Nag Champa Incense: Meaning, Use, & Benefits // Tiny Rituals


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Nag Champa Incense: Meaning, Use, & Benefits

nag champa incense flower

The earthly and floral scent of Nag Champa is synonymous with its homelands of India and Nepal. Made from the nature-rich ingredients of champaca, sandalwood, and the halmaddi tree, this intricate incense is soothing and warm. 

Pieced together by the King of Masala Incense, Mr K N Satyam Setty, this fragrance was whipped up in 1964 - the same day the eldest son of Satyam Setty was born. He called his son Nagaraj and gave part of that name to his fragrance in the belief that it would bring his son good fortune. This is where the Nag part of the name came from, the Champa comes from the champaca tree - its main ingredient. Nag Champa is often linked to India as this is where the champaca tree grows. It is also linked to Buddhist and Hindu practices although, in our modern world, we are more likely to link it to the scent wafting from our yoga studio. It was also the signature scent that Bob Dylan would use at his shows. 

Nag Champa is celebrated for its earthly connections. Because of its tranquil vibes and mellow moods, it is often used in aromatherapy and makes for a great tool when used in meditative practice too. 


Sweet and warming, Nag Champa is all gold, sunlight, and flowers in your hair. Because of its connection and creation from the halmaddi tree it has a woodsy scent that carries notes of moisture and the natural world. The scent of sandalwood brings an element of creaminess and of course, the Champaca is a similar flower to the magnolia meaning that you get a light and peachy smell woven in with notes of orange blossom, tea, and spice. 

Because of its rich and earthy scent and the lighter floral notes, Nag Champa is perfect for chasing out unpleasant odors. It also leaves a lingering scent long after the incense or resin has burnt out. 


champaca flower on wooden table

There are three main ingredients that make up Nag Champa - Halmaddi, Sandalwood, and Champaca. All of these ingredients can be found in India and Nepal, which is why Nag Champa incense is believed to have originated from these shores. We take a closer look at the melody of natural magic that makes the Nag Champa scent.


A gorgeous golden flower similar to Magnolia, Champaca comes from the flowering tree of the Magnoliaceae family. These trees can be found across India but also in the Philippines and Java too. Full of floral notes, the Champaca flower has deeper notes than the magnolia tree, but as the tree is also related to the star anise family, it brings a hint of spice with it too. The magnolia side brings hints of peach, honey, orange blossom, and rose tea. The star anise adds spice and sweet-scented earth. Together, the result is rich and complex. 


The sweet and earthy scent of sandalwood also plays a major role in Nag Champa. This fragrant bark is sweet, creamy and warm. This wood works wonders as a base for other scents and essential oils, and it is commonly used to marry the floral amber fragrances together. 


Halmaddi is a tree resin that works to bind the other scents. It has a scent similar to plumeria or frangipani but in terms of its essence, it is similar to Frankincense and Myrrh. Like other resins, it is bled from the tree and dried and works wonders as a binding agent, especially when blended with honey to make the bind stronger. Halmaddi used to be a protected species but as supply has dwindled, it seems this resin is becoming rare and other resins are being used in its place. 

These are the three major ingredients for making Nag Champa but over time, additional scents have been woven in too. It’s not unusual to find notes of ylang-ylang, rose, and orange blossom added to the mix. 


incense burning

Nag Champa is soothing for the body, mind and soul but the woodsy floral and spicy delight also comes with a whole host of other healing and health benefits too. Above all else, this incense is known for its calming effect and deeply spiritual association. For those who want to calm the monkey mind, reconnect to their inner path, and enhance their meditative practice, burning Nag Champa will bring bliss to the room. Here are a few more benefits of Nag Champa.

Clears Negative Energies

Being one of the most calming and soothing scents, Nag Champa can quickly cleanse and purify the air and chase away all shades of negativity. If you feel anxious in a space or if there is a lingering sense of unease, go with your gut and light up a sweet stick of Nag Champa to clear any energy that shouldn’t be there. 

Purifies a Space

Nag Champa is also a purifier of both internal and external spaces. It’s believed to have certain antimicrobial features that can clear any bacteria from the air too. 

As an Aphrodisiac

The earthy fragrance of Nag Champa is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities. Stimulating sexual desire, getting in touch with your chi, and awakening your body and your mind, the next time you want to elevate your sexual energy, try and burn some incense. 

As a Sleep Aid

If you struggle with shut-eye at the end of the day, Nag Champa can guide you to the land of nod. As this perfume quietens the mind and relaxes the body, it can help you to shut down and get the sweet sleep you need to rejuvenate your soul. 

For the Lower Chakras

Incense can also play a role in clearing chakras. As Nag Champa is linked to the earth and the root, it can help cleanse our lower chakras. The root chakra keeps us strong and stable, and the Solar Plexus and the Sacral Chakra are where we find our warrior strength, creative spirit, and sense of sexuality. Nag Champa’s warm and golden vibes fit in beautifully with those who are doing lower chakra work.

Nag Champa is ripe and perfect for those who want to welcome earthly healing fragrances. Ever ready to cleanse a space, root you down, and settle your mind, this is one of the best incense burners for those craving balance, peace, and deeper connection. Find out more about how incense works by taking a look at our guide right here


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