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Do Incense Cones Expire?

Backflow incense cones


A popular form of incense is the cone, which is very easy to use. They are typically made of compressed powder with a metal or bamboo core or often without one. There are various kinds of incense cones, like the backflow incense cones, which, when paired with an incense waterfall from Australia, create a zen-like sanctuary for you to enjoy.


Many of you asked us, do incense cones expire? Can I use backflow cones I got from my trip to Asia safely in 2020? We answer your questions and tell you if you should use old incense cones or throw them away in this blog.

Do Incense Cones Expire?

It is a common misconception that incense cones do not expire. However, waterfall incense cones have a shelf life, so they will eventually go stale.


Does this mean you should throw away your old cones? Absolutely not! Just like every other thing, incense in itself never goes bad or becomes rancid. It just starts to deteriorate.


For example, a cone that used to burn for 45 minutes and keep the house smelling fresh for up to 3 hours may now burn for 30 minutes and keep the home fresh for maybe 2 hours once it's become older and the oils in the cone dry out.


Ranjatai, a piece of aloeswood in Japan, still smells beautiful even though it's well over 1000 years old. A Reddit user that goes by the name - u/kensboro says that they have some Indian incense from the late 70s or early 80s and they still burn and smell well.


So while the incense waterfall cones may technically expire, they don't expire like fruits. Instead, they just slowly deteriorate until no fragrance is left in them.

How To Keep Your Incense Fresh For Longer?

If you store your incense cones properly, in air-tight containers or zip lock bags and away from moisture, heat and direct sunlight, then your waterfall cones and sticks will tend to stay fresher and won't deteriorate.


Another thing to note is to never mix multiple incense together for storage, as this will muddle them, and you'll end up with a blend of smells you never signed up for.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Incense?

In our testing, we've found that many of our modern incenses start to deteriorate after two to three years of storage under unsuitable conditions. However, if you have high-quality scents like frankincense resin, Arabian Oudh or agarwood, then you'll still be able to use them decades after you originally purchased them as they tend to stay good for an extended period of time.

Should I Use Old Incense Cones?

Yes, it is safe to use old incense cones as long as you see no physical signs of deterioration like fungus, mould or flaking. So if you have some ancient incense lying around, give them a burn. You may be pleasantly surprised by how well they still smell and burn.

Final Thoughts

Old incense doesn't really expire, but they do definitely go bad. So if you have any old incense, it's better to use them and grab some new ones. You can grab our waterfall incense burner if you're looking for new smells to fill your home with joy.