.