I like that general hardware stores are selling incense, so I always support the initiative by buying. I picked up this set of four fragrances for £1.29 from my local general hardware store. To be honest I wasn't expecting much as these cheap incense sticks tend to be charcoal sticks dipped in some cheap perfume solvent that fades, so when burning what you get is the base organic material rather than the perfume fragrance. This Enchanted Bouquet, however, is quite charming, and is excellent value for money. The aromas are fairly simple floral notes, but very pleasant and ideal for everyday use. They have an attractive scent when burning, and the scent lingers for an impressive amount of time. They are great for freshening up a house in the morning or before visitors. They are not exotic or special enough for burning while visitors are in the house, or for intimate occasions, but they are better than basic toilet fresheners. They make for great everyday incense. I like them a lot.
They are made in India for the UK based Sifcon International company who are a wholesalers dealing in household goods. The sticks are not perfume dipped, but are made from natural hand rolled masala ingredients. I don't know what the arrangement Sifcon has with the manufacturers - if they are, like Aargee, working with a large company such as Mysore Sugandhi, or, like Gokula and Happy Hari, if they commission directly themselves from a smaller independent producer, but they are clearly using folks who are making the sticks in a traditional manner, and - importantly for me - are doing it the way that most incense in Indian is made, rather than the current hip American way of including halmaddi. Halmaddi, for me, intrudes on an incense, and has unpleasant physical side-effects. I am possibly unique in this, as halmaddi is very popular in America, and increasingly so here in the UK where importers like Aargee are commissioning more and more incense made with it. But I am pleased whenever I find a decent incense that doesn't use halmaddi. I feel physically better off for it, feel financially better off as halmaddi use is expensive, and feel morally better off as the tree from which halmaddi is extracted is under constant threat of extinction due to the demand in the West for incense made from it.
This is an excellent find, and I will be buying a stock of them, and hope the company extends its range, and is successful. I would love to see more everyday incense being sold in general stores and in supermarkets. I feel sad when I pass by the air freshener aisle and see all the chemicals on display there, and absolutely no incense. We have aerosol sprays which harm the atmosphere, and we have plug-ins which use energy. We have chemicals of all sorts. But none of the big supermarkets carry natural and beautiful hand rolled masala incense.
Mildly sharp with an invigorating freshness verging on lemon. There are flowery notes behind the lemon, and a sense of the floral quality of roses. Quite impressive for the price.
Flowery with vanilla overtones and a sense of soapy linen. Freshens a room pleasantly with a natural scent. Not heavy or intrusive - simply pleasant. Excellent value everyday scent. The only complaint is that it is underwhelming and a little ordinary, but sometimes that is just what we want.
The mildest and most subtle of the four, there is perhaps too much intrusion of the base organic material in the floral notes, though that could be the result of inadequate rolling in this batch than the ingredients or menu. The perfumes inclines a little more toward rose than lotus.
Predominantly floral though not heady. The perfume drifts on the breeze. It's not faint, simply soft and gentle. There's some sandalwood underlying this giving a sensual warmth. This is perhaps the most evening accented of the four scents. I really like this one.
Overall score: 33