Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sage Spirit Medicine Wheel Nature Spirits Cedar



I still like this incense, though often when I return to it I like it a little less than the time before. And then, occasionally, I like it a little more. I think the fragrance is good, but my problem is that it is too faint, and can be dominated by the core burning material. I would be interested in exploring more of the Sage Spirit range.

Date: March 2017   Score; 30



Hot and woody. Not as subtle and attractive as the Blue Corn Flower which is part of the same Nature Spirits series by Sage Spirit.  It is very nice, it has warm sandalwood with oily and and fresh spicy pine notes from the cedar. The aroma is natural and awakening, yet sensual at the same time. Initially I wasn't sure, feeling that the main aroma was similar to the base aroma of cheap incense, where all you smell is the burning sandalwood paste, or the Nepal incense where it's simply burnt herbs and sandalwood, but this is different. This is somewhat better. It is a warm, evocative, sensual, and spicy scent - clean and fresh. Like the Blue Corn Flower, the scent is subtle, and so the good points can be missed. But this is quality. I like it.  £2.64 for a pack of 11 from holisticshop.co.uk

Date: March 2015   Score: 36

***

Sage Spirit



Incense Around the World

Top Ten Perfume-Dipped
Incense Sticks

A cedarwood sampling

Sage Spirit




Sage Spirit are a company founded in 1995 by a Native American tribe, the Jicarilla Apache, who live on the Jicarilla reservation in New Mexico, not far from the border with Colorado. Burning sage smudge sticks is part of Native American rituals, and the company make and sell traditional sage smudges, but have also branched out into making Asian style incense sticks.


Reviews


Blue Corn Flower Score: 38

Cedar Score: 36

Introspection Bear
Score: 20


Wolf Teaching Score: 20

Buffalo Abundance Score: 16

Scents reviewed: 5
Highest score: 38
Lowest score: 16
Average: 26

***

The Best Incense Makers

Incense by Country

Friday, 27 March 2015

Joie Lily of the Valley



Warm, woody, burning herbs. Cheap, but not that attractive. It's OK, but this is not an incense I'll buy again. The smell is mainly of burning herbs, with some sharp acrid notes in there. There are warm floral notes with touches of vanilla, and occasionally some pleasant warm musk and sandalwood notes come to the fore very pleasantly, so all is not lost, but this is not consistent. These sticks are at the lower end of the scale for your cheap standard Indian incense. If the warm musk notes could hold their own, I'd like these a lot more.

Score: 22
***
Best of Gopal Joie incense

Best floral incense

Joie White Rose




Fairly standard incense. Not offensive, but not interesting or attractive either. Cheap enough, but not a scent to excite; useful mainly to cover up unwanted smells, though can also be used as a cheap everyday scent at any time of the day. Flexible enough to be used anywhere. Not lively, so perhaps more of a late afternoon, evening scent, or living room/bedroom.  Handrolled charcoal paste onto undyed sticks then perfume dipped. It's a warm slightly musky scent, notes of sandalwood. Quite soft. Not getting much floral or rose aroma from it, the high notes are mainly citric, slightly orange water, though some warm petal aromas do come through now and again.

Score: 24

***

Best of Gopal Joie incense

Best rose incense

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Best of Gopal Joie incense




Joie is the brand of Gopal Magic Moments, a branch of the Gopal Group, which sells tobacco, chemicals, industrial perfume, etc, and was formed in 1942. They have incense factories in Delhi, Bangalore and Baddi, and have recently introduced a conveyor belt system. They list the ingredients they use, which are all natural.

They produce fairly standard cheap incense sticks as well as wet dhoops. The ingredients they use may all be natural, but the scents are artificial, created out of processing the natural ingredients. The scents are unimaginative - White Rose, Lily of the Valley, Orange, etc. The package decoration is uninspired and poor quality (a blurred image of a bunch of white roses for example). The scents are weak, and will often reveal more of the base burning material than the intended perfume.
So far I have found little of interest in this company's products. They are similar to HEM.


Reviews


Joie Sea Breeze
Score: 31

Joie Peach
Score: 25

Joie White Rose
Score: 24

Joie Green Apple
Score: 23

Joie Lily of the Valley
Score: 22

Joie Orange
Score: 21

Joie Jasmine
Score: 20

Joie Lily
Score: 9

Gopal Joie Deluxe Dhoop
Score: 10
***

The Best Incense Makers

Joie Orange




Fairly basic sticks in standard hex box. Hand-rolled with varying thickness from sandalwood and jiggit paste  onto undyed sticks and then rolled into a masala of crushed ingredients and possibly dipped in scent. The aroma is rather basic. Fairly grassy and herby with some wood notes. Not unpleasant, but not very refined. Within that basic scent there are some high notes of fake orange. Not fresh or zesty, but like a bottle of orange oil. It's OK, but as the main scent is basic burning herbs, this is more for covering up bad scents rather than introducing new pleasant ones. There are occasional hot spots of sharp acidity, This was 62p for a pack of 20 sticks, part of a £5 for 8 packs deal from devon-doll on e-Bay.

