Incense on the Tree of Life

I’ve written a long article on my other blog based on incense use in the Western esoteric tradition. It might also be of use to those fairly new to incense who want to choose a scent from zillions of different choices. It covers Patchouli, Jasmine, Lavender, Rose, Frankincense, Dragon’s Blood, Cedar, Myrrh, Musk and Sandalwood incenses. Readers are welcome to come over and suggest other incenses if they’d like.


  1. Becky K. said,

    April 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I just got more incense from Essence of the Ages. So happy with their online store. I use to burn Primo Rose back in the 70’s but they quit making it, She recommended Connoisseur rose from pure incense, and wow!! what a blast from my past that was! I like it even better than my old Primo. It’s strong like Primo was, but leaves a nice scent long after it is done. I also tried Les Encens du Monde rose. A Japanese rose. I LOVE Japanese incense, so this is a treat. It is less rose and more of a clean scent. I still like it however. Refreshing in a calm clean way. Morningstar rose not so much….I will try the one listed in Mike’s blog. I like his picks! Thank you Mike!! I am so very happy to have found you all. Looking forward to years of trying new ones, and enjoying it all. So much I have not tried, and so looking forward to it.

  2. Mike said,

    March 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Hey Marian!

    I think you’re right about the connection between jasmine and the moon having to do with its activity at night, there are night blooming versions as well. These correspondences are quite old and we’re in a completely different world market now in terms of what ingredients we can get abroad than what people in Britain could have had access to in the early 20th century. So I thought it would be fun to look at the correspondances from a modern viewpoint. I also find camphor very lunar (particularly good borneol) and think the mix with jasmine really strengthens the association.

  3. Marian said,

    March 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Despite knowing nothing about the Kabbalah I enjoyed your article as an introduction to how different notes portray themselves in incense form .
    I much prefer jasmine and rose when they’ve been distilled into oils than I do as incense, but I enjoy patchouli, dragon’s blood, frankincense, cedar, musk and sandalwood in incense form as much as I do their essential oil counterparts. I wonder if jasmine is tired to lunar qualities because more jasmines have a headier fragrance at night? Sambac can be very green- even a little screechy, so I can kind of imagine it tied to the moon, but some grandiflorums are so tropical- I think of fruits oozing juices in golden sunshine- they don’t “feel” lunar at all. I’m sure if I was familiar with the Kabbalah I’d begin to be able to make sense of the authors intentions and ideas.
    Thanks for the article, Mike. This is something I know nothing about and its interesting to begin to think of oils as part of a system I didn’t even know existed.

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