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For many people, sage is not new to them. It has many uses as the leaves have antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic properties. The botanical name of sage is Salvia, which means in Latin to heal or be well.

Sage has a reputation as a medicinal herb over the centuries and is simple to grow and doesn’t need much care. If you wondered, what does Sage smell like? Keep on reading as we have covered it in detail. 

Why Do You Need To Use Sage?

Sage has several uses and is commonly used in cooking, medicinal, and fragrance products. Many households use sage such as nutmeg and allspice for turkey stuffing and breakfast sausage.

High-end restaurants use the fresh leaves of sages to add them to roasted pork or poultry, baked beans, or frying them in butter for gnocchi. The evergreen flavor of sage cuts through dishes with high-fat content, and it helps with the digestion of fatty foods.

The sage is an herb that comes in different varieties. For example, Purpurea sage has green leaves with light-violet stripes. Tri-Color sage has variegated leaves. Golden sage has green leaves edged in yellow. Greek sage is mainly used in salad wraps.

The tall, large-flowering biennial clary sage has been used to treat eye ailments. Several types of sage such as Chia are harvested for their seeds to make Chia Fresca beverage, which is well-known in Mexico.

The White sage or greasewood is burned as ceremonial smudge sticks to clear bad energy and spirits from your home.

Diviner’s sage is a highly potent psychoactive plant that was once restricted to shamanistic usage in Mexico. Now some people also used it recreationally, but it has a short effect.


Sage is safe to use in normal amounts. But never take sage essential oil internally as it contains toxic thujones.

What Does Sage Smell Like?

The sage belongs to the family of mint and is widely used in culinary, tea, incense, and essential oils. The smell of sage is like smelling a mint that brings coolness to the nostrils and gives you sharp cooling sensations inside your head.

When you use sage in food, you feel the strong fragrance, but if used in excess, you may not like it. The fresh leaves of common sage can be bitter and sometimes taste fishy. You should avoid old sage leaves as these are very harsh and emits a powerful aroma.

What Does Burning Sage Do?

People burn sage smudge sticks for various purposes. Smudging is famous among people as it’s based on the belief that sage smoke removes the negative energy from the house and brings happiness and positive vibes to the place.

For some, this may not sound very logical, and there is indeed no scientific evidence behind it. But sage is an herb that has several medicinal properties. When you burn and smudge the sage, it releases the chemical that helps cleanse the aura and the physical environment.

Many people claim that burning sage smudge sticks and spreading it inside their house helps them relax and feel good about themselves. They claim it to be an excellent stress reliever and use it as a spiritual ritual for self-care.

Several civilizations had the tradition of burning herbs to bring positive vibes, and the North Americans had a deep-rooted practice of burning sage. They chanted secret mantras and followed strict procedures to get the most benefit out of it.

Read More: How to Fertilize and Care for Crape Myrtles (Get More Flowers)

What Does Burned Sage Smell Like?

Many people get confused if burning a sage smudge stick smell like marijuana or a cigarette. Sage is a herb, but it doesn’t have addictive chemicals such as THC or nicotine as present in weeds and cigarettes.

Depending on the sage you’re burning, the sage will smell like burned grass or generate a light fragrance.

For example, the white ceremonial sage is used in the incense, and it has a distinct light aromatic smell. If you’re smudging, you have to light up and burn the sage in a well-ventilated area, then blow it out and walk around the house with a smoking sage. 

How To Smudge Your Apartment With Sage

If you’re new to smudging, then it’s the process of burning dried plants and herbs and using its smoke to cleanse the place and objects. The essential oil in the plant when heated up get released from the plant and provide antiseptic and antimicrobial effect inside the house.

You can combine several different types of herbs in the sage to get the aromatic effect that may feel relaxed and put you at ease. Lavender, Cedar, Rose, and Rosemarie are herbs that you can include with sage for smudging.

Here is the step you need to take when smudging your place.