Joie is the brand of Gopal Magic Moments, a branch of the Gopal Group, which sells tobacco, chemicals, industrial perfume, etc, and was formed in 1942. They have incense factories in Delhi, Bangalore and Baddi, and have recently introduced a conveyor belt system. They list the ingredients they use, which are all natural.

Score: 21
***

Fruit Fragrances
That'll Make You Drool

Best of Gopal Joie incense

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Frankincense



Frankincense is an aromatic resin from the boswellia tree. It is one of the most famous and oldest fragrances known to man, and was one of the three gifts given to Jesus on his birth.

The resin can be bought and burned directly on charcoal. It is a beautiful, sensual and evocative scent. It is also used in making incense. Sometimes it is a direct ingredient - added ground up as a masala, other times it is made into a liquid perfume into which incense sticks are dipped. Sometimes the scent is created artificially.

It is frequently blended with myrrh.

*  Film on the history of Frankincense.


Top Five Frankincense Scents


Aromatika Ace Scents Frankincense & Myrrh
Masala incense   Score: 40


HEM Frankincense-Myrrh
Perfume-dipped  Score: 40



Masala incense  Score: 33
Perfume-dipped   Score: 30


Other frankincense incense

Spiritual Sky (Laboratoires SIPA Frankincense) Score: 28
Dawn of Time Frankincense & Myrrh Score: 28
Auroshika Frankincense Score: 25
Stamford Exotic Collection ( Frankincense & Myrrh) Score: 23
Spiritual Sky (Emporium Frankincense) Score: 20
The Scenter Tree Resin Frankincense  Score: 19
Maroma Incense of Auroville Frankincense: 10
Emporium Dream Catcher Frankincense Score: 9

Top five average: 35
Number: 13
Highest: 40
Lowest: 9

Score: 26

Emporium Dream Catcher Frankincense





Crude and nasty. Small sticks thinly rolled with charcoal, and then briefly dipped in what is supposed to be a frankincense perfume, but that's hardly noticeable - all I can smell is the sharp dusty charcoal. This is rubbish.

Dream Catcher is a brand by EmporiumUK.biz, so also do the nasty Divine Spirit  and cheap Spiritual Sky brands. Emporiumuk have an incense factory in Calcutta, so the sticks could have been made there.

I think that EmporiumUK and Ancient Wisdom make some of the nastiest incense on the planet. 

Date: March 2015   Score: 9
***

Emporium incense

Frankincense

Aargee Patchouli (tube series)



I like patchouli - for a while, when I was a young hippy, it was my favourite scent, and I used to wear patchouli oil every day. So any patchouli incense is going to be liked by me. This is a basic everyday incense made for Aargee by an unnamed Indian incense company. Hand rolled from charcoal paste onto sticks and then perfume dipped, they are of an acceptable everyday quality.  The scent can gently fill a room, and is warm, sensual, musky and woody. At times there is more of the base paste than the perfume, and the smoke can incline to being dry and irritating, but for the warmth they quickly give a room, and that the scent pleasantly lingers, I find these an attractive and useful scent. They come in a round tube, which I like. It's probably my favourite packaging method.

Date: March 2015  Score: 33

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.  The Argee tube series, which are of basic scents - machine dipped, very heady and flowery, packaged in retro tubes with colourful, old fashioned wrappings, are by Mysore Sugandhi.

***

Ratings of other incense by Aargee

Patchouli
Score: 25

Tulasi Frankincense



Standard Tulasi quality. Small sticks decently rolled with charcoal paste onto red dyed sticks and then perfume dipped. Perfume is acceptable, with a reasonable sweet scent of frankincense with a good penetration in the room. Scent can incline to chalky and artificial, but acceptably so. As a cheap everyday scent this is OK. Can be used for several purposes. The tendency for Tulasi to make small packs of eight sticks is a little limiting as eight sticks doesn't really go far, especially as these days I like to have a stick burning in five different rooms in the morning. But I like frankincense, so this stick will work for me, and will likely be my highest scoring Tulasi scent.

Score: 30
***

More Tulasi reviews


Frankincense