There are quite a few benefits from reducing stress and aiding sleep, to increased productivity and even a strengthened immune system. The following benefits are only true for 100% natural incense.
Being in the same environment as incense has been linked to heightened creativity. The basis for this is similar to listening to music providing inspiration and motivation. Aromas are also a very powerful emotional memory trigger which can help to stimulate thoughts and creativeness (Collins, 2012). Agarwood is particularly effective due to its distinctive and psychoactive nature.
When we're angry, stressed or upset our brains release stress hormones. These hormones cause inflammation which, in turn, causes the release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as stress hormones such as cortisol. These can greatly impair cognitive function, almost 'clouding' the natural process. This is a major reason why stressed people can perform much worse than they would normally. The inhalation of particular aromas has been found to be an effective method for reducing the heart rate and soothing nerves. They can also cause certain ion channels in the brain to trigger the creation and release of mood elevating hormones and proteins such as TRPV3 and serotonin, which can drastically reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety and even depression. Studies show that agarwood is one of the best scents for this. Frankincense and vanilla have also been shown to work well.
Buddhist and Hindu monks have burned agarwood during their meditation for thousands of years, so as to help them clear the mind and improve concentration. Increased levels of focus directly correlate with increased productivity. The burning of agarwood has been found to be the best for this and is ideal for working, studying and similar activities.