Burning Incense Oil Vs. Burning Incense Sticks

When you think of incense, you often think of the sticks that you hold in the burners, light the ends and then you enjoy their beautiful scent. However, many people who love incense choose to burn incense oil instead. What’s the difference between burning an incense stick and burning incense oil? Will they produce the same scent? Is one more expensive than the other? Is there any messy cleanup with one as opposed to the other? As you’ll soon see, there are pros and cons to using both incense products. However, most people are loyal to either one or the other. It’s recommended, then, that you try both ways to see which ones works best for you.

Burning Incense Oil

Burning incense oil is a little different than burning the sticks. For one, instead of sticking an incense stick in the burner and lighting the end, the oil is placed in a sort of glass and a candle is then lit underneath it. The candle lights up the glass and the oil dissipates into the air releasing a scent. Unlike the sticks, burning incense oil doesn’t produce ash like the sticks do. There is no clean up as a matter of fact. The oil will burn away leaving nothing in the glass. The candles are usually small enough that they go out before you have to worry about the glass getting too hot and breaking and the scent produced is still great just like the sticks. However, some will claim that burning incense oil doesn’t produce as strong of a scent as the sticks. Some, however, make their own incense oil and that’s not really something you can do with the sticks.


The incense sticks work by sticking the end of the stick into a burner and then lighting the end. The end will then burn slowly towards the base, emitting smoke and a strong scent. It’s typical of an incense stick to overpower the entire room with its scent and that’s why people love them so much. There is a clean up afterwards as the ash left by the burning stick often stays behind on the burner.


The cost for both is usually about the same. Sure you have to buy the sticks every time you run out, but if you choose burning incense oil, you’re going to have to buy the oil and the candles each time you run out.

So you see the pros and cons of each. As stated, people often have their preferences for one or the other so you’ll likely choose one after you see how well each one works.