  1. Start by cleaning and organizing your room. You want the place to fill with a positive vibe. The cluttered and dirty area remains the hindrance as it increases the number of dust particles inside the home.
  2. Fold the bedsheets and open the windows and curtains so fresh air can circulate inside the home. You want the sunlight to come directly inside the house as it reduces the level of moisture and helps kill some small germs and microbes.
  3. Use a candle to light the sag stick and leave the candle lit as holds the positive energy during smudging.
  4. Unwrap the sage bundle and remove and plastic wraps, if any. Lit the sage through the candle flames and let it hold fire for a few seconds.
  5. Douse the sage flame in the metal bowel, so there is no fire. Make sure only smoke comes from the sage stick.
  6. Rotate the smudge anti-clockwise around your body and circle it around the home, including closets, and under the bed. Don’t blow on the smoke, but use your hand to direct the smoke.
  7. If you’re a spiritual person, you can choose to pray; otherwise, you can focus on keeping your mind calm and do the smudging process to remove negative energies and spirits.
  8. Keep the window open to let the fresh air come, and the place doesn’t get too much smoked. Excess smoke may trigger the fire alarm, so be aware of that fact.
  9. Pets don’t like to be smudged as they get irritated by the smoke. Keep pets away while you’re smudging.
  10. Once done the process, make sure you safely douse the smokes to prevent any fire hazard and dispose of the leftover sage.

If you’re looking to buy a high-quality sage smudge stick, then check out NewAge Smudge and Herb’s wand. It comes in a pack of three and is a long-lasting with favorable customer experience. It’s made of California white mini sage and is a 3-inch long wand.  

Is Burning Sage Bad For Your Lungs?

Any smoke, when used in excess, is bad for the lungs, including sage. But the sage doesn’t have any addictive substance as in weed or cigarettes.

However, when you burn sage, you inhale the small burning particles. There is no scientific study conducted that indicates any side effect of burning sage and impacting lung functions.

But if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions, then be careful when burning sage. The smoke may cause difficulty breathing, and you have to keep windows and doors open or get outside to get fresh air.

As an alternative, you can use sage essential oils that you can use in a diffuser to get the same result. 

Does Burning Sage Smell Like Cigarettes?

Burning sage doesn’t smell like a cigarette. The cigarette smoke gets its distinct smell due to several other thousand chemicals inside it and the distinct smell of tobacco leaf itself.

Burning dried herbal sage doesn’t contain tobacco leaves or any other chemicals used in cigarette manufacturing.

Similarly, the burning sage doesn’t smell like marijuana either. Sage doesn’t have the necessary chemicals inside its leave that are present in the weeds to produce a marijuana smell.

How Long Does It Take For The Smell Of Sage To Go Away?

The burned sage smudge stick smell isn’t permanent and doesn’t linger long or stick to the clothing. If you’re smudging your place, the sage smoke lingers for an hour to two hours and gradually fades.

You can speed up the process by opening all the windows and doors and turning on the fan to let the smoke get outside the house. If you keep the doors and windows closed, then the smell may last a couple of days. 

Sage Flower in Garden

Which Sage Smells The Best?

There are different varieties of sage that produce a distinctive aroma. The fragrance is unique to individuals, and the best smell depends on your liking.

But Salvia clevelandii is a trendy sage plant whose leaves are used in essential oil and incense manufacturing. It has a fragrant light blue-violet color flower and grows up to 3 to 4 feet tall.

The other famous sage that has pleasant smells are:

  • Salvia Dorisiana: It’s also known as Fruit scented sage that generates light fruit smell.
  • Salvia Elegans: It grows up to 3 to 5 feet tall and blooms flowers in bright scarlet color flower. Its scent resembles a pineapple.
  • Salvia Clevelandii: Also known as California Blue Sage. It blooms blue-violet flowers. It’s used for smudging or incensing as it has a natural tendency to release fragrance without needing to rub it to release the aroma.


Sage has multiple benefits, and it’s great to plant in your garden. The antioxidant properties of sage make it ideal to use in herbal tea. A few chopped leaves steeped in hot water is helpful to rinse sore throats or gingivitis.

The soothing and fresh mint smell of sage makes it perfect to use in various cuisines. Through smudging, the medicinal and aromatic properties of sage also bring positive energy and calmness in your home.

What Does Burned Sage Smell Like

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