Friday, 7 April 2017

Moksh Lucky Kewda




Kewda or kewra or ketaki is the distilled essence of the screw pine or pandanus plant, which is used as a flavouring in Asian and Indian cooking, particularly biryani. The Lucky part of the name possibly comes from a nickname for Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, where the plant is mostly grown.

It's an everyday perfume-dipped incense by Moksh, but it's good stuff as the scent is a little unusual. It doesn't smell that impressive on the stick - it has a floor polish sharp solvent nature, though even there some distinctiveness is shown. The bamboo stick is not top quality as it intrudes slightly on burning - there's a little too much of burnt pencil shavings coming through. The charcoal paste has been applied very smoothly and evenly. At first it looks machine made, but looking closely some rolling marks can be seen. The scent is best appreciated in the background. If sniffed too directly, the off notes from the solvent become too apparent, but left to gently inform a room, it does offer pleasant musky floral notes with hints of leather and tamarind.  I like this. It's not one to use for meditation or for when guests are around, but as an everyday incense, it works well. Would I buy it again? Probably not, but it's up there at the top of the everyday incenses.

Score: 29

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

SAC (Sandesh) Sandalwood




I reach into my incense box for some everyday perfume-dipped incense to freshen and brighten up the house after lunch, and also do a quick review before settling down to work find a hex box of SAC, and think that'll do. Open it up and it's a a proper job masala incense. OK, fair enough. I'll give it a go. I like masala incense, but because it tends to be a bit heavy, and I can have a negative reaction to some of the ingredients, particularly halmaddi, I don't burn it as often or as casually as perfume-dipped incense, and review it rarely, because when I do burn it, I prefer to burn it in a different room to me, or burn it when we're going out so we have the benefit of it when we return (masala incense tends to linger longer and more pleasantly than perfume-dipped). Reviewing masala incense I find difficult, because to be close enough to it to do it justice can give me a headache at least, and often also set up a throat irritation.  This incense has a charcoal base onto which is rolled the dried masala ingredients - there is a solvent on top, so this has also been dipped.  Hmmm. Maybe it's not a proper job masala. There is a very thin covering of powder. The scent on the stick is citric and pure alcohol, there's pine, and some vague floral notes. Hmm. I'm just getting a bit of wood - cedar and sandalwood. But this is not a pure, quality sandal;wood. The scent from the burning stick is quite soft and mild, so there doesn't appear to be any halmaddi. The base charcoal comes through first - a little hot and harsh, but there is also an awareness of sandalwood. Hmmm. It's OK, but this is more like a perfume-dipped stick than a proper-job masala. There's a bit of both, but the main scent appears to be driven by the perfume solvent that the stick has been dipped in. It's OK, but it's going into my everyday box rather then my good stuff.

Score:  25
***

SAC (Sandesh)


Sandalwood



Friday, 31 March 2017

Moksh Swarna Gulab (स्वर्ण स्वर्ण - Gold Rose)




I reviewed a Moksh incense back in 2013 - Akash Phool; a reasonably pleasant fragrant everyday perfume-dipped incense. I said I'd be interested in reviewing other Moksh incense, and now, nearly four years later, I get around to it. This is kinda similar to the Akash Phool in that it is highly scented, with a chemical rather than natural formulation (sharp, acrid notes of toilet cleaner); machine made, perfume-dipped on charcoal. The scent when burning is gentle, surprisingly refined, and quite floral. It is certainly better than toilet freshener incense, though a good way from being heavenly, and just falls short of being the sort of good stuff I'd like to buy again. This is decent, basic everyday incense. Top end of the everyday incense, but not one to use when friends or guests are expected, or when you want to have a special moment, but fine for lighting up any time you want some gentle and pleasant floral notes in the house that you're not really going to spend any attention to.

The name Gulab is Hindi - स्वर्ण - for Rose. And the subtitle is "Natural Rose Flowers' Fragrance". The box is attractively decorated with roses. The brand range is Swarna - स्वर्ण - meaning Gold.

Moksh TV Advert from April 2015.

Score: 29

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

SAC (Sandesh) Jasmine (cones)



A fresh clean smell like freshly cut cucumber. Not floral, but certainly pleasant and cleansing.  Not a heavenly or profound scent, this is a decent everyday incense that will bring life and some joy to a room. It feels cool and refreshing like strong mints. Not sophisticated, but enjoyable everyday stuff.

Score: 27
***

Incense cones

SAC (Sandesh)


SAC (Sandesh) Rose (cones)



This is basic bottom of the range everyday perfume-dipped incense. Despite the name there is little awareness of roses or indeed of any floral quality. The scent on burning is not strong, but is fresh, slightly sharp, tangy, and reminiscent of toilet cleaner. Lemon is the nearest scent. Best used simply to freshen up the toilet.

Score: 19
***

Incense cones

SAC (Sandesh)


Best rose incense

SAC (Sandesh) Patchouli (cones)





I am a sucker for patchouli, and this everyday perfume-dipped cone has not let me down. OK, it's not a heavenly example, and it starts off a little sharp and medicinal, but it settles down into a warm, herby/musky aroma - this is good stuff. This will inform and warm up any room, and create a pleasant smelling and mildly sensual atmosphere in the house. I like this, and will be buying more of the same. Yes, Good Stuff.

Score: 33
***

Incense cones

SAC (Sandesh)


SAC (Sandesh) Lavender (cone)




This is a fairly basic, though not offensive, perfume dipped incense cone. The scent notes are medicinal, slightly sharp, quite faint, a little smoky from the charcoal. This is better than the bargain basement toilet cleaners, but is at the bottom end of the everyday incense.

Score: 20

***

Incense cones

SAC (Sandesh)


SAC (Sandesh)




The Sandesh Agarbathi Company (SAC) was founded in 1970 by D.N.P. Guptha  in Bangalore, the centre of India's incense industry. They started as a cottage industry, but are now a significant exporter around the world, with over 250 different incense products, many of which are listed on the American retail site IncenseOnTheWay.  The company is a member of the All India Agarbathi Manufactures Association.

Reviews


Masala incense.  Score: 33


SAC (Sandesh) Patchouli (cones)
Perfume-dipped. Score: 33


Perfume-dipped.  Score: 32


SAC (Sandesh) Champa
Perfume-dipped. Score: 32


SAC (Sandesh) Patchouli
Perfume dipped. Score: 29

SAC (Sandesh) Jasmine (cones)
Perfume-dipped Score: 27


SAC (Sandesh) Sandalwood
Score: 25


SAC (Sandesh) Lavender (cone)
Perfume-dipped. Score: 20

***

The Best Incense Makers


Top Ten 
Perfume-Dipped Incense

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Stamford Lavender (cones)




These are pleasantly candy-sweet, like much of Aargee's perfumed cones (Stamford are a brand name used by the British importers Aargee). There isn't much sense of lavender, though there is some floral character. It's an OK everyday incense. It cleans a room, and creates a relaxing atmosphere. Ah. Hmmm. Yes, I am picking up some lavender notes now. Yes, a dried lavender scent. Quite nice. I like these.

Score: 34

***
Other ratings of incense by Aargee



Top Ten 
Perfume-Dipped Incense

Monday, 27 March 2017

GR International Lavender (cones)




Quite smoky, and a tad harsh with sharp spikes. This is a floral incense, though it's a little vague, and strikes me as more rose than lavender. Not unpleasant, but not my thing, and I'm not finding that much to like about it. Hot, simple, smoky, floral, but not clearly defined - in short there is little here to commend this, other than it produces a lot of smoke and some vague floral scent.

Score: 24

***

GR International



Top Ten 
Perfume-Dipped Incense