Agarbathi For Everybody

  Some of us incense connoisseurs are very picky indeed. There’s nothing wrong with that! We know that we want our incense to have natural, high quality ingredients and and refined scents. Depending on our olfactory or spiritual preferences, we may prefer our incense in stick, cone, powder, or loose form. Some of us want absolutely no oils in our incense while some of us are absolutely fine with oils as long as they are essential oils. Needless to say, incense lovers are a very niche audience with varied preferences.

   This review will be on an Indian Agarbathi from Shroff Channabasappa Agarbathies. Yes, this is incense dough wrapped around a bamboo stick, but don’t run away yet! Just because incense is on a bamboo stick does not mean that it is a low quality chemical-laden gas station/dollar mart incense. There are many quality incense companies that choose to put their incense on a bamboo stick, and Shroff is one of them. So, here goes…

  The incense stick I am reviewing is from Schroff Agarbathies. The fragrance is called Jasmin 1940 (no “e” on the end of Jasmine). As I take a stick out from the middle of the cellophane wrapped incense (no fancy cardboard packaging with pictures here), I give it a whiff. My initial thought? FLOWERS! Like lots of flowers! I’ll tell you the truth, when it comes to me and incense, floral scents are not my favorite. I love Sri Sai Flora and most Japanese incense floral fragrances, but overall flowers can seem overbearing to me at times, so I’m a little skeptical of this one already…

  The next thing I realize as I try to light the stick with a candle- it goes out. TWICE! What does this tell me? It tells me that this incense is not covered in charcoal or drenched in oils or self lighting chemicals. So that’s +1 to me (I have a point system?). Once I get it going, the initial scent is sort of weak, which surprises me as most Indian Agarbathis are at least moderately strong. Soon, however, the room is filled with a delicate but very present scent of Jasmine flowers and a slight Sandalwood base note. 

 

  As the stick continues to burn, the fragrance becomes a little stronger as expected in an Agarbathi, but it is not overwhelming. It is actually extremely pleasant. It is a very calming and relaxing scent that is perfect for spring time. Recommended uses: as an air freshener, or simply just to have a nice fragrance around the home. I can’t really see this being used for meditation (which doesn’t make sense as I guess just about anything CAN be used for meditation) because of the strong(er) scent. Like I said, it’s not overbearing, but for meditation I prefer more gentler, background type scents. I can see it being used by people who are given to Puja offerings, etc. Overall, a very unique and amazing scent from Shroff Channabasappa Incense.

 

So, there ya go! Don’t forget to comment!

 

Want some of these incense? Here’s a great website- http://www.incense-incense.com/shchinfiquin.html

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Indian Sandalwood in Austrailia

  Sandalwood– one of the most popular aromatic woods in the world. Sandalwood can be used as a base and as an aromatic ingredient in the creation of incense. Rich in history and tradition, some of the first writings mentioning Sandalwood were written around 2,000 BC.

We all know that Santalum album, more commonly known as Indian Sandalwood, is a tree that has the conservation status “vulnerable”, which is one above endangered. It is a threatened species of tree yet it is still used in the creation of incense, perfume oils,  and cosmetics.  Needless to say, Indian Sandalwood  has more uses than wood needed to supply those uses. Fortunately, a company in North Western Australia are trying to do something about it.

TFS is “leading the world in sustainable Sandalwood supply”.  They have 7,600 hectares of Santalum album (Indian Sandalwood) and are trying to make Sandalwood a sustainable resource. Cultivation of Santalum album is difficult as it takes up to fifteen  years, and the saplings are susceptible to about 150 different diseases. Even with all these obstacles, TFS has been able to successfully cultivate Santalum album in large quantities with excellent results. It’s inspiring to see that so many people are trying to keep this wonderful gift to the world alive for years to come.

 

What are your thoughts on the use/cultivation of Indian Sandalwood?

 

How I create my incenses (and other goodies)

The process of selecting the perfect ingredients for your blends is essential, and should be a long, perfected process of trial and error. RavensonReagents has given us the privilege to have a glance into their process of selecting the perfect blend. Thoughts?

Ravenson Reagents

So here’s the thing.  I take my incense-making very seriously.  I don’t just throw a bunch of stuff together and call it good.  It takes me a while to develop a good recipe, and here’s why…

My process:

Step 1: Research.  I spend hours poring through books and notes and websites and spreadsheets, trying to find ingredients suitable for my purposes.  I don’t take this step lightly, and I try to find several sources who agree on the specific properties I’m searching for.  If one website says that X is good for Y, for example, and that ingredient piques my curiosity for the blend I’m working on, I search to see if other sources agree or if I can find some historical usage that would support that property.

Then I make a list of things that may work in this particular blend.

Just part of my too big book collection/research department.. Just part of my too big book collection/research…

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Welcome to The Incense blog!

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  Hello and welcome to The Incense blog! This blog will post at least once a week and will include my personal incense reviews, tips on making incense, and even tips on how to start your own line of handmade, natural incense and sell them! This blog will be unique in that it will be the only blog to touch on Incense entrepreneurship and incense creation as well as reviews. More exciting and interesting posts are to follow this one VERY shortly!