Incense is one of the most popular items sold in metaphysical shops. Incense is an essential part of many people's spiritual practice, and having a good variety in stock will keep buyers coming back to try new fragrances and styles. Incense products generally have a good profit margin, while also offering an excellent value for your customers.
There are many different brands, formats, and aromas to choose from, so it's important to carefully select the incense that will best appeal to your customers. Opening inventory and shelf space can be expensive, so you'll want to start with items that are likely to sell well. As your business grows, you can branch out and try new fragrances and product lines.
Types of Incense
Sticks and cones are the most common types of incense, and they come in a wide variety of scents, from floral to musky. Basic sticks and cones are usually made from charcoal or wood powder saturated with fragrant oils. They tend to be inexpensive and easy for beginners to use. Popular brands include HEM, Satya, Escential Essences, Kamini, and Auroshikha.
Resin incenses--made from the pure sap from incense-bearing trees--are another type of incense you may wish to carry in your shop. Resins are growing in popularity among people who wish to avoid fragrance additives. Some also believe that they have higher vibrational properties than manufactured incense.
If you stock resins, you should also carry incense charcoal and stone or metal burners that can stand up to the higher heat produced by incense charcoal.
Other forms of incense include powdered incense, self-lighting incense, rope incense, scented matches, backflow cones, flash paper, and handmade specialty incense (for example, incense made from compressed herbs and wood shavings). These are less commonly purchased--but your customers may be looking for them, which will earn you lots of loyalty if you can provide them with a hard-to-find favorite product.
Stocking different formats of incense can be a great opportunity to cross-sell accessories, like incense holders and tongs. They're often purchased together by buyers who are just starting out, or who are shopping for gifts. Keep plenty of incense accessories in stock and watch your sales grow!
When choosing your initial inventory, it's a good idea to choose a mix of popular fragrances and brands. But where to start? We recommend these 9 perennially best-selling scents, which will appeal to a broad range of customers:
Lavender is one of the most popular fragrances for incense, and it's easy to see why. Lavender has a sweet, herbal scent that is fresh and relaxing. It's often used in spells and rituals for peace, love, and cleansing.
Rose is another popular fragrance for incense, and like lavender, it has a calming, floral scent. Rose is often used in the magic of healing, self-love, and abundance. Love and compassion are popular themes for meditation and spellwork, so it's no surprise that it's on the best-sellers list.
3. Dragon's Blood
Dragons are always popular in the magical world, so you can expect to sell lots of Dragon's Blood incense just because of its cool name. Fortunately, it smells great, too! Dragon's Blood is a musky, earthy scent that is especially attractive to male customers. It is said to amplify and empower any type of magical spell.
Cinnamon incense is often used in spellwork related to success, prosperity, and abundance. The warm, spicy scent is said to promote motivation, courage, and willpower. Cinnamon incense is also said to be helpful in banishing negative energy and attracting positive energy.
Jasmine is a delicate floral scent that is linked to romance and spirituality. Many believe that Jasmine improves meditation and psychic sight--always a good incense for a witchy store to have on the shelves.
White Sage is controversial due to concerns about overharvesting and cultural appropriation. But for most store owners, it still sells very, very well. Why is that? For many people, White Sage is known as the go-to scent for spiritual cleansing. If you choose not to stock White Sage, consider offering an alternative purification incense, like Sage or Rosemary.
7. Frankincense and Myrrh
Frankincense has a rich, slightly spicy scent that is often used in spells and rituals for wisdom, spirituality, and protection. Myrrh, its longtime partner, is deep, resinous and earthy. Offer them together, or separately!
Sandalwood is a popular choice for those looking to create a calming and meditative atmosphere. The woody, sweet scent is said to promote relaxation, peace of mind, and self-awareness. Sandalwood incense is also said to be helpful in attracting positive energy and good luck.
9. Nag Champa
Nag Champa is a blend of sacred woods and florals popular in Indian temples and around the world. Everyone should stock it! Satya Sai Baba is the well-known original, but most incense brands have their own version.
These 9 popular fragrances ought to get you started, but what about the rest of the incense section? There is so much opportunity to customize your incense section to match your store's unique niche. Are your customers concerned about spiritual protection? Offer grounding and banishing scents, like Musk and Rue. Lots of yogis in your shop? Add a line of fair-trade, masala-style sticks from India, and put it near the yoga mats. You can always rotate your incense display to reflect the changing seasons or new fragrance trends that emerge in the future.
You know your customers best, so listen to their needs, and allow what you know about them to inform your stocking choices. Keep an eye on what's selling well and restock accordingly.
Incense is a staple of the metaphysical supply business, so curating your incense selection should be a top priority. Creating an enticing selection of incenses--while always having the basics in stock--will ensure that customers keep coming back for more!
Shop our wholesale incense section.