Thursday, 23 February 2017

Poundland Coley & Gill Strawberry Flower & Lily Incense Sticks & Holder




These Poundland sticks have surprised me. They are machine applied sawdust paste dipped in a scented solvent, and they only cost a pound for 60 sticks plus a wooden incense stand, and they were bought in a general store rather than a specialist incense store, so expectations are low, but the scents are really quite pleasing. No, they are not heavenly, and no they are not scents that will create a mood, or encourage the person you fancy to fall in love with you, but they are fun and fresh and lively. This has a distinct fruit edge - not fresh fruit, but a sort of fake orange spray fruit, or the kind of thing you get on a car freshener, but it works fine. As a cheap everyday casual room freshener these do the jon in a bright, funky way.


Score: 27


The Best Fruit Fragrance Incense



Poundland Coley & Gill Fresh Lavender Incense Sticks & Holder




Has a similar feel to the scent as the Fig and Wild Plum,  there's an inviting candy sweetness with a suggestion of red fruit. It's not as rich and exotic as the Fig, but it's a lot better than I expected, and is certainly the best cheap scent-solvent dipped "lavender" incense I've encountered. Given that it's only a pound, this is something I would consider buying again (if I didn't already have tons of incense sticks in the house!)


Score: 20





Poundland Coley & Gill Fig and Wild Plum Incense Sticks & Holder





Cheap scented-solvent dipped sticks from Poundland, but the aroma is very likable. It has deep, rich, warming and juicy plum notes - fruity and yummy. This is a good value everyday incense if you like the aroma of fig and plum (which I do).


Score: 33


The Best Fruit Fragrance Incense




Evolution 7 Incense Stick Lavender 47cm





These are huge sticks. £1.25 for 10 from my local hardware shop. We have used them in the garden, but they are only coloured lavender, the actual aroma is the base laurel tree sawdust. A bit of fun, and not offensive. Useful for keeping away flies when eating outside.


Score: 13










The Best Fruit Fragrance Incense





Fruit doesn't appear to be an obvious incense fragrance, but there are quite a few of them. Mostly they are nit that good, but occasionally it works quite well, producing a fresh and zesty fragrance.




Poundland Coley & Gill Fig and Wild PlumScore: 33



Bloome Incense Garden Strawberries

Score: 33


GR International Strawberry

Score: 32



HEM Cherry Vanilla

Score: 32


HEM Strawberry

Score: 30


GR International Tangerine

Score: 30



Match Incense Pineapple
Score: 30


Match Incense Kiwi
Score: 30


GR International Greenapple cones
Score: 28

Poundland Coley & Gill Strawberry Flower & Lily
Score: 27




Joie Peach

Score: 25


Joie Green Apple
Score: 23



Krishan Peach

Score: 22


Score: 22


Score: 22


Joie Orange
Score: 21



Spiritual Sky
Score: 20




Divine Spirit (Strawberry)Score: 18



Juicy Jay's (Orange Overload)
Score: 18



Bloome Incense Sweet CherryScore: 13



***








Bloome Incense Sweet Cherry




Of the budget incense packs I'm reviewing I'm licking Bloome the most - they are the best value (80 sticks plus wooden holder for 99p), and the Strawberry and Sandalwood scents are ones I'm quite happy with, especially at the price. This cherry I'm not so keen on.  The aroma is not really cherry - there's some pleasant aromas on the stick - chemical generated, and not fruity, but sort of floral, medicinal, mineral - no scent I can quite pin down, but there's wood polish, and - yes, I guess I am getting a suggestion of morello cherry. Unfortunately when burned, the aroma is just the laurel tree sandalwood base.


Score: 13



The Best Fruit Fragrance Incense






Bloome Incense Indian Sandalwood





Bloome Incense are distributed by a company called OTL, who are based in Yorkshire, and offer a range of goods for discount and 99p stores. I got these from my local 99p shop, and I quite like them. There are 80 in each pack, and there are currently only 20 left, so I have quite happily burned 60 of them - the other budget packs I have lying around tend to only have had one or two burned, but these suit me, and I use a lot of incense (I like to start the day burning a stick in each room to wake up the house to a pleasant fresh scent, and will continue to burn sticks throughout the day to suit my mood, and especially before visitors arrive, so they are welcomed by a pleasant scent - and we always use a stick or cone in bathroom after using it!) so I have been using these as a morning house freshener. It also helps that the scent itself is sandalwood, as that is a deep, woody scent that blends well with the base paste of laurel wood sawdust. Also - I LOVE sandalwood!

So, for me, this is a good value basic scent. It's not a great scent, but it does give a basic sandalwood aroma that is useful as a casual everyday scent, or room freshener.


Score: 30




Sandalwood


Poundland Coley & Gill Cotton Fresh Incense Sticks & Holder




These were a £1 from Poundland. The brand name, Coley & Gill is a PO Box number in Birmingham which belongs to Poundland, though they try to conceal it for marketing purposes (on the whole people regard "own brand" products as of lesser quality than other brands).

