The article is dedicated to the evolution of boshanlu censers (博山炉) within the context of China's fragrance culture development. Having initially appeared in the burials of the Western Han dynasty nobility and surviving its heyday during the East Han, this kind of ritual vessel was commonplace up until the end of the Northern and Southern dynasties era (V-VI centuries). Over the course of almost 700 years, the boshanlu censer was commonly used not only as burial inventory, but also in various cult practices, palace ceremonials and for domestic, sanitary and medical purposes. On these kinds of censers, the symbols of Taoist concepts of the holy xian (仙) and the search for immortality were vividly embodied. With the spread of Buddhism in China, boshanlu censers which depicted Buddhist symbolism acquired great importance in Buddhist ritual practices. Subsequently, boshanlu censers penetrated onto the territory of the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago, where at first they were also used as a Buddhist attribute. However, unlike Korea they never attained great popularity in Japan. Boshanlu censers are most commonly associated with the Chinese Han dynasty, despite its centuries-old existence on the territory of China as well as traces of its use in Korea and Japan. Nonetheless they are not merely outstanding masterpieces of decorative art and fragrance culture, but a certain cultural symbol, where the ideology of the early stages of Chinese civilization is reflected in concentrated form.