Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Warm Incense Fragrances

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you living space needs to be! Spice up your abode with some of the following scents.


Amber is fascinating because it has many different looks and uses. Cultures throughout the ages have told tales and myths regarding amber, often referring to it as "the sun stone" or "the burn stone". Because it has electro-static properties when rubbed and warm to the touch, cultures often considered it to be a healing resin. With incense, you'll find amber blended with vanilla and sandalwood frequently.


One of history's most important flavorings is also a key fragrance in perfumes & incense: sweet, sensual, and above all, evoking a feeling of contentment. Vanilla has a unique profile that allows it to blend seamlessly with wood fragrances, herbals & florals and citrus.

Vanilla has the uncommon ability to work well for meditation, romantic evenings or simple home fragrance.


Coffee is one of the most soothing scents for many people.  Unfortunately, we can only consume so much coffee in a day. Let the full bodied bouquet transport you to a warmer day, to a sidewalk cafe, and even increase mental alertness.


Cinnamon has a long history as a spice & healing agent. Calming but uplifting, cinnamon blends well with some citrus, notably orange. Always a customer favorite, cinnamon is an instantaneous mood enhancer.

For a more fragrance options, click on any of the above subject headings or here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Few Fun Facts About Balsam Fir

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
(traditional English translation of the German carol O Tannenbaum)

 Many people think of fir trees only during the holiday season. Balsam fir trees are important part of our ecosystem, providing food & cover for many regional species while their root system prevents erosion.

First described in 1768, balsam fir is a medium-sized tree generally reaching 40-60 feet in height and 1-1 1/2 feet in diameter. It exhibits a relatively dense, dark-green, pyramidal crown with a slender spire-like tip. The scientific name "balsamea" is an ancient word for the balsam tree, so named because of the many resinous blisters found in the bark. Balsam fir and Fraser fir have many similar characteristics, although geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap.”
Prepared by Dr. Craig R. McKinley, North Carolina State University (found on

  One of our most popular products is the Balsam Fir incense from Paine’s. Made in Maine since 1931, Paine’s incense is 100% natural, as local woodsmen bring in boughs that are subsequently dried & pressed into molds. No balsam fir trees are “cut down” to make Paine’s amazing products. Bring the scent of the holidays, of wintertime, to your space throughout the year. Visit us for more information on Paine’s Balsam Fir incense.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Let's Be Frank(incense)

Many people in the United States and across the world only think of Frankincense when the Christmas season rolls around. Christians, of course, think of the gift to the Baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men. But in some parts of the world, specifically in Arabian countries, Frankincense is a part of everyday life.

Our favorite Frankincense comes from Oman. In Oman, the sweet, mild citrus scent of Frankincense is everywhere: from government buildings to streets & alleys, homes, shops & more. As incense sticks are to Japan, Frankincense is to many Middle Eastern countries.

Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree found in southern Arabia, Somalia, Kenya & India. There are over a dozen species, but 'sacra' is considered by many to be the finest smelling Frankincense. The actual tree is not the prettiest thing you'd ever see & you would probably not ask your landscaper for it in your Zen Garden. The Boswellia tree grows in harsh conditions & is likely to be found clinging to rocks or small cliffs.

Harvesting Frankincense can be tricky. A tree can be harvested up to three times a year, but often at the expense of lessening that tree's life span. Harvesting is all done by hand, no heavy equipment or machinery. A small amount of bark is scraped from the tree & will start to ooze resin. The harvester must wait until the resin harden before removing it for the sorting process. The resinous pieces, called "tears", are sorted by hand or in some cases, sifted. Then it's off to market!

In the case of Omani Frankincense, we are talking about Hojary (Hojari). The resin is sorted into two sizes, Superior (larger tears) & First choice (smaller tears). The only difference between the two is the size! You'll enjoy the sweet fragrance of both.

Have we piqued your interest in Frankincense? We have First Choice Hojary available here. If burning botanicals isn't your thing, try our amazing Oman Frankincense sticks.

Many thanks to Bill Huf from Scents of Earth for this article.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Didja Know

...that camphor, clove, sandalwood, agarwood & borneo are the main ingredients in traditional Buddhist incense?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Triloka Herbal Incense

Looking for new incense? Try one of Triloka's 33 fabulous herbal scents! Hand rolled in India using the masala method, Triloka herbal incense is also a Fair Trade Cottage Industry, allowing the workers to support themselves & their families.

Using natural herbs, gums, resins, woods and oils, Triloka is never "dipped", like some other brands, which means no headaches. The affordable price per pack allows for easy sampling, but try the Assortments as well! Click here for more information!

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Burn Resin Incense

Our own Nikhe shows you the proper way to burn raw botanicals! Here are the ones we offer! This was shot in our store, Good Scents, last year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Very Brief History of Wax Seals

Whether a simple decoration for written correspondence or an eye-catching statement for more formal letters such as invitations, wax seals have a history throughout the ages.

Most often used a proof of authenticity or signature, the wax seal used would fall apart if a forger tried to remove & reuse it. Wax seals were often used as a way to seal important documents, as the recipient could tell if the document had been opened. Many civilizations had their own seals: Ancient Greece, Rome & East Asia among them, leading into what we now know as Signet Rings, which are literally the seals on wearable rings.

Many documents still require a seal for authenticity, but we now have the Notary Public for such matters!

In the past several years wax seals have seen a resurgence, with brides-to-be decorating the back flap of invitations for a personal touch. Many businesses also find the seals a quirky addition to outgoing mail.

We are fortunate to carry high quality pewter seals, as well as an array of sealing wax. Simply visit us & start perusing our variety of options.