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Incense has a long history full of rich cultural significance.

However, unless you speak Chinese or Japanese, then it can be hard to find good literature on incense.

Here are our recommendations for the best incense history books.

The Trail of Time: Time Measurement with Incense in East Asia

The Trail of Time: Time Measurement with Incense in East Asia is an excellent book on the scholarly study of a lost historical aspect of horology (timekeeping).

Before modern timepieces, incense played a vital role in the social and technological advancement of the Chinese people, as it was formulated and burned as a primitive form of clock.

The use of incense as a time-telling device was useful in many industries, such as regulating water for irrigation, in palaces, government offices, and even studies.

This book is quite interesting and I consider it a must-read for people who are interested in either incense or general Chinese culture.

Kodo: The Way of Incense

Kodo: The Way of Incense is primarily about the Japanese incense ceremony known as Kodo.

Not only does it explore the interesting history of Japanese incense, but it also gives step-by-step instructions on how to perform your very own Kodo ceremony.

It also describes various incense games which were played in feudal Japan.

Kodo, along with kado (floral arrangement) and chado (Chinese tea ceremony) are known collectively as the The Three Classical Japanese Arts of Refinement.

Incense: Rituals, Mystery, Lore

Incense: Rituals, Mystery, Lore is a decent general overview of incense history and traditions.

However, it has been criticized for being a relatively basic book.

The Complete Incense Book

The Complete Incense Book is full of herbal formulas, incense-burning instructions, incense ceremonies, and incense-related games.

This book is quite popular.