How do you recognize good quality incense ? How can you tell what kind of incense you’ve bought?
Good quality incense is handrolled, thus often is uneven on the stick. Most are rolled onto splinters of bamboo or other thin reed-like sticks. The incense itself will be grainy and slightly oily to touch, depending on the flavor and the ingredients. It will retain its scent in the package for over a year, and diffuse its scent evenly while it burns. Some incense is designed as ‘long-burning’, but regardless, good incense of an average length will burn from 30 to 50 minutes or longer. The fragrance will linger in a room for hours, sometimes days.
Bad incense looks ‘manufactured’ or machine cut. It is dry and crusty to touch from being mixed with dung and dirt to fill it out. Its scent is either very faint, or distinctly chemical. Often a toxic scent-additive is doused over the stick to make the so-called fragrance and to encourage burning. It burns unevenly and quickly, and the scent that remains after an hour is bitter or unpleasant.