Identifying Fake vs. Authentic Incense Cones

To the trained nose, authentic incense smells nothing like the cheap stuff you can get at any corner store. If you haven’t had the opportunity to compare, though, you might have a hard time differentiating authentic Nag Champa, Sandalwood, or Dragons Blood incense from a poor imitation. 

Incense cone ingredients

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to differentiate the high-quality aromatherapy incense from its low-caliber counterparts. To start, look out for artificial coloring or scents that are excessively perfumey. If there’s a sickly sweet smell wafting from an incense cone, it’s a dead giveaway that the product isn’t natural.


Because high quality, authentic incense is made with real plants or essential oils combined with gums, resins, powders, and spices, you shouldn’t see any colors not found in nature popping up in your incense. What’s more, the scents listed to combine to create the incense aroma should be natural. The low-grade products will instead use synthetic scents and a chemical means of binding the incense. 


If you’re really interested in investing in a quality form of incense and it’s not immediately obvious whether or not the product is natural by looking at and smelling it, search for the ingredients. A reputable incense make will readily offer up their ingredients because they’ll contain nothing but natural, wholesome items. Also, quality incense is usually hand-rolled or hand-dipped. 


Fake incense, on the other hand, might be more secretive about their ingredients. If you’re having an excessively hard time figuring out exactly what’s in a product, you can almost bet that there’s a reason for that. If you do locate the ingredients, be sure that you can understand everything listed. An authentic product won’t contain complex chemical names or anything of the like. 


Lastly, to be absolutely sure that you’re enjoying authentic incense, like the ever-popular Nag Champa, your best option is to purchase from a company that’s transparent and ethical about their practices. For a genuinely superior aromatherapy experience, do your due diligence in finding a business that crafts their products naturally with an emphasis on traditional practices. 


Main Takeaways:

  • Look out for artificial coloring or scents that are excessively perfumey
  • Fake incense might be more secretive about their ingredients
  • You shouldn’t see any colors not found in nature popping up in your incense

There are few things better than an authentic incense burning in your area to transform the energy of a space at will, but that obviously can’t be accomplished if the incense isn’t authentic. Take your time finding the right products, and choose the ones that truly ascribe to the methods and ingredients that have made incense such a popular form of therapy.