Incense is a substance that emits smoke when burned. It can be made from natural or synthetic materials and comes in many forms, including sticks, coils, joss sticks, cones, and powders.
Inhaling incense smoke can cause health problems. It can irritate the lungs and the eyes. It can also trigger asthma and chronic inflammation in the liver.
1. Scent of Incense (1999)
During the game’s early chapters, player character Geralt encounters a scholar named Vencel Pugg who asks him to visit an incense shop in the town of Flotsam. He must convince the shopkeeper to give him a specific incense formula, or accept a close substitute.
Besides being fragrant, some varieties of incense can boost your mood. “Scent can bring you back to the present, if you choose a good one,” spiritual life coach Barbara Biziou tells mindbodygreen. She says scents like rose or jasmine are natural aphrodisiacs, while cedar and vetiver are great for grounding.
Keep in mind that burning incense creates graphite pollution—a form of indoor air contamination that’s akin to cigarette smoke. It may also trigger symptoms for people with migraines or sinus problems.
2. The Remains (2016)
Director/writer Thomas Della Bella’s feature debut (adapted from his short film Open House) wants to re-imagine and reignite classical Horror. Unfortunately, it ends up being boring and forgettable compared to other haunted house films.
When a widower moves his family into a Victorian home, they discover a chest that contains antiques tainted by a malevolent spirit. As the items begin to possess members of the family, it becomes clear that this evil spirit is on a mission to kidnap them all. The Remains has a mediocre cast that includes Todd Lowe, Brooke Butler, Hannah Nordberg, Dash Williams, and Maria Olsen. Della Bella delivers the typical cliches that make other ghost/possession movies so boring and forgettable. Jump scares are sparse and never really work in this one.
3. Psych-Out (1968)
Psych-Out is one of the many cheesy flicks from the late 60’s exploiting hippies and their counterculture lifestyle. Starring Susan Strasberg, Jack Nicholson (billed as supporting player), Dean Stockwell and Bruce Dern, the movie is a head trip through Haight-Ashbury with a deaf runaway, rock band Mumblin’ Jim, and drug fueled escapades.
Musically the film features a few cuts from Storybook, a San Fernando Valley garage group led by keyboardist Peter Lewis. The version of ‘The Pretty Song From Psych-Out’ that appears in the film is an over eight minute mesmerizing composition replete with tribal drumming, repetitive riffing, loping piano fills and windy harmonies. They crop up again on the dainty flower pop ‘Beads of Innocence’ and trippy ‘Psych-Out Sanctorum,’ replete with Gregorian chanting.
4. Idle Hands (1999)
Director Rodman Flender’s teen slacker horror Idle Hands is getting a long-overdue special edition Blu-ray from Shout Factory. It’s a surprisingly fun movie that’s drenched in slapstick gore, punk rock cameos, and ironic teenage nihilism.
It stars Devon Sawa (Final Destination 2000, Nikita series) as Anton Tobias – a channel surfing junk food munching stoner who gets his right hand possessed by hell. Soon his hand is killing people, including his two best stoner buddies Mick and Pnub (Seth Green and Elden Henson).
Featuring plenty of manicured killings, cat hurling, and topless scenes featuring Jessica Alba, Idle Hands is just a twisted ’90s black comedy that’s guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. It’s also an entertaining time capsule of Gen X culture, from the clothing to the pop culture references and music.
5. Kodo: The Art of Japanese Incense
The practice of kodo, or “the way of incense appreciation,” developed in Japan around the end of the 6th century. Traditionally, it was considered a sacred ritual that purified the body and mind, and samurai warriors were known to use smoldering sticks before heading into battle.
The shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa was an admirer of precious fragrant woods and amassed a large collection. He invited expert practitioners of his time, Sanjonishi Sanetaka and Shino Shoshin, to organize his collection and create guidelines for kodo.
The practice has been passed down through generations of aristocrats, military commanders, and businessmen. Kodo is still a rare and privileged traditional art, as the cost of sourcing and cultivating quality incense sticks is high. It also requires years of training and experience to master its nuances.