What is Paper Incense?

Paper incense originated in the country of Armenia — that’s why it’s also called Papier d’Arménie. At Verdalina we carry the original French brand Papier d’Arménie, and a more contemporary Japanese Scented Washi Paper variety by Morihata.

Papier d’Arménie

First created when Auguste Ponsot visited Armenia and noticed that the locals there scented and disinfected their homes by burning benzoin resin (a natural substance from the Styrax tree). Intrigued by this practice, upon return to France, Auguste worked with a pharmacist who discovered that by dissolving benzoin resin in alcohol created a persistent odor. Adding perfume to that odor created a beautiful scent. Infusing paper and creating booklets of incense have been produced by Papier d’Arménie in a Paris suburb continually since 1885. Today Papier d’Arménie remains a family business with a loyal and dedicated staff.


It is traditional to burn these papers several times a week in French homes, to perfume the air, get rid of smells, and also to purify the air too. To use you simply tear off one of the paper strips, fold it in an accordion shape, place it on a plate or other surface, and light it while slightly blowing on it, so that it burns slowly without being set completely on fire. Incense burners are a typical place to burn the paper strips, but you can place them on any burn-proof surface.

You can also use these little strips without burning by placing them inside and between items. They can fragrance drawers, closets, wardrobes, and even books.

As it burns Papier d’Arménie gives off the scents of vanilla, incense and myrrh, and other woody scents. It’s a pleasant scent that’s pleasing to most— not too intense or overwhelming. The air of your home after burning these papers will be beautiful to smell, and will neutralize any other odors in your home.


Papier d'Arménie has been found to release benzene and formaldehyde. However, of 72 popular scent burning products tested, Papier d'Arménie presented the lowest rates. Normal use, 3 or 4 strips per week, does not present a hazard to your health. It’s safe to enjoy. And enjoy you will.