Thursday, 14 March 2013

The best and worse incense of the HEM Corporation

The Hem Corporation has incense factories in Bangalore, Mumbai and Bhiwandi; it was founded in 1975, and is one of the largest incense companies in the world, with over 100 different incense products which are exported to over 50 countries around the world. Their website is, where they have their mission statement to "strive to deliver genuine handcrafted Indian Incense across the world." They also have a Facebook page at

They make cones and sticks, and as well as traditional scents - mainly in their "Precious" range, such as Amber, Chandan, Jasmine, Musk and Patchouli, and flower and fruit scents, such as Coconut, they also create blends, such as Frankincense and Myrrh, and their own scents, such as The Moon. The cones tend to come in boxes of ten with a tin disc on which to stand the cones, while the sticks tend to come in 20g hexagonal packs which hold approximately 20 sticks. HEM incense products are mid-priced - the cones are available for around £1.75, and the sticks for around £1.25. No individual HEM scent has a particular reputation or popularity. People just seem to buy them because they are available, and then they recognise the brand.

While the company claim "handcrafted", and the sticks are handrolled, the scent is applied as a chemical/liquid perfume to the basic paste, in contrast to the masala blends which are purely hand made from natural ingredients. Such a method is known as perfume-dipped in the West and simply as perfumed in the East.  HEM aromas and the blends can be interesting and attractive, as with the Frankincense-Myrrrh, but the HEM brands tend to have a signature note of damp rose-scented talcum powder that catches in the throat. It may be due to an ingredient they use, or it may be that the ingredients are not fresh, or are of poor quality, or it may the effect of the chemical scent, whatever it is, I don't find it attractive. However, I find I like the Frankincense-Myrrrh, and the Cherry Vanilla, so I will keep an open mind.

There is a TV advert for the "Precious" brand on YouTube.

The reviews

Score: 40

HEM Blueberry 
Score: 37

HEM Baby Powder Score: 35

HEM Frankincense Incense Cones
Score: 33 

HEM Precious Chandan Cones

HEM Patchouli
Score: 33

HEM Cherry Vanilla 
Score: 32

HEM Protection (P)

HEM Magnolia Incense Cones (P)
Score: 32

HEM Precious Mogra 
Score: 31

HEM Myrrh Incense Cones 
Score: 31

HEM Strawberry 
Score: 30

HEM Soham Dhoop Batti (M)

HEM Vanilla Incense Cones 
Score: 28

HEM Dragon's Blood 
Score: 26

HEM Lotus Incense Cones 
Score: 26 

HEM Cannabis Incense Cones
Score: 25

HEM Coconut Incense Cones

HEM Anti-Stress cones
Score: 21 

HEM Tangerine cones 
Score: 20

HEM White Musk cones
Score: 20

HEM Precious Lily
Score: 20

HEM Gold Rain cones

HEM Diwali Special 
Score: 16 

HEM The Moon
Score: 15

Score: 9

HEM Precious Musk. 
Score: 8

Scents rated: 25
Highest score: 40
Lowest score: 8
Average score: 25

Conclusion: Not my favourite incense maker by any means; they are inconsistent, and can make some vile chemical based "floral" scents, but at their best they can produce some cheap and attractive scents suitable for everyday burning. I am inclined against them, but will succumb to cheap deals, and I'm sometimes surprised by how much I enjoy some scents.


The Best Incense Makers

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