Monday, 13 April 2020

HEM Anubhuti

A sample of another HEM incense. Ho hum. I'm not anti-HEM as some people are, as some of the perfumed incense work for me, but they are not a brand that excites either. Anyway, as I open up the sample packet my first thought is that there is only one stick inside, yet when I'm sent samples there's usually at least two, and often more. Only Gokula have send me single samples, and that's because they are masala incense. And then as I pull the stick out of the inner sleeve I notice first that the smell is really nice - a natural scent, informed by vanilla and spices, and then that, gosh this is a masala stick. Natural incense, as the Indians say. This is the first ever masala incense I've had from HEM. Interesting. A little while ago I encountered a masala/natural incense from another producer who is widely known in the West just for perfumed incense, and that was Tulasi's Vidwan, so this is not the only perfumed incense manufacturer who also deals in masla.

Anyway, shortly after lighting it up I notice that it contain halmaddi. Not a huge amount, just a little. And I like that. I am particularly sensitive to halmaddi - it tends to scratch the back of my throat, and sometimes worse, but just a little is fine. Personally I would prefer not to encounter any halmaddi in an incense, but there you go.....

This is a very pleasant incense, and though it never quite lifts, it gently informs the room and leaves a very clean and pleasant aroma hinting of musk and patchouli along with that initial vanilla. Yep. Decent stuff.

Anubhuti is Hindu for the general feeling or impression you have of someone or something. It is your emotion or psychic or physical response rather than scientific or rationale.

Date: April 2020   Score:  35


Sunday, 12 April 2020

Veer Special 3 in 1

Incense packs which contain a selection of fragrances are quite popular in India - very often there is little or no attempt to identify or even differentiate the scents, it appears to be simply accepted that there will be different scents, and it matters little to identify them. I have two sample packs of Veer's Special 3 in 1. With this small pack the scents are differentiated by coloured inner sleeves, but on the larger pack (which comes with a free pen!) the inner packs are the same, and the differences between the brown coloured incense sticks are only detectable by a very slight difference in shade of brown.

The sticks are all machine made, and are decent quality everyday perfumed incense. The red has an attractive mineral quality which at times really lifts with top floral notes underpinned by musk - it presents and has elements of a modern body perfume rather than an incense. The green is more crude and simple, it is quite heady and floral like a rose incense. The yellow is OK, though is fairly generic perfumed incense. All in all this is very decent stuff.

Date: April 2020   Score: 29

Veer incense

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Veer Fresh & Fresh

Another free sample from Veer. Decent quality everyday perfumed incense. This has an attractive floral aroma. It's nothing special, but it does the job, and leaves the room feeling cleansed, perfumed, and energised. The sticks burn slowly, and decently strong without being too smoky or assertive, and the fresh scent lingers a long time. Decent stuff. Top end of everyday incense.

Date: March 2020   Score: 29

Veer incense

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Veer Special Loban

This was one of a number of samples sent by Veer when I started a business order with them. Their incense is OK - decent everyday perfumed incense, but the packets got damaged in transit, and were anyway, a little too large to send cheaply through the post, so I lost money on that. I hardly sold any in my eBay shop, and then closed the shop as it was costing me just to keep it open (that was an error on eBay's side, which has now been rectified, and I've been refunded, so I am intending to start up trading again soon). Anyway, now that we're in Lockdown, I've been attempting to sort out my incense, and came upon the samples package from Veer. The jar is very big - it is 1/4 of a kilo of incense, which sells in India for 150 rupees - £1.60. There's over 200 sticks in the jar, and the sticks are 9 inches long and densely packed. They machine made, with the incense paste applied evenly and consistently. The aroma quality is very good - it is compellingly attractive, delicately balanced between sweet and mineral, and with a very convincing scent of loban - which is also known as benzoin and as sambrini. I love it.

