Rachel Walker Youngblade

I'm a maker, writer and communications strategist living in Oakland, CA. Moonwalker Things is my creative outlet and a place to share my personal passions and what I've learned on my journey to small business ownership. What you'll find here: some making, a little bit of musing, and a lot of pictures. 



Handmade clay and fiber necklaces, earrings, incense holders and plant hangers inspired by space, plant life and natural patterns.



6 Incense Brands I Love to Burn

Incense is one of my personal indulgences and most favorite rituals at home. Because I use so much (I light up almost on the daily) I’ve gotten pretty deep into the world of smelly, burny stuff. Today I’m sharing my favorite brands and types of incense for those looking to expand their incense collection or give a thoughtful gift.

Incense comes in a wide range of forms and materials, beyond the classic stick shape. You’ll also find cones, logs and twisted ropes. The historical use of incense spans many cultures, and traditional ingredients vary by geographic region. Going beyond incense, smudge bundles and Palo Santo wood are also used for energetic cleansing in addition to smelling nice.

My love for incense has strongly shaped my journey through ceramics, leading me to make holders for a variety of forms. It feels really special to add something handmade by me into my daily routine. I know hygge is a pretty trendy word, but it actually describes the cozy, intimate feeling incense manifests for me perfectly. I create a special space, set out some pretty things, light my incense and then take a deep breath. Ahhh.

Ready to get your chill on? Here are six of my favorite incense brands to try. And if you need a holder, I have a few variations in my shop.

Left to right: Ceramic moon stick incense holder with a P.F. Candle Co incense stick,

a wavy ceramic dish I made with a Juniper Ridge sage smudge bundle,

and my Ceramic moon dish with a Fredericks and Mae rope incense.

Norden incense sticks in Oresund & Idyllwild

This California company makes rich, wonderful scents in the form of both incense and candles, as well as sleek, modern home goods. The incense box is so pretty I keep it out on the shelf.

Incausa Palo Santo wood hand-pressed incense bricks

This pure Palo Santo scent is super strong, if that’s what you’re into. I love the shape as it fits perfectly into the incense huts I’ve been experimenting with. Break off a bit at a time or light the whole brick. Incausa products are handmade in Peru and getting pretty popular. I see them at the cool home good shops I like to frequent.

Fredericks and Mae cedar rope incense

Okay, I’ll be honest here...I bought this because the box was pretty and I liked the rope shape, and I originally was unconvinced on the scent. Until I burned it, that is, and the smell blossomed into a more complex and earthy aroma that I’m really digging. These work well laid in a dish with a lip, and I find the burn kind of mesmerizing to watch.

Juniper Ridge campfire incense sticks & sage smudge bundles

Based in Oakland and made from natural plants that are wildharvested, Juniper Ridge’s incense and smudge bundles are my go-to. Earthy, natural and unlike many other popular scents on the market, their products feel like the outdoors in a bottle (or stick). I’m partial to the California Juniper and Sweetgrass incense as well as the sage smudge bundle, which I used to cleanse negative energy from our house when we first moved in. My husband wore their cologne on our wedding day, so their incense brings back strong, lovely scent memories for me.

Incausa Palo Santo bricks on one of my ceramic dishes with a carved incense hut (not yet listed online).

P.F. Candle Co. incense sticks, Juniper Ridge sage smudge bundle, and Fredericks and Mae rope incense.

Skeem Palo Santo wood sticks

I first got this incense as a gift for my mom, who has amazing taste. Skeem describes Palo Santo as a “sustainably cultivated wood from South America that has natural aromatic properties from the tree resin. This “Holy Wood” is believed to ward off bad energy, aid in healing, calm and cleanse the body and mind, and bring good fortune to those that burn it.” Sounds (and smells) pretty good to me. The glass bottle it comes in can be used afterward for pretty decoration. I’m also drooling over their cute bottle of black matches with a moon phase design.

P.F. Candle Co. incense in Amber & Moss and Teakwood & Tobacco

You know that feeling when you smell the most amazing aroma and immediately know you’ve got to have it in your home? That was my experience the first time I found P.F. Candle Co.’s products, and they’re still one of my favorites. The Teakwood & Tobacco and Amber & Moss scents top my list, and they offer five other scents in addition. Their products are also beautifully packaged, and I’ve got my eye on one of their new terracotta pot candles. Once it’s burned out, it would be the perfect container for a few succulents. They even suggest that on the listing and mention the wabi-sabi-ness of it all. Pretty sure we're on the same page.

And a bonus! Incense Matches

These little matchbooks house matches with an incense tip. They only burn for a minute or so, aka the perfect little shot of smell for the bathroom. I’ve found these at crystal shops in the past. I guess you could go double incense and use them to light an incense stick as well. So meta. And probably unnecessary.

There are plenty of brands and types of incense I have on my to-try list, including some Japanese brands like Lisn and Nippon Kodo and incense with copal, a tree resin and traditional ingredient used in incense made in Mexico and Central America. I've also seen smudge bundles with dried flowers from The Ritual and am dying to get one, but I'm torn because I may never want to actually burn it.

Once I try some new products, I may have more to share. For now, check out some of my favorites and let me know what you think!