Best Smelling Incense Sticks in the World

While we recognize that personal preference plays a mighty role in one’s preferred incense variety, there are several incense sticks or brands, which we feel stand above the rest. Some of which have very unique histories and smells. We consider these to be some of the best smelling incense sticks in the world. These are all a ‘must try’ and we recommend all of these to the fullest extent.

Below we are going to discuss some incense brands and varieties which we consider to be particularly influential:

Nandi – Divine Flora

Origin: Bangalore, India

Manufactured By: Nandi Agarbatti | B.V Aswathaiah & Bros

Nandi Divine Flora is a South Indian Durbar variety of incense with uncompromising quality. As a traditional durbar incense, it has hints of cinnamon, clove, and honey in addition to it’s warm floral bouquet of Himalayan flowers.

This is a superb incense which we think sets the standard for a quality durbar incense. This incense remains immensely popular throughout the world and probably one of the best smelling incense sticks in the world.

Shanthimalai – Nag Champa

Origin: Tamil Nadu, India

Manufactured By: Shanthimalai Handicrafts Development Society

Shanthimalai Nag Champa is a wonderful nag champa incense stick reminiscent of the nag champa’s from the early 60’s and 70’s. A cooling sandalwood base with a strong burst of champa flower. This is my personal favorite incense stick in the world, and not just for it’s wonderful scent.

The Shanthimalai Handicrafts Development Society is a leading non-profit charitable organization in India. They provide shelter and formal training for local women and widows in times of need. They are able to use the skills taught to them by the Shanthimalai Organization to provide for and feed themselves. These are one of the best smelling incense sticks we have come across and they are highly recommended.

Shoyeido – Plum Blossoms

Origin: Kyoto, Japan

Manufactured By: Shoyeido

Shoyeido Plum Blossoms is one of the most popular incense sticks made by the Shoyeido Company. Shoyeido has a long history in Japan which dates back 300 years. The name ‘Shoyeido’ (Shōeidō) is derived from the three characters Shō, Ei, and Dō. Shō, meaning “Pine tree”. Ei is the ancient sound meaning “Prosperity” and refers to a store or company. Their plum blossom is subtle, yet complex nature. The exotic scent of aloeswood, set with an overlay of plum blossoms is bound to satisfy even the pickiest incense aficionado.

Balaji – Chandan (Sandalwood)

Origin: Chintamani, Bangalore, India

Manufactured By: Balaji Agarbatti Company

Balaji Chandan is a classic, smooth sandalwood from the prestigious Balaji Agarbatti Company. We consider this to be the bar upon which we judge other chandan (sandalwood) incense sticks. The aroma is quite woodsy, yet it refrains from being overly pungent. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a sandalwood incense of similar quality.

Green Tree – Mother Earth

Origin: India

Manufactured By: Green Tree Incense & Candle Company

Green Tree Mother Earth is produced by a company in the Netherlands who contracts quality masala incense from India. They also sell fragrance oils and similar products. Their Mother Earth incense has proven to be quite popular and is one of their products we would definitely recommend. This incense stick has an earthy aroma with hints of pine and citrus.

Song of India – India Temple

Origin: India

Manufactured By: Song of India

Song of India India Temple is made to smell just like an Indian temple! Song of India makes many different types of products including incense, soap, candles, and perfume. We feel like incense is a worthy addition to this list due to it’s immense popularity and low price.

Baieido – Kaden Kobunboku

Origin: Japan

Manufactured By: Baieido

Baieido Kaden Kobunboku is an old family secret passed down from generation to generation of the Baieido family. This incense contains a higher grade and content of aloeswood. This is quite a lovely incense and definitely one with a strong aloeswood content. We recommend this incense wholeheartedly and are glad to count it among the best smelling incense sticks in the world.

Goloka – Nag Champa

Goloka Nag Champa is reminiscent of the older varieties, which contained higher percentages of halmaddi. Many people who are disappointed in most modern renditions of this classical scent often don’t share the same qualms with Goloka. They have cemented themselves as a superior incense manufacturer. This one definitely makes the list of best smelling incense sticks in the world.

The Wildberry

The Wildberry started their legacy in the not so sunny state of Ohio.

Although their incense sticks are now shipped world-wide, their Ohio store is still open and if you’d like, you may visit it. Some of their popular scents include Fizzy Pop, India Moon, Havanah Blue, and Awapuhi.

Enjoy Nature Mosquito Repellent

If you’re looking for a thick outdoor incense stick to combat swarms of mosquitoes, look no further then Enjoy Nature’s mosquito repellent incense sticks. These all-natural incense sticks are scented with citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, geranium, and clove. Each stick burns for 2 hours and covers up to 100 square feet and will repel bugs for 2 to 4 hours.

Enjoy Nature Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks
Enjoy Nature Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

Vampire Blood

Vampire Blood incense sticks are very popular and a hot seller. Although some people may be turned off by the theme, it smells of a gentle nag champa with an added distinct note of dragons blood. These are made by Glow Industries. As of 2017, this incense has been being made in a new factory. The scent is a little different then before but most people still really like it. Just be aware that it is a little different then before.

vampire blood incense sticks
Vampire Blood Incense Sticks


Well, those are our recommendations for the best smelling incense sticks in the world. Hope you enjoyed the list!

If you would like to nominate an incense to be added to the list, send us an email at and let us know!

This article was last revised on 02/26/2020.

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