The enjoyment of incense is not a pleasure that is limited to RV owners, but there's something about using it there that seems more intense. The small spaces, the lingering quality, the way the scents seem to permeate curtains and clothing – if you are an incense lover, then an RV can be a wonderful place to meet your desire and need for exotic and therapeutic aromas. Incense and all the things that go with it make wonderful gifts for rv dwellers, too, especially around the holidays. Here's a small introduction to the stuff.
Incense comes in different forms: powders, resins, cones, sticks, and even cubes. Most of us are familiar with incense sticks nowadays because they are sold in many different places, not hard to find like they used to be. Incense done this way can be rolled onto a stick made from bamboo, or it can be made stickless by a process of extrusion. A variety of burners are available for sticks, and they range from the small and inexpensive to more ornate hand-carved luxury models. For the other types of incense, you'll need a brazier or a dish form of burner made from brass or other fire-proof materials – the most common being the brass Buddha with a lift-off top. But there are other styles out there as well, and again the range of styles and workmanship cover a wide range. All of these are great gifts for rvs because they are relatively small but very useful.
While incense comes in a limited number of forms, it seems that the recipes employ an almost endless number of ingredients. Resins, fragrant woods, flowers, herbs, grasses, and essential oils are all used in the recipes for incenses. But as a rule the standard base ingredients are either sandalwood or aloeswood. with the latter being more expensive. The better brands are made with all natural ingredients, with organically grown plants and flowers, all blended and made by hand.
Imported incense remains popular because it can be inexpensive and is easy to find. Companies have realized that there is a market for the more expensive products, however, and domestic and foreign manufacturers have taken advantage of the Internet to market and sell their incense. But whether made in America or in a far-off country, some generalizations can be made about the origins of incense and their character and quality.
Indian incense is probably the most well-known, and it tends to be pungent, strong, sweet and floral, with a tendency to linger in a small space. For those who like it, there's nothing else to compare, but for others it can be cloying and overwhelming. Japanese products are more subtle and delicate, with slender stickless types being common – even so-called smokeless scents are available. Tibetan incense takes a more herbal, even medicinal approach similar to Native American use of sage and other grasses. American high-end incense covers a range of scents, but relies on pure and traditional ingredients like frankincense, myrrh, sage, while generally being more intense and long-lasting.
What about the purported benefits of incense, other than smelling great and coming in handy for covering up less desirable scents? It is certainly easy to find rationales for how different ingredients can have different effects on us – calming, inspiring, motivational, cleansing, and so on. And certain aromas are said to help with meditation and spirituality. But the bottom line is that if you know someone who likes using fragrances like candles, oils, and the like, and they live in an RV, a gift of good incense and the apparatus to burn it is a wonderful choice for any occasion. We obviously have too much time on our hands, but we even came up with an rv leveling method with incense. Yeah...we know, we know.