Sunday, 19 May 2019

Aargee Stamford Moon Angel





Gently musky with a powdery sweetness. Some of the core sawdust is showing through in the scent. It's OK, but not the best as my youngest daughter says.


Date: May 2019   Score:   19
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Other incense by Aargee


Aargee Stamford Cinnamon (cones)




I like the scent of cinnamon, and it should be an effective incense scent, but I've yet to find a really good one. It appears to be popular to blend the scent with cedarwood, and those that do produce the best scents - such as Sifcon's Cinnamon Cedarwood

This has a damp woody scent, and the overall impression is not unlike that of the sawdust core of some cheap incenses. Not impressive. Not impressed.


Date: May 2019   Score:   19
***

Other incense by Aargee


GR International Lotus Incense Cones




Yes, we like these. Attractive sweet floral scent. A very decent everyday perfumed incense.


Date: May 2019   Score: 31
***


Best floral incense

HEM Soham Dhoop Batti




Well, here's something different and surprising - a masala style HEM product. HEM are famous (notorious?) for producing basic perfumed incense of indifferent and variable quality, more often bad than good, so to get a masala style incense from them is something rather unusual. There are a number of "Soham" branded dhoops being released by HEM under a variety of traditional fragrances. This, which appears to be the first in the series, has no stated fragrance, and is not a dhoop, despite the name "Dhoop Batti", because it has a bamboo core, and has a dusting of masala (dry, fragrant ingredients).

Soham is a Hindu mantra to affirm oneself as being a part of the universe.

On burning, the incense is quite smokey and heavy. It may prove to be a bit much for a small room. It is a little crude, but does have the aromas associated with masala incense. We found it to be the sort of incense that is best burned when away from the room, in that it was a little heavy to be present when it was burning, but it does cleanse and inform a room reasonably pleasantly with a lingering earthy hippy scent.

Not an incense for everyone - would be mostly liked by older hippies who have either very large or very smelly homes.  Wouldn't be useful for hiding the smell of dope as most ordinary folks on smelling this would think: "Ah, them damn hippies are smoking that mary u yama again!"  :-)


Date: May 2019   Score: 29
***


Dhoop




Dhoop was developed by priests in India. It is an older form of incense than agarbatti or joss sticks, though younger than resin. Essentially, a dhoop is a blended combustible incense that does not have a bamboo stick as the core. Fragrant ingredients are ground down, and then mixed with binders and wood powders and rolled into tube/log or stick shapes. This method was passed on to other Asian countries such as Tibet, China and Japan, and that is the main incense method still used there. Dhoops vary in style; some can be quite subtle and profound - as with some of the finer Japanese and Indian dhoops, or be quite earthy and herbal, and like wiccan dry blends, are intended mainly for the therapeutic qualities. Tibetan dhoops are mainly medicinal, though some people like their earthy rugged spice.

Cones may be a form of dhoop, though cones are commonly perfumed, and the dhoop term is usually confined to tube or log shapes. Dhoops may be dry or wet. The term is only used in India, so while there is little or no essential difference in production method and contents between Indian  and Japanese dhoop, Japanese dhoops are just called sticks, and will always be dry and very thin, while Indian dhoops may be dry and thin, but are usually fatter, and tend to be wetter.



Tibetan dhoop

Taiwan dhoop

Chinese dhoop in the form of a spiral



Indonesian dhoop in a coil


Japanese dhoop



Thin, dry Indian dhoop

Thick, wet Indian dhoop





Aargee Stamford Jasmine (cones)




Stamford is an Aargee brand - it appears to be used for premium and general interest incense, while the Aargee brand is mostly reserved for more traditional incense.

We tend to like the Stamford brand cones as  highly fragrant everyday incense. This is a generic jasmine scent - slightly lemony, flowery, and calming. Quite nice on an early summery evening or a gentle Sunday afternoon. Also very useful as a general room freshener. Its pleasant without being particularly yummy or wow!


Date: May 2019   Score:   30
***
Other incense by Aargee

Best jasmine incense

Ranga Rao Clove Brand Lotus





Picked up from the new corner shop for £1, a packet of Clove Brand incense from Ranga Rao. I've had their Flute Brand - which is a cheap everyday perfume-dipped incense, that turns up now and again in odd places, and their Cycle brand, which is proper job masala. Cycle brand is common in India and USA, but rare in the UK. And this is the first time I've seen the Clove Brand. This brand is machine made perfumed-dipped. To be fair, this is decent quality perfumed incense. Being machine  made the sticks are all even and consistent, so there are no problems with burning. And the perfume is fresh and consistent, so there are no off notes, and it is the perfume we smell rather than any of the binding or combustible material, which is generally what happens with poorer quality sticks.

The scent is a gentle, sweet, flowery scent. Quite pleasant to wake up the house in the morning. Yes, this is a nice everyday incense.


Date: May 2019 Score: 35

Friday, 17 May 2019

Emporium Mystic Scents Frank Incense




Budget perfume-dipped charcoal incense from Emporium. Cheap, but not good value. To be fair the scent, while hot and not clearly defined, does have some musky sweetness that aims in the general direction of frankincense, but is essentially poor quality with a generic "cheap incense" smell about it.

Nicer than the White Musk. But not by much.


Date: May 2019   Score: 19
***

Emporium incense


Friday, 10 May 2019

Emporium Mystic Scents White Musk





This is basic budget incense. Cheap, but not good value. It's not offensive, but it's bottom of the barrel stuff. There is some vague awareness of musk in the scent, but there's also some awareness of the core material.  There's so much better stuff available, getting Mystic Scents is just a waste of time and money.


Date: May 2019   Score: 18
***

Emporium incense

HEM Protection





An OK everyday incense. A warm seductive slightly musky scent. Gently sweet. HEM are not my favourite producer, but this is an OK scent which I'm happy to put in my everyday incense box, and use around the house. 


Date: May 2019   Score: 32
***


Monday, 6 May 2019

Satya (Mumbai) Sunrise




I bought a carton of 12 different Satya (Mumbai) incense, and a carton of 12 different Satya (Bengaluru) to look into the differences in the products of the two brothers.  This is part of Nagarj Setty's (Mumbai) "Oriental Series". 

The sticks are plain bamboo, of a consistently decent quality, hand rolled with a fine dusting of  fragrant masala ingredients. The stick has a volatile aroma of essential oils - tending toward coconut and orange with an underlying musky warmth and a hint of woody sandalwood. Very appealing without reaching up into dreamy.

The same scents emerge on burning, though the sandalwood tends to come to the fore, and overall the impression is a little sharper. This is an incense best burned as background, than something you waft toward yourself to explore. It's kind of an average masala incense - the sort of thing one expects - and it doesn't deliver any more than that. 



Date: May 2019    Score: 35 

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Satya (Shrinivas Sugandhalaya)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Aargee Patchouli




This is a cheap incense, yet it has a wonderful scent. Good strength, and sweet and dripping with patchouli. Nice one.

Date: May 2019  Score: 37

Note: The British importer Aargee commissions a number of Indian incense makers to make incense for them under a variety of brand names and styles. I don't yet know who makes this patchouli.  

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Ratings of other incense by Aargee