As with the other budget packs, this looks attractive, and appears to be good value. The sticks are machine made. This is not a problem in itself - what happens is instead of someone rolling the base paste onto a stick by hand, with the inconsistencies that comes with such a method, the sticks are fed into a machine which applies the paste evenly - the sticks are then dipped into a perfume - or scented solution. Most hand rolled sticks are also dipped into a scented solution after being rolled, so the machine made sticks are not inferior to those. However, in general, the incense sticks that are the most heavenly - that produce scents people pay attention to, and which can create certain moods and atmospheres, are made by hand from a masala (a mix) of dried ingredients. A damp, sticky base base is rolled onto the sticks, which is then rolled over the powdered masala, picking up the fragrant ingredients which adhere to the sticky paste. The sticks are then left to allow the base paste to dry. The advantage of using dry ingredients is that the scent is more stable, gives a greater range and depth of fragrance, and it is the fragrance itself you smell when the stick is burned.

Anyway. How's the fragrance on this stick? Well, as is common with cheap scented solution dipped incense, the aroma on the stick itself is quite attractive - it does indeed smell of freshly washed cotton - a little bit soapy, and a little bit floral. Quite nice. But that scent is quite faint on burning - the smell is mainly the base organic material, which is sawdust from the machilus tree, a type of laurel (some sticks use a charcoal base - you can tell which is which by the colour: brown is sawdust, black is charcoal). It's quite a harmless, inoffensive scent - but there are plenty of better ones out there, even for a £1, though you would only get around 12 - 15 decent sticks for a £1. You can play plenty more than £1, though paying more doesn't always mean you will enjoy it more, as scent is such a personal thing.


Score: 12


The Candle Company Tea Rose Incense Sticks & Holder






Right - had a good rummage, and I'm going to clear out all the cheap bulky incense packs I've acquired. So I'm going to do a blitz through them today. I think there's about ten of these bulky packs that I've not reviewed.

These packs tend to look promising - the packs are glossy, professionally designed, large, and tend to contain a free wooden holder. The prices are generally somewhere between £1 and £2 for 60 sticks and a holder, so appear to be good. value. This one has a lovely picture of a rose, and dusky rose coloured sticks. The scent on the stick is quite pleasant - a candy sweet slightly rose floral scent, though on burning it is mainly the base core that is noticed, as the volatile aromas of the scent are burned off to quickly. That is a common fault of cheap, perfume dipped sticks. They may smell OK on the stick, but when burned they all end up smelling the same: vague burning organic matter, like dried grass.


Score: 12



Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Candle Company Lavender 60 Sticks & Holder





Bought, probably for less than £2, in some shop somewhere which I can't remember. When I see incense for sale in a hardware shop or gift shop or pound shop, I'll buy it to support the idea of selling incense in all shops. And, also, because I'm a bit of a collector, and I like to try all the incense that I see!

This is not a quality incense. There's no awareness of the lavender scent, it's more about the base burning material, so it's quite woody, and a little sharp. It doesn't really serve as a good introduction to those who are not used to incense. I can't imagine anyone who buys this, buying incense for the first time, will return to get more.  But, each to their own, perhaps they will. I got into trouble last week for posting a picture of an Ikea wingback chair on Facebook and saying how cheap and nasty it looked, only for one of my nieces to post a picture of the same chair in her home, saying that tastes differ. So. Yes. Some people may well like this, and buy it again. I won't.


Ah, but having said that - I have bought it before - as part of The Candle Company Floral Scented Incense Sticks variety pack!  Hah!


Score: 12



Stamford Chakra Anahata Heart






Anahata Heart has a seductive lemon and rose petal scent - quite uplifting and warm. Anahata is the fourth of the Charas, and is the one relaxing to the heart, so having a rose scent, which is associated with love, as is the heart, seems very fitting.

Chakra is a series of seven scents from Stamford, which they use for sticks, cones, essential oils, granules and fragrances.  Chakra are the areas in the body that are centres of life force or energy. Anahata  is represented by the colour green, which is the colour of the box. There is a diagram of the seven primary chakra on the box, and a little bit of information about keeping your chakra in balance.

I starting reviewing Stamford's Chakra range in September 2013, when I bought Stamford Chakra Muladhara Root Incense Sticks - I liked them so much I decided to buy the whole range, and have been reviewing them one by one since then.  This is the fourth one, so only three to go!

Score: 40


Other ratings of incense by Aargee


Best rose incense


Elements Angel of Love






Bought these from The Market Gallery in Marlands Shopping Centre in Southampton for £1 while doing some Christmas shopping last December, where I also bought the very cute mirrored incense holder. The Elements brand is part of Something Different, a wholesalers who deal in cute unicorn, magic, and Indian inspired gifts as well as an extensive list of their own branded incense. The box has a wonderful design, which is by Jessica Galbreth, a jewellery designer and giftbox artist.

The incense is machine applied charcoal paste which is then perfumed dipped. There is some degree of sharp solvent about the fragrance, which is faint and doesn't last long, but it is reasonably attractive. I am not opposed to perfume dipped incense, and there is some attractive promise about the scent here which has a fresh mineral quality, like walking along the Cornish coast in the summer - hints of summer flowers drifting in the breeze - there's a tantalising mix of flower perfume and fresh pine. This is not high quality stuff you would use when guests come round, or for when you want to mediate, or when you want to create a seductive moment, but it is better than a simple bathroom freshener, and I love the concept of the box design. Incense is about a whole number of things, and I think we need to feel positive about the product before we even start burning it, so the Angel of Love name, and the attractive box, are, for me, strong points here, and I want to like this incense a little more than I do at the moment.


Score: 23