Revealed! Hand-dipped Incense VS Hand-Rolled Incense which one is the best choice?

Written by: Mike Eyo



Time to read 7 min

One of the most common questions is, “Is hand-dipped or hand-rolled incense better?” Considering how widespread these two choices are, we can't say we are surprised.

You've come to the right place if you are also searching for the perfect incense to elevate your space and enhance your life. 

In this blog post, we uncover the truth behind these scents, comparing their compositions, manufacturing processes, and scent profiles.

By the end of this aromatic journey, you’ll have learned enough to decide on the ideal incense for your needs.

Hand-Dipped Incense Sticks: The Basics

Hand-dipped incense sticks are crafted by coating a wood core with burning powder and scent. This then creates a delightful fragrance that fills the air when lit. 

While this incense stick type is the most common, alternatives like hand-rolled or Japanese mold-made incense offer unique experiences.

So, what distinguishes hand-dipped incense sticks from the rest? 

We’ll delve into their composition, discussing the elements that impact their quality and burning experience.

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

The scent of hand-dipped incense sticks primarily depends on the type of oil used during the dipping process. 

Essential or fragrance oils are typically used, and there's a considerable difference between them scent-wise.

For one, essential oils are derived from plants and offer a more natural and organic aroma. 

Meanwhile, fragrance oil is synthetic and may contain a mix of aromatic ingredients. 

Again, while using essential oils in incense may result in a purer scent and slower burn with minimal smoke, synthetic fragrance oils can have a range of potential health risks. 

These health risks may range from headaches and respiratory issues to more severe issues like cancer.

Being conscious of these risks and focusing on high-quality products is vital when choosing hand-dipped incense sticks.

Smoke and Burn Quality Product

Various factors can influence the smoke and burn quality of hand-dipped incense sticks, impacting the amount of smoke produced.

These factors include:

  • The composition of the incense
  • The burning process
  • The thickness of the incense stick, with thicker sticks producing denser smoke and burning more slowly
  • The amount of aromatic material applied to the stick
  • The drying process

Because some sticks burn differently than others, it cannot be overemphasized that you should consider all of these factors before you decide on an incense stick.

Hand Rolled Incense Sticks: The Art

Hand-rolled incense sticks combine spices, herbs, resins, and powders with a handmade paste. 

This artful process of making incense sticks entails carefully rolling the mixture into sticks, ensuring an even burn and a captivating fragrance. Ultimately, there's a more natural and aromatic experience.

Are you then wondering what distinguishes hand-rolled incense sticks from their hand-dipped counterparts? Or which has a better quality in terms of smoke and burn characteristics? 

Let's find out.

Natural Ingredients and Aromatic Journey

Hand-rolled incense sticks utilize a variety of natural ingredients in their composition, including:

  • Wood
  • Resin
  • Herb
  • Floral incense powders

These ingredients, which have been used since ancient times for their spiritual, medicinal, and fragrance properties, contribute to the unique fragrance of the incense. 

A blend of these natural elements creates a rich and captivating scent, which offers an unmatched aromatic journey.

Furthermore, hand-rolled incense sticks are often free from toxic chemicals and synthetic scents. This correlates to a pure and authentic aromatic experience lacking artificial additives.

Smoke and Burn Quality

Regarding smoke and burn quality, hand-rolled incense sticks produce less smoke and burn more evenly than hand-dipped sticks. 

This is due to their slower and more consistent burning, allowing the ingredients to be consumed at a reduced rate.

Also, various influencing factors determine the eventual smoke and burn quality. These factors include the incense composition, ingredient type, and the burning process.

In short, hand-rolled incense sticks are an excellent choice for those seeking a more natural, even, and enjoyable burning experience.

Health and Environmental Concerns

The use of incense sticks, whether hand-dipped or hand-rolled, can raise health and environmental concerns. 

Synthetic scents and toxins present in low-quality incense can lead to various health issues. Meanwhile, selecting eco-friendly alternatives can help address environmental concerns.

We’ll investigate the health risks of synthetic ingredients and scents and suggest high-quality or eco-friendly alternatives to conventional incense sticks.

Synthetic Scents and Toxins

Low-quality incense sticks may contain synthetic scents and toxins, which can cause headaches and other health issues when inhaled. Synthetic components, such as dipropylene glycol (DPG) and synthetic aromas, can be found in some incense sticks.

Although hand-dipped incense sticks can be immersed in natural oils or extracts to lessen their toxicity, it’s vital to be mindful of the potential health hazards tied to synthetic scents and toxins.

