whether in a hotel room in new zealand, or in a wood cozy cabin on stilts in fiji, or in my own home after a big day, or a rainy day..or ANY day… incense is the perfect sensual scene-setter for rest, relaxation, restoration, transportation…and even teleportation for me. conjuring images and memories of temples, forests, gardens, campfires, community, adventure, dense forests or deep prayer…. one whiff and i am gone, i am there, i am calm, i am warmed. here are some of my favorites of all time:
white sage: i love this incense so much, it is my go-to scent. i travel with this one with me at all times. the white sage doubles as both my go-to-scent as well as a clearing tool…in lieu of a sage stick itself. native american honoring perfection.
espiritus del ande: a blend of earth and spirit and fire…native american love. found this at dream collective in LA. love.
i walked into a hemp-clothing store one day in LA and the whole place smelled of such goodness i walked up to the man at the front desk and asked “what is this unbelievable smell?” and he showed me these. i promptly bought two bundles from the bodhi tree bookstore on melrose (i miss that place with all of my bones)…and pull them out on very special occasions.
ancient tibetan red-sandalwood: any incense from tibet is an instant transportation into a world of ritual, meditation and stillness for me. conjures images of the most sensual of spiritual practices combined with himalayan memories.
balsam fir: connotes forest, campfire, warmth, earth, rich goodness.
copal incense. rich scent…a little goes a long way. i usually burn half and it wafts through the entire downstairs of my home. haunting. soulful. i bring a stick with me wherever i travel.
smokey campfire forest. scents of the pacific northwest. cabin crackling…the tube of incense sitting in its stone holder that it comes with…brings me to the felt-sense of community, storytelling and dense moss, all at once.
i found this gem in japan. burned it in my hotel room, and promptly ran back the next day to get one more, for the road. reminds me of exploring kyoto with the cherry blossom fantasy walks…and the sounds of the bells in the temples. and the beautiful smiles at greetings and partings…and the sadness i feel when i leave.
pinon incense: i discovered these in texas. and then again in albuquerque. this is the shaman portal scent, in my mind. the pinon especially. but ALL the scents from this company pack a earth, creator love-punch.
ok this one. my friend gave it to me, having found it in san luis obispo. it is the sweetest most beautiful scent that my nose has beheld. i quickly called the store who sold them and ordered a couple more. since then, i have been crestfallen…as i forgot the store name, and have tried to find this exact incense…to no avail. there are chandans, to be sure. even from goloka. but nothing that compares to this particular scent. i scratched the sticker off the back to unveil where it had come from in india. i wrote to them, emailed them. simply couldn’t find it. so now, i burn these on very very special occasions. they are like gold to me.