Nearly all spiritual paths include incense. Zen Buddhists face the wall, with only incense, and the bell (and occasional whack) for company. Using essential oils, without the incense stick (usually heated in a bowl of water over a candle) can have all the delightful sensations of incense, without the smoke — which can have risks associated with inhaling smoke.
In temples all over the world incense is even right now wafting heavenward, some believe carrying prayers, and always presented as a heartfelt offering. In Catholic Cathedrals, censors waft. In every Hindu ceremony, temple and shrine, incense is a constant. These are offerings, but Science is now supporting what religious teachers have said for centuries — “Incense is good for the brain.” This evidence also appears to support actual clinical benefit, rather than just placebo-type benefits based on belief or faith.
There are many other studies, notably a study from the University of Florida that shows.
“smells inhibit and excite cells in the olfactory area of the brain creating changes in the brain.”
Another one, a study of 3,000 people at the Research Centre of Chicago “found that if people had the ability to smell fruit many times a day… they ate less and lost weight.”  It’s fairly clear that smells influence mood, emotions and to the brain itself.
Pleasant Odors Have Ant depressive-like Behavior
These studies support the notion that the benefits aren’t just psychological. By extension, once can logically deduce (but not prove) that all pleasant odors would have an ant depressive-like behavior. It’s a reasonable hypothesis, and certainly supported by aroma therapy, and my own experiences. This suggests that centuries of Ayurvedic and natural medicine are likely not wrong when they make fairly safe lists of benefits (clinically unproven, unless stated otherwise) for various situati
- Lavender, know to relieve stress and relax
- Sandalwood, removes tension, creates awareness
- Cinnamon, known for increasing focus
- Cedar or pine, well known to help with depression and sadness
- Dragon’s blood, soothes GI tract, helps with pain
- Jasmine, balancing hormones, increasing libido
- Amber: boosting immune system (also if worn, rather than burned, the oil is absorbed through skin)
- Frankincense: was the subject of the above cited study, relieves depression; also known to increase creativity.
To find more information vist https://buddhaweekly.com/why-incense-is-more-than-just-a-pleasant-backdrop-to-meditation/