To be on the safe side, use unscented incense sticks made from natural ingredients.

Check out our Most Popular Long Incense Sticks

Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional incense sticks include coreless incense sticks and Japanese incense made from dough without cores.

Coreless incense sticks are composed of pure incense without a bamboo core, which limits deforestation and reduces adverse effects on the environment. Also, Japanese incense, made without cores, offers a cleaner and more sustainable option for fragrance enthusiasts.

By choosing these eco-friendly alternatives, you can enjoy the benefits of incense without compromising the environment.

Choosing the Perfect Scent for Your Needs

Choosing the perfect scent for your incense involves considering the purpose of the incense and your individual preference. 

Different scents can create distinct atmospheres and enhance moods, while others may be more suitable for specific activities.

We’ll discuss how to enrich your space with the perfect scent and how to match fragrances with activities for the best experience.

Enhancing Your Space

The incense scent can contribute significantly to the design aesthetic of a room. It provides a harmonious atmosphere that complements the overall aesthetic of your space. 

By selecting a scent that aligns with your desired ambiance, you can create a unified sensory experience and transform the energy of your surroundings.

Some incense scents can neutralize bad odors in a space, masking and eliminating unpleasant smells. 

Experiment with various scents to find the one that best enhances your space and elevates your mood.

Pairing Scents with Activities

Certain scents may be better suited for meditation, yoga, or relaxation activities. 

For instance, lavender, jasmine, and sandalwood incense scents are recommended for inducing relaxation. Other fragrances, such as rose, chamomile, and geranium, are more suitable for promoting sleep.

By pairing scents with specific activities, you can further enhance your experience and create an environment conducive to your chosen activity. 

Experiment with different scents and discover the perfect pairing for your needs.

Top Brands and Quality Products

When it comes to incense sticks, choosing a quality product is paramount. 

Top brands can be found for both hand-dipped and hand-rolled incense sticks, ensuring a pleasing and satisfying burning experience.

We’ll glance at some of the most distinguished brands to guide your buying decision.

Hand Dipped Incense Brands

Renowned hand-dipped incense brands like Wild Berry and Blunt Power Long Incense offer premium quality, a broad selection of fragrances, and efficient packaging. 

Blunt Power’s hand-dipped incense scents include Sandalwood Vanilla, Kush, Nag Champa, and Cinnamon

Hand Rolled Incense Brands

Top hand-rolled incense brands like Satya, Goloka, Kamini, and India Temple are known for their superior quality and craftsmanship. 

Satya, for instance, is renowned for its expertise in hand-rolling incense sticks, using the finest natural ingredients to create a unique and captivating fragrance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to put out incense?

The best way to put out incense is by dousing it with water or using a snuffer. Water is the most effective option for extinguishing flame and fragrant smoke. A snuffer can hold the incense stick over and let the ash fall into it before gently pressing the stick in to extinguish it.

What is hand-rolled incense?

Hand-rolled incense, or Masala Agarbatti, is a traditional incense made from wood powder, oils, herbs, flowers, roots, and resinoids. This mixture is made into a dough before rolling it into incense sticks.

Which incense sticks are the best for health?

Sandalwood and Frankincense and Myrrh incense sticks are considered the best for health, as they reportedly have meditative, healing, and mood-boosting properties. Cinnamon incense sticks can help improve concentration and prevent infections, while lavender and peppermint can reduce stress and anxiety.

What is the difference between hand-dipped and hand-rolled incense sticks?

Hand-dipped incense sticks are made by coating a wood core with , burning powder and scent or fragrance oil. In comparison, hand-rolled incense sticks use a handmade paste and combine spices, herbs, resins, and powders for a more natural and aromatic experience.

Are there any health risks associated with synthetic fragrance oils in incense sticks?

Yes, synthetic fragrance oils used in incense sticks have been associated with a range of potential health risks, including asthma attacks, respiratory issues, and allergic reactions.


In conclusion, hand-dipped and hand-rolled incense sticks have unique characteristics and advantages. 

While hand-dipped incense sticks offer a wide range of fragrances and a customizable experience, hand-rolled incense sticks provide a more natural and authentic aroma. 

Health and environmental concerns should be considered when selecting incense; high-quality, reputable companies and eco-friendly alternatives can help address these issues.

By choosing the perfect scent for your needs, enhancing your space, and pairing scents with activities, you can elevate your life and enjoy the benefits of incense.