Incense Information

Incense 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. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, masking bad odours, and in medicine. The use of incense may have originated in Ancient Egypt, where the gums and resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies.

Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils. The forms taken by incense have changed with advances in technology, differences in the underlying culture, and diversity in the reasons for burning it. The two main types can generally be separated into "indirect burning" and "direct burning"; indirect burning incense, also called "non-combustible incense", requires a separate heat source since it is not capable of burning itself; direct burning incense, also called "combustible incense", is lit directly by a flame and then fanned out, the glowing ember on the incense will smoulder and release fragrance. Examples of indirect burning incense are incense sticks and cones or pyramids.

The use of incense dates back to biblical times and may have originated in Egypt, where the gums and resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies. It was also used by the Pharaohs, not only to counteract unpleasant odours, but also to drive away demons and gratify the presence of the gods, as they believed.

Wikipedia, Incense, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incense (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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