A great-looking holder adds to the allure of incense

Home Front

August 09, 1998|By Young Chang | Young Chang,Contributing Writer

It's like food tasting better on decorative plates. Incense just seems to smell better when it's in a great-looking holder.

That hot party fragrance of the '60s and '70s is burning again in this summer's heat, and in cooler holders than ever. Makers are breaking away from the standard, wooden, ski-shaped holders and offering inventive and stylish designs.

A few examples: An incense-smoke-breathing ceramic dragon; a silver moon with an open mouth to hold the incense; a ring of ivory, brown and maroon elephants with holes for incense sticks on their backs; even a gargoyle that holds powdered incense.

Once associated with mysticism and religious rituals, incense is now becoming more of a "personal, meditative kind of thing," says Chad Stark, a local incense salesman and an incense fan, too. He burns scented sticks whenever guests are over, and even when they're not. "I think it makes any environment more pleasant," he says. "And even my cats love it."

Fans like Stark can not only lighten summer mugginess with the fragrance of incense, they can also enjoy the fresh aesthetic appeal of all the artistic, handcrafted holders out today.

Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519.

Pub Date: 8/09/98

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