Inspired by incense

Resurrecting this old blog mainly for friends and fans of incense. I run a small incense business through Etsy ( and I’ll be sharing various tips and tricks, book recommendations and the like, as well as sharing aspects of our zany life.

Your patience and good humor is appreciated during this transition.


The Incense
BEFORE the altar burns the fragrant incense;
Softly the silver censer sways and bows;
The columned smoke goes up, the cross encircling,
And with a mist anoints the saints’ white brows.

Infinite sighs of prayer and of entreaty
Under the vaults die slowly and are stilled;
Slowly the weeping flames of dim, faint tapers
Sigh, one by one, their eyes with pity filled.

Lo, a white veil, hard by the sacred column,
Trembles with sobs that shake a hidden frame;
In a white shadow wrapped, a heart is burning
Silently, like the incense, in a flame.

Out of the censer’s heart the incense passes,
Winding it rises toward the ether’s height.
Matter it was; the fire its life hath swallowed;
Now ’tis but fragrance filled with colored light.

So, too, the grieving woman’s heart that burns there
Will not be freed from fetters and from fires
Until it melts, dissolves, etherealizes,
Wholly consumed by flames of pure desires.

– Zabel Khanjian Assatour
A whiff of smoke curls faintly
From my golden Buddha’s mouth.
Softly, like spirit trails that haunt us,
It wafts me all the sweetness
Of the fragrance of the world.
– Margaret Evans
I don’t feel like writing a poem,
Instead, I will light the incense-burning vessel
Filled with myrrh, jasmine, and frankincense,
And the poem will grow in my heart
Like the flowers in my garden.
– student of Hafis (15th century A.D.)
I breathe in the cool incense smoke from the metal brazier,
While thinking about a poem for my dear friend Lu Wa.
My sandalwood-hearted companion spits out plum blossoms of smoke,
Looking like the cloudy fog of the other world.
Perhaps it’s the soul of my friend the old mountain man
In the smoke’s dense patterns?
– Kan Po, in memoriam (undated)
What is this, coming up from the desert,
Like a column of smoke,
Laden with myrrh, with frankincense
And with the perfume of every exotic dust?

You are the park that puts forth
With all choice fruits;
Spikenard and saffron, calamus and
Myrrh and aloes with all the fine spices.
You are garden fountain, a well of water,
Flowing fresh from Lebanon.
Arise, north wind! Come, south wind!
Blow upon my garden,
That its perfume may spread abroad.

– The Song of Songs 3:6
The way to health is to have an aromatic bath
and a scented massage every day.
– Hippocrates


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