It all began with one curious pharmacist’s son from Venlo, named René Schönefeld.

At first, René Schönefeld was the owner of a business that focused mainly on beer-brewing products. One day, he came across an incense recipe for church ceremonies. This inspired him to set out on a journey to explore more sources for incense mixtures in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In those regions, he looked for reliable suppliers and started to create various colourful and unique incense mixtures. These unique blends were being sold in the Netherlands at first, and later on all over Europe. From then on in 1936, the brand Three Kings was born.

Three Kings focussed strongly on product quality, resulting in a dominant position as an incense manufacturer in the Dutch, European and global markets. At first, incense was mainly used for medicinal purposes, nowadays, the purpose shifted to religious ceremonies. To burn the incense, charcoal was needed. Therefore, Three Kings seized this opportunity to broaden their product range.

Three Kings entered the charcoal industry successfully by being the first enterprise to develop quick-lighting charcoal. Many prospective buyers were interested in this new and innovative product. Not only prospective buyers from European religions saw the advantages of the Three Kings charcoal, but also buyers that are Middle Eastern Bakhoor users became fans of the product. Furthermore, when water pipe distributors became aware of the unique characteristics of the quick-lighting charcoal, the brand’s growth became even bigger.

Both product lines from Three Kings were major successes in their industry. In 2021, Three Kings decided to give their natural resins and incense mixtures a new brand identity. The brand René Schönefeld was born.


  • 1936 – Company founded in Kerkrade in the Netherlands, start incense sales in Dutch regions of Brabant and Limburg
  • 1947 – First Dutch factory in The Hague, located on the ‘Frankenslag’
  • 1955 – Move to a new factory just outside of The Hague, in Scheveningen
  • 1982 – Construction of a new factory in the Dutch town of Bladel
  • 1983 – Start production of incense and charcoal in the new factory
  • 1983 – The company is sold to the Koster family
  • 2021 – A new brand was born ‘René Schönefeld’ is focussing on incense blends and natural resin.


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