Sunday, 6 July 2014

HEM Precious Mogra (Jasmine)

Poorly and thinly rolled charcoal paste onto variable and often flimsy yellow sticks. and them perfume dipped. The sticks are poor quality, but the scent is quite acceptable: a fairly typical floral synthetic scent, but quite pleasant, and with a decent strength and an attractive lingering fragrance. Bought as part of a deal on Amazon, which works out at 50p a packet, postage included. these are cheap enough.

I'm not a fan of HEM, and these are not quality incense sticks, but they do the job, and I find the scent attractive enough to buy again at this price. I do like jasmine incense.

Score: 31

HEM Corporation

Best jasmine incense

Metro Rose

99p from TheVillageMarket, who had to phone me twice because they had problems with the order. Given that I have found Metro incense at other online stores at prices 50p, 55p, and 60p, I'll not be using them again. The sticks are decently rolled using charcoal paste on firm sticks -  not cheaply made but not top quality either. The scent is pleasantly floral, though quite light - the paste is not sparsely applied, but is not generous either, and it seems that a modest amount of perfume has been used. The scent is nice, but in an effort to keep costs down the scent is not very strong. The scent lifts a room, and gently fragrances it with a summery floral bloom, giving a clean, bright, happy feel.  Nice.

Score: 31

Metro Agarbatti Company of Pakistan

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Metro Agarbatti Company of Pakistan

The Metro Agarbatti Company of Karachi, Pakistan, use an image of a white and ginger cat as their trademark, and call it the Cat Brand. The company was formed in 1970, and are the largest incense company in Pakistan, with 95% of the market. They are working hard to improve their export trade, and have been achieving some success with the Metro Milan.

Metro Three in one

Three in one is a mixed pack which contains the fragrences Chariot, Jasmine and Sandal. The scents  come from synthetic perfumes, and clearly so, but are much more appealing than many natural scents, such as Nepal incense, and way more attractive than the cheaply perfume dipped incenses marketed by UK based distribution companies such as Ancient Wisdom.

Score: 30

Metro Rose

The scent, pleasantly floral, though quite light, lifts a room, and gently fragrances it with a summery floral bloom, giving a clean, bright, happy feel.  Nice.

Score: 31

Mahendra Bhajan

Attractively packed in a six sided box, these are very pleasant hand-rolled and perfume dipped sticks from Mahendra Perfumery Works of Bangalore, who also make the Belco range of sticks. Available from 99p to 1.26p online, they are cheaply made, with the sticks varying in thickness, and the charcoal paste poorly rolled, but the perfume is very attractive. The promotional blurb is:

"Bhajan incense sticks were inspired by the bhakti (devotion) of the 16th Century Indian poetess Mirabai, who wrote thousands of poems and songs in praise of the "naughty boy" Krishna. (Bhajan means a song or musical composition for prayer or worship). Bhajan incense is very popular with the Krishna devotees of Bengal and Orissa, and is carried to Shree Brindavan Dham, (Krishna’s village of 5000 little temples) throughout the year, but especially in the Autumn, in the Kartik month. The fragrance is a powerful, fresh green woody aroma with lavender overtone."

I find the fragrance to be floral, with a gently heady scent of jasmine heightened with a hint of roses, and supported by a base of sandalwood.  It creates an exotic yet soothing atmosphere, softly romantic, and mildly erotic. It's a very welcoming scent, and can be used for when quests arrive.

Score: 33

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Stamford Earth Angel

Decent quality incense. Frankincense aroma. Very pleasant. Made in India for Aargee's Stamford incense brand. Bought from an Amazon trader for £1.20 including postage. There are other aromas in the Angel range, generally in the £1.20 to £1.80 price range. I prefer to pay around £1.50 for 15 decent incense sticks than £1.50 for 75 poor quality ones. I am attracted to the concept of the range: decent hex boxes, all pink, and all on an angel theme, and if the others are of the same aroma quality, then they are worth seeking out.

Score: 32

Other ratings of incense by Aargee

Saturday, 14 June 2014

BML Aromatize Incense Stick

Another British distribution company getting in on the cheap dipped and coloured incense market. These sticks are cheaply and poorly made in China for BML (Benrose Marketing Ltd). As is typical of these cheap perfume dipped incense products, there is little charm or character - the sticks come in unattractive cheap packets, with basic popular scent names: Vanilla, Lavender, Rose, Jasmine and Sandalwood, each dyed an appropriate colour, and each producing an aroma of the base organic material rather than the named scent.

Bought for £2.99, including postage, off an Amazon trader. Pretty pointless.

Score: 20

PMS International Incense Sticks Assorted Aromas

Unbranded pack picked up from a local market stall for £1.20. These are imported by PMS International, a large UK importer and distributor of a range of goods, founded in 1970. This is in the current trend for colourful sticks which are cheaply dipped in perfume which soon fades, leaving just the basic aroma of the materials used to make the blank (unperfumed) stick. These have the herby dried cow pat aroma I associate with Tibetan and Thailand incense, though may also be present in some Indian incense cones if used for cheap perfume dipping.

There are six different scents - each packed into the increasingly commonly seen square box holding six to ten sticks; in this case it's eight sticks - all thinly though tightly handrolled onto a plain bamboo stick. The colouring may be a dye or may be a coloured powder. The perfume on the sticks is sweet but very light. The faint scent may be due to budget restraint or simply that the perfume has faded. I find it not uncommon in many of the perfume dipped incense which are not branded by an Indian company, that the perfume can fade, leaving just the herby aroma of the base material.

The scents are Lemon, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Rose, Jasmine, and Lavender. Each one does have a mild suggestion of the named scent, such as the Lemon does occasionally have the faint whiff of a lemon-drop sweet, but essentially each stick has the herby aroma of the base material, and there is little to differentiate them other than by the colour of the stick.

Score: 20