Incense, called "agarbatti" in India, has a long history of medicinal and religious uses and is mentioned as early as 5,000 B.C. in the Vedic literature.
Incense from Vrindavan is very special. It's all handmade in small shops using natural ingredients and it is temple incense. That means, its fragrance is meant to please God. So you know they are using the very best ingredients they can!
There are basically two kinds of incense categories in India, depending on how they are made:
Masala, meaning "spice mixture, is made by mixing solid scented ingredients to form a paste which is then rolled onto bamboo core stick. Champas and dhoops fall into this category as well.
Charcoal incenses are made by coating unscented sticks in high quality charcoal powder and then they are dipped into a mixture of perfumes or essential oils. They have a shorter shelf life and higher price tag, but the scents are truly heavenly!