Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by David Michael

Best Incense for Meditation

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Incense and meditation are thoroughly intertwined. Some cultures believe that incense carries their intentions up to the heavens. The harmonious relationship between incense and meditation is deeply ingrained in the essence of various cultures across the globe. In these traditions, the act of burning incense is seen as a profound gesture that transcends the physical realm, carrying intentions and prayers upward, toward the celestial heavens. As the fragrant tendrils of smoke rise and disperse, they symbolically connect the earthly plane to the spiritual realm, fostering a sense of sacredness and setting the stage for deep introspection and tranquility. It scents the air and sets the background for meditation.

Perfuming your space with incense does more than make for a pleasing environment. The ceremony of lighting incense may trigger an automatic relaxation response when meditating and using incense have become a habit.

Incense can help create a space of tranquility.

There are some traditional materials that are burned to create the fragrant smoke used in incense. Here we’ll look at a few of the most popular incense fragrances that are suitable for meditation. We feel that these are some of best incense sticks for meditation.

 Recommended Incense for Meditation


Known as the king of incense. Frankincense is a resin from the Boswellia tree. It has a clean, warm balsam scent, with a hint of lemon. Aromatherapy describes frankincense as a calming, creativity enhancing scent. These are wonderful traits for meditation. Frankincense blended with myrrh is a classic blend that I love too.

Our favorite Frankincense Incense for meditation is:

HEM Frankincense Incense Sticks

 Frankincense - Box of Six 20 Sticks Tubes, 120 Sticks Total - HEM Incense From India


Warm, sweet, woody and a touch smokey. Sandalwood is a fragrance you can never forget. Made from trees in the Santalum genus. Aromatherapy describes sandalwood as a scent that creates awareness and is a tension reliever. Perfect attributes for meditation. I feel that sandalwood incense is one of the best for creativity. I like to burn sandalwood at the start of my work day.

Our favorite Sandalwood Incense for meditation is:

Natural Choice Sandalwood Incense Sticks

Natural Choice Sandalwood Incense Sticks


Floral, sweet, and woody. Lavender is a classic scent for cleanliness and relaxation. There are many varieties of lavender, all belong to the genus Lavandula. Aromatherapists use lavender to relieve stress, and as a relaxing fragrance. We prefer the lighter scent of Japanese lavender incense for meditation. This is one of the best scents for relaxing too. 

Our choice for Lavender Incense for meditation is:

Morning Star Lavender Incense Sticks

Lavender Incense Sticks

Cedar / Pine

The clean, spicy, woodsy aromas of cedar and pine are favorites for meditation. The Japanese have a practice shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. Forest bathing is taking in the beauty and aromas of nature to rejuvenate the mind and body. Aromatherapy describes cedar and pine as helping to relieve depression and to promote positivity. Again we like the lighter, less smoky Japanese cedar and pine incenses.

Our top picks for Cedar and Pine incense for meditation are:

Morning Star Pine Incense Sticks

Pine Incense Sticks by Morning Star

Morning Star Cedarwood Incense Sticks

Cedarwood Incense Sticks by Morning Star


Warm, rich and earthy. The scent of amber is derived from labdanum, the resin of a cistus shrub. Aromatherapists describe amber as a calming, balancing fragrance. These are characteristics that make a great meditation incense.

Our choice for Amber incense for meditation is:

Gonesh Extra Rich Amber Incense Sticks

Amber Incense Sticks by Gonesh



Warm, smokey, and dry. Vetiver is perfect for people looking for a more pronounced fragrance. Distilled from the roots of vetiver grass, the essential oil is one of a few that actually improves with age. Aromatherapy describes vetiver as stress relieving and alertness enhancing. Vetiver’s bold fragrance is perfect for someone that likes warm smokey scents.

Our pick for Vetiver incense for meditation is:

Bodhi Spirit Natural Vetiver Incense Sticks

Vetiver Incense Sticks

We hope you enjoy our choices for incense for meditation. As fragrance is completely subjective, feel free to experiment with scents that appeal to you. The important thing is to find something that you like, and that helps with your meditation practice. We hope you’ll try some of our picks in your journey to finding your signature incense.

Looking for an incense burner? See our post Best Incense Holder
We also look at one of our favorite sandalwood fragrances in Best Sandalwood Incense.
For more ideas on how to scent your home, see our post How to Fragrance your Home.

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