Date: March 2020   Score: 37

Veer incense

Benzoin / Loban / Sambrani

Veer incense

Veer Incense is the brand name of Viral Enterprises based in Valsad (Gujarat, India). They were founded in 2015 by Viral Shah and employ up to ten people. They were the first company I imported incense from. They were new at it and made mistakes meaning the boxes arrived damaged. Plus the boxes were too big to sell via mail order, so I made a loss on the deal. However, their incense sticks are decent quality everyday incense.


Veer Special Loban Score: 39 

Veer Special 3 in 1 Score: 30

Veer Fresh & Fresh Score: 29

Veer Green Forest
Score: 28

Veer Belgian Rose
Score: 28

Veer Kesar Chandan
Score: 28

Veer Sweet Mogra
Score: 28

The Best Incense Makers

Benzoin / Loban / Sambrani


Veer Special Loban Score: 39 

Yadalam Vaastu Loban Thick Dhoop
Score: 32

Hari Om Sambrani
Score: 30

Raj Guru Vandana Sambrani Cup 
with Natural Benzoin Filling
Score: 20


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Gokula Incense Cones Rajnigandha

Rajnigandha means tuberose, quite a heady jasmine like scent often used in perfume. The perfume is very pleasant, but it hasn't been well applied to the cones, so as the cone burns the tuberose scent is overwhelmed by the base material of the cone. This is not a quality product, and performs rather like the cheap self-dipped cones sold cheaply on eBay.  Shame.

Date: March 2020    Score: 19


Monday, 30 March 2020

HEM Cinnamon

This is sweet and musky with hints of fruit and wood. There's elements of frankincense. It's an odd, but very pleasant mix. Odd because it is hard to pin down the core scent, and also because it doesn't smell of cinnamon. But it is nice. It's a perfumed stick, and the stick itself smell, well perfumed, but also mildly fruity and floral, leaning in the direction of rose perhaps underpinned by peach. But on burning there's a sweet musky sort of frankincense and myrrh scent. Ho hum. Wild. There's no cinnamon in this at all. have they actually put the correct sticks in the packet? Ah! Now. The cinnamon is starting to come through. Hmm. The sticks are machine made, so my thinking is that the batch they made before starting the Cinnamon batch was Frankincense and Myrrh, and some of that perfume remained in the machine and got mixed with these Cinnamon sticks.  Anyway - whatever it is, I like it!

Date: March 2020 (Week 2 of Lockdown)   Score:  39


Sunday, 29 March 2020

Goloka Cucumber

Part of Goloka's Aromatherapy series. This is a smooth, cool, relaxing scent - gently fragrant, with hints of perfumed cucumber. It works better than expected. Not a hugely successful scent, but certainly very pleasant - perfect for sunny Sunday mornings.

Date: March 2020    Score: 33


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Tales of India Maharani Dream

Bought from the witches shop in the New Forest. OK price for OK masala incense. This is not brilliant - I think more care has gone into the packaging than has gone into the blending of the scent. It is a fairly generic masala incense scent - there's nothing particularly brilliant about it. It's a bit meh. There's a vague blurry floral aroma, but nothing distinctive. It's not that strong, and fades rather quickly for a masala.

Harmless everyday masala incense which appears to be more about the packaging than the scent.

Date: March 2020 (day four of the Covid-19 lockdown)  Score: 28

Monday, 16 March 2020

Sifcon Werewolf Bite

This is a low priced perfumed incense from Sifcon, available in corner shops as well as incense shops. It is quite bright, ammy sweet, with suggestions of strawberry. Modestly pleasant, though not very strong. It smells fairly generic, like various plastic air fresheners, but is quite acceptable.

It doesn't rock my boat, but is fine as a background room freshener.

Date: March 2020   Score: 25

Sifcon International

Monday, 9 March 2020

Match Incense Grapefruit

There is a vague fruit scent on the cones, which is more blueberry jam than grapefruit, plus a furniture polish scent. Not great. When burning, the scent evaporates, leaving only the vague scent of hot charcoal. Not great.

Date: March 2020   Score: 19

Match incense