Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Satya (Shrinivas Sugandhalaya)

Satya Sai Baba is the brand name used by the Indian incense company Shrinivas Sugandhalaya of Bangalore. Their incense sticks and cones are high quality; hand-rolled from a masala of well chosen crushed fragrant ingredients around a charcoal base. The company use  halmaddi, a traditional fragrant resin, though the use may have changed or declined over the years according to some users. They make the world's most famous and acclaimed incense, Satya Nag Champa.

The Shrinivas Sugandhalaya company was founded in 1964 by Shri Satyam Setty from small premises in Mumbai.  It has expanded to now employ approximately 2,500 workers in manufacturing facilities in Bangalore and Mumbai, and since the death of Setty in 2000 or 1999, the company has been run by his two sons, Balkrishna Setty and Nagaraj Setty. At an unclear time in 2014, and for unclear reasons, the partnership between the sons was split, both retaining use of the name and logo of the original Satya company.  Nagraj Setty formed Shrinivas Sugandhalaya LLP in Mumbai on 8 Sept 2014.  Balkrishna Setty formed Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (BNG) LLP in Bangalore on 21 Nov 2014.

 Balkrishna Setty's HQ in Bangalore

According to some websites (not verified as fact) Balkrishna had been involved in the manufacture of the incenses, had worked closely with his father, and had personally developed Super Hit. The Bangalore site had been the centre of the manufacturing for the original Satya company. Nagraj had been in charge of distribution, and had all the distribution contacts. The Mumbai site had been the centre of distribution for the original Satya company.  In Dec 2016 a case was filed in at least one state court in America by Balkrishna Setty (Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (BNG) LLP) alleging unfair practises by Nagraj Setty (Shrinivas Sugandhalaya LLP). The claims are that Nagraj Setty sometimes uses machines to make incense, while Balkrishna Setty only uses hand rolling methods; the claim is that customers prefer hand rolled incense, and so Balkrishna Setty's incense is more popular. In order to mislead people, and to suppress competition, Nagraj Setty advertised his products using Balkrishna Setty's Bangalore address. He has also sent out cease and desist notices to all USA distributors, claiming that Balkrishna Setty is infringing on his trademarks and copyrights. I don't have any information on the outcome of the court case - I don't know if it has been heard yet.

I will be endeavouring where possible to indicate on my reviews which of the two companies was responsible for the incense being reviewed.

As of 2018, the two brothers have developed new logos, which clearly indicate which is responsible for the product in the packets. Recent incense from Nagraj which uses the new logo is of better quality as he is now using workers in Bangalore, some of whom may have experience of working in his father's incense factory.

The new logos and websites:

Nagraj Setty's Shrinivas Sugandhalaya LLP
The distributor

Mumbai - Nagraj


Balkrishna Setty's Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (BNG) LLP
The manufacturer

Bengaluru - Balkrishna

Previous logo, registered 2014 

Website:  satyaincense.com

The British incense and ethnic goods distributor Aargee contract Satya to make a number of incense sticks under the Aargee and Stamford brand.  In 2011, Aargee developed 12 new fragrances with Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (link dead) to be sold exclusively through the Stamford brand. The two companies have listed 24 fragrances they make together. (link dead).

Satya Natural
Score: 40
Satya Supreme
Score: 35

Score: 35

Satya (BNG) Patchouli (M)
Score: 35 

Satya (BNG - pre 2017) Namaste (M)
Score: 35

Stamford Midnight Calm (by Satya)
Score: 34

Satya Nag Champa Dhoop Cones
Score: 33

Satya/Stamford (Original - 2014) Knowledge

Satya Aastha
Score: 30

Satya (BNG) Dragon's Blood

Satya/Stamford (Original - 2014) Meditating Shiva 
Score: 27 

Satya (BNG - post 2018)
Egyptian Jasmine
Score: 27

Satya (Mumbai) Lavender
Score: 25

Satya (BNG) Natural Sandal Score: 25

Satya/Stamford (Original - 2014) Laxmi's Lotus 
Score: 25

Score: 25

Satya/Stamford (Original - 2014) Freedom
Score: 20

Scents: 24
Highest score: 48
Lowest score: 20


  1. Your blog is good and impressive having good information about Incense Sticks. We are also same category if you want to know about Incense Sticks Manufacturers visit our site.
    Incense Sticks Manufacturers India

    1. I don't think I've tried any of your products. If you wish me to review some, you can send samples to: 73 Cecil Road, Rochester, England, ME1 2HS

  2. Ah. That address is my old address. Samples should now be sent to

    2 Church Road, Southampton, SO19 9FS, UK

  3. I plan to read through all of these reviews, thanks for posting them!


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