We moved into a home previously owned by a Hindu family. One of the upstairs closets was their shrine, where incense was kept burning nearly 24/7/365. We would love to use this space for a linen closet, but cannot handle the overpowering smell.

We have tried vinegar bowls in the closet and baking soda as well. Some of the odor is gone (you can no longer readily smell it in the hall), but when you open the door it is still quite powerful.

I am looking for suggestions to help get rid of the smell that has likely permeated the drywall. My initial thought for the next step is using a paint like Kilz, and if that is not helpful, getting the cedar chip boards to put in over the drywall to make it into a cedar linen closet (which I would prefer not to do---would rather spend money on cedar for a larger closet).