Sandalwood Incense: Uses, Benefits, and More

S​andalwood incense is widely cherished for its floral, earthy aroma. However, this softwood from eastern Asia has been used for centuries for more than just its pleasant odor. Burning sandalwood incense in your home will not only make your space smell amazing but will also allow you to benefit from sandalwood incense’s wide range of beneficial qualities.

When burned, s​andalwood incense increases your focus and mental clarity, calms your mind and relieves anxiety, and helps to ground you. Sandalwood incense also has physical and spiritual benefits, lowering your blood pressure and aiding you in spiritual rituals and practices.

I​f you’re trying to decide what scent of incense you should burn in your home, read on below. We’re going to be talking about the different uses and benefits of sandalwood incense, as well as what you should know before burning it.

Sandalwood Incense

B​enefit from Sandalwood Through Incense

Y​ou might be wondering, “why sandalwood incense?” Sandalwood has been used for centuries for its spiritual and medicinal properties. It has been burned as incense, concentrated into essential oil, and even the wood itself has been placed out to scent a room.

S​andalwood in its natural wood state can be expensive and is used up quickly when burned for its fragrance. When placed out as a potpourri, it will lightly scent a room, but the scent may not be as strong as you would like.

S​andalwood essential oil can be used in baths, creams, lotions, and other skin products, but some users report skin irritation and discomfort when sandalwood oil is used directly on the skin.

O​ne of the most beneficial ways to bring sandalwood into your life is by lighting some sandalwood incense. This way, you can reap all the amazing benefits of sandalwood without having to worry about skin irritation, or using up all of your expensive sandalwood chips.

I​ncense itself has been proven to be a beneficial form of making your space smell better. The smoke from lit incense can make a difference in the quality of the air and ward off unwanted pests, such as mosquitoes and other blood-sucking bugs.

S​andalwood Incense Helps You Study

H​aving trouble focusing on your work or studies? Sandalwood incense can help with just that!

T​he scent of sandalwood has been shown to increase focus and mental clarity, and there are some studies into its ability to help with memorization. Because of these qualities, sandalwood is the perfect fragrance to introduce into your work or study space.

Light some sandalwood incense next time you sit down to get your work done, and watch how it improves your cognition!

S​andalwood Incense Helps Calm and Reduce Anxiety

T​he aroma of sandalwood is known best for its calming qualities. In fact, inhaling the scent of sandalwood has been proven to lower blood pressure!

S​andalwood’s peaceful scent actually lowers your heart rate and relaxes your central nervous system, giving you a sense of calm.

I​f you’re ever feeling stressed out or anxious and need some chill in your life, try introducing sandalwood incense into your day and let that relaxing scent take over.

S​andalwood Incense Helps Fight Insomnia

O​ne of sandalwood’s many amazing qualities is its ability to help you fall asleep. This is especially useful if you’re someone who suffers from insomnia.

B​ecause of sandalwood’s relaxing properties and ability to calm the central nervous system, burning a bit of sandalwood incense can help lull you to sleep.

N​ext time you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, burn some relaxing sandalwood incense, and you’ll be asleep before you know it!

S​andalwood Incense Promotes Positive Thinking

I​f you’re feeling down or are dealing with a bit of depression, sandalwood incense can help.

S​andalwood has been shown to promote positive thoughts and emotions in those who smelled it. The scent is incredibly uplifting and has a track record of warding off negative thoughts.

I​f you’re suffering from some depressive symptoms or are just having a bad day, some sandalwood incense might make you feel just a bit better.

S​andalwood Incense is Grounding

W​hile sandalwood is incredibly uplifting, it is also great for grounding.

S​andalwood has a deep, earthy smell, which has been used to help ground meditation and yoga practitioners for centuries. However, you don’t need to be meditating or practicing yoga to benefit from sandalwood’s grounding qualities.

The scent can help make you more present in your body and in your state of mind. Its grounding qualities can also help bring you “back to earth”, so when emotions are high or you’re not feeling yourself, some sandalwood incense might be the answer.

S​andalwood Incense Wards Off Bugs

I​ncense is a great tool for keeping bugs from biting you. Bugs use their olfactory organs to “sniff out” their prey. The scented smoke from incense messes with their ability to smell you, putting up a sort of “smoke screen” between you and them.

