Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils.
The forms taken by incense differ with the underlying culture, and have changed with advances in technology and increasing diversity in the reasons for burning it.
The use of incense dates back to ancient times but the origin is uncertain. It may have originated in Sumerian and Babylonian cultures, where the gum - resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies. It was also used by the Pharaohs, not only to counteract unpleasant odours, but also to drive away demons and gratify the presence of the gods.