Incense (香, xiāng) have been used in China as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) in many different forms. These aromatic substances are made from fragrant wood, herbs, resin, and spices that have been ground up into powder and later burned to produce a pungent fragrance in the air. They are mainly used for religious and spiritual purposes, but can also be used for medicine and aromatherapy.
In China, they are the most popular in the form of joss sticks. They are used while offering prayers to ancestors or religious divinities in shrines or at the altar in homes, which is a daily custom. The Chinese people believe that the smoke from the burning joss sticks is what sends their prayers to heaven.