B​ugs also rely on oxygen and take it in the same way that we do–by breathing. Incense smoke makes it difficult for them to breathe, and they will try to avoid it as much as they can.

E​ven though incense itself is great for warding off those annoying blood-suckers, sandalwood incense is even better. Studies have tested the efficacy of many different incense fragrances in warding off bugs and found that sandalwood was one of the top most effective scents.

T​he scent of sandalwood in smoke does a fantastic job of hiding your smell, thus hiding you from any bugs looking for a bite to eat.

S​andalwood Incense Reduces Aerial Bacteria

S​tudies have shown that burning incense in your home is a great way to purify the air by reducing aerial bacteria.

S​cientists found that after burning incense for an hour or more, the population of bacteria in the air was reduced by over 90%. On top of that, the air remained that clear for twenty-four hours when left in a closed room.

S​andalwood itself has been used for centuries as medicine for a variety of ailments, as it is a natural anti-bacterial and antifungal. Burning sandalwood incense specifically is a great, all-natural option for getting rid of the germs in your air while also making your home smell great.

S​andalwood Incense & Spiritual Practices

S​andalwood has been used throughout history in various religious and spiritual practices, both eastern and western. It is commonly used for its correlations with peace, love, sacred consecration, grounding, and bringing one closer to the divine.

S​andalwood incense is the most common way sandalwood is brought into a spiritual setting, as smoke can be used for physical and spiritual purposes.

S​moke is often used to draw circles & sigils, represent the element of fire, scry (see into the future and seek insight through the shapes in the smoke), or even just to be used as a visual element of energy or prayer rising toward the divine.

T​he spiritual power of sandalwood incense can be harnessed through meditation, rituals, spells, or prayer. If you yourself are spiritual, incorporate some sandalwood incense into your practice and see what it does for you.

Sandalwood Incense

S​andalwood and Sustainability

U​nfortunately, due to sandalwood’s popularity as a scent, the wild trees are on their way toward extinction.

While efforts have been made to synthetically create the scent of sandalwood, little progress has been made, as the chemical makeup of what makes sandalwood smell so good is difficult to reproduce.

S​andalwood farms exist, but sandalwood sourcing is not regulated. Because of this, sandalwood poaching is wildly common in southeast Asia, killing off the native population of sandalwood trees.

I​f you’re looking to burn sandalwood incense in your home but want to make sure what you are burning has been ethically sourced, we highly recommend the brands Wild Flower Trading and Sagrada Madre.

B​oth of these brands sells incense of all kinds, including sandalwood. Their incenses are not only made of ethically sourced ingredients, but they are all-natural and fair trade. This means that not only do they make sure all of their ingredients are coming from places that are environmentally friendly, but they pay their employees fairly and make sure their products are 100% safe and healthy to burn.

C​autions to Take When Burning Sandalwood Incense

S​andalwood incense is still like any other incense when it comes to safety precautions.

E​ven though incense doesn’t use an active flame to burn, the smolder is still very hot and can catch things on fire if proper precautions are not implemented. Whenever you burn any incense, make sure to do so on a flame-resistant holder or dish that can catch any falling sparks or hot pieces of ash.

B​ecause of this hot smolder and the incense’s ability to catch things on fire, it is also important that incense not be left alone. While incense is designed to extinguish itself after a certain period of time, you should never leave an unattended “flame” alone, even if that flame is the incense’s hot tip.

It is recommended that incense not be burned in the same room as babies and pets. Some incenses contain ingredients (including some ingredients that are considered all-natural) that are harmful to the lung development of infants, as well as the overall health of pets, especially cats and dogs.

W​hen burning incense, always make sure to do so in a well-ventilated space to avoid air pollution and smoke build-up.

I​f you are pregnant and are looking to burn incense, please consult a doctor before doing so. While most all-natural incense doesn’t pose any threats, a doctor’s advice should always be sought first, just in case.

F​inally, burning incense is not recommended for those with asthma or other respiratory issues. Burning incense releases smoke into the air, which can irritate sensitive lungs.


S​andalwood incense is a great addition to your fragrance arsenal for more than its rich scent alone. From the emotional, to the mental, to the physical, to the spiritual, the benefits of burning sandalwood incense in your home are endless.

D​id you like this article? Share it with your friends and family!

I​f you’d like to read more, check out our article on the best sandalwood incense to buy, or what to do with your incense ash when you’re done burning it.

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Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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