Traditionally, incense is a combination of fragrant botanical material which is first ignited, then blown out and allowed to smolder. In this way it releases a perfumed smoke.
Throughout the ages, incense has been used to purify, protect, and heal our environments. In the beginning, humans would have noticed the soothing effects of certain woods or herbs as they burnt in the fire.
By 2000 BC, Chinese, Indian, Egyptians traded herbs for resins, gums, precious woods, all used to blend with select flowers and powdered roots, formulating sophisticated, long-burning incense used in holy ceremonies. Valuable Frankincense and Myrrh, Amber and Sandalwood were transported by boat for by caravan route to the far corners of the ancient world.
In Arabia, and later in India, were developed the methods of essential oil distillation. The science of perfumery expanded through Asia, Egypt and Mediterranean Europe. Highly scented flowers like Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Lily and Narcissus were grown especially for the perfume trade, and as a result, the mysteries of distillation were jealously protected.