Sense of smell is so wonderfully tied to memory. Whenever we light one of these classic strips of French incense burning paper we are immediately transported to our sister's Parisienne fifth floor garret apartment in the 7me, truffle honey on the table, Serge Gainsbourg on the turntable. Ahhh, quelle vie. Dating back to the late 1800's, Frenchman Auguste Ponsot was inspired to create these then-revolutionary papers by the traditional Armenian practice of burning resin from Japanese Snowbell trees to cleanse and purify their homes. The slightly sweet, subtly woodsy scent is like a less stringent and more subtle version of sage smoke, and, like so many quintessentially French things, is simply the loveliest. Each booklet contains 36 strips.
To Use: Separate a strip from its sheet and fold it into an accordion zig-zag. Consider putting Edith Piaf's "L'accordeoniste" on in the background, or go with Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" instead. Light one end of the strip and then blow it out. Set the smoking strip on a heat proof dish. Et voilà. Strips can also be used without burning in drawers, cupboards, or between the pages of books for a subtle lingering perfume.