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Thread: incense

  1. #1

    Default incense

    Anybody have any experience with incense they could comment on?

    I am not into most home fragrance stuff but I have found recently I really like incense, this is my latest experiment in the olfactory world. I made a homemade censer using an old flower pot dish and have been burning bits of censer/shisha charcoal with incenses on top. The smell is very nice and it is not smokey. Also, I've got hold of better quality incenses that are fresh, and combined with the charcoal method, there is less stenchy smoke and more fragrance.

    I would like to try burning some Frankincense resin some time, and also agarwood chips. I burned an agarwood cone several weeks ago, and the smell was a bit stenchy. I think it might work better with indirect heating. Also, I tried grinding up a Srinivas Nag Champa incense cone and sprinkling it on top of the coal and it makes a very nice smell indeed.

    I would like to try out an electric heated censer or bukhoor heater to see if I couldn't cut down on the charcoal use, though.

  2. #2
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: incense

    Since you have a censer and charcoal, I can definitely recommend Ancienne Ambience to you. They have lovely incense mixes (resin, herbs) that are amazing. They are more powerful than joss sticks and really re-create the ancient experience of incense in temples.
    http://www.ancienneambiance.com/home

    You might also try church supply stores (esp. Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox)... maybe you've done that already.

    The best incense sticks I've found are by a company called AIRS. Lots of places carry these.
    I like the following:
    Vetiver, Oakmoss and Sandalwood -- A very soothing, beautiful scent. The sticks themselves smell terrific even before they are lit.
    Frankincense & Myrrh -- rich but not sweet. Quite compelling, excellent scent.
    Cedar, Sage and Eucalyptus -- very woody, generates a very smoky scent.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: incense

    Fred Soll www.fredsoll.com makes a wonderful product. I burn at least one stick a day. They are loctaed in New Mexico, and are very high quality. My favorites are:

    Egyptian Musk
    Lovely Lavender
    Nag Champa

    Try them, I am sure that you will not be disapointed!

  4. #4

    Default Re: incense

    Pure agar/oud or high quality resins on charcoal is unbeatable . It's very easy to make your own mixes and you really get the ancient and genuine experience. Apart from the wonderful and luxurious scents of Liquidambar chips, siam benzoin, sandalwood, myrrh, copal, elemi etc you can also burn more easily available materials like pine resin, cinnamon etc etc.

    It sure is a great way to experience the very roots of perfumery as an aspect of human culture.


    I second Srinivas NagChampa as a classic in quality stick incense. And must also recommend:
    Daniel Jouvance's cones "volutes parfumées". They are a wonderful spicy cedar woody scent.
    (If anyone knows how to buy this online if not having a French address, please tell. The DJ website people do not seem to respond to emails).
    Last edited by iez; 23rd December 2008 at 06:25 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: incense

    A very good cultivated Agarwood, I actually prefer it to the $1,800 variety:

    http://www.ecclecstacy.com/aloeswood_incense.html

    It's product number E-PVA1 / E-PVAT

    $119 for 150 sticks (79 cents per stick).

  6. #6

    Default Re: incense

    Although not being much of a 'joss stick man' myself, I sometimes very much appreciate traditional Japanese incense, like the ones from

    www.shoyeido.com

    A 300-year old, family run business, using only the best natural ingredients.

    Pricey? Quite. But as well as 35 7" sticks for USD 600, they have more available varieties that are very enjoyable indeed.

    Kohden is also a Japanese brand with good products, ealsily available on-line.

    What I do very much like to burn, instead of incense, are little strips of Papier d' Armenie.
    Outside of France, not a lot of people seem to know about it. Basically, it's a small booklet of paper that's been drenced in Benzoin. You tear off a strip, light it, let it smother away, which only takes a minute, et voilà!

    http://www.papierdarmenie.fr/

    Oh, and personally, when I use Oud chips, or Bezoe crystals, or lumps of Greek frankincence, I prefer not to let them burn on charcoal, but to just 'dry roast' in a little metal container on the burner of an essential oil set. (For the container I cut off the bottom of a coke can).
    That way the materials 'evaporate' rather than 'burn', leaving a fresher, less smoky scent.

    Oh, just one thing, you wrote something about a flower pot: i hpe it was an empty one!
    Because WARNING! Never Put Incense In a Plant!
    Believe you me! For it is Dangerous!
    Dry soil can be set aglow by the stick, and it can take hours to spread trough the soil. Fuming poison in the mean time. Mostly when you are asleep...
    Before it starts to burn!

    Happy Smelling my friends! ;-)
    Last edited by Dhr. DeLuxe; 26th December 2008 at 12:06 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    auburnette
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    Default Re: incense

    For incense sticks, I've found the best to be Fred Soll (they are super sticky though, esp if you get the Honey Amber ones which are lovely) and Terre d'Oc. Terre d'Oc does a fantastic Pomme Amber which I dearly wish was a perfume, because I'd drown in it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: incense

    Try www.encensdumonde.fr

    I have only tried their Olibanum and Sandalwood but they're good quality and reasonably priced.

    I have an olibanum addiction - I can sit in a cloud of the smoke for hours. And great for those who, like me, live in a studio appartment and smoke as well. A great way to leave a clean, woody smell and get rid of unwanted odours.

    Beware though - it will cling to drying clothes, so unless you want this, keep them well out of the way of the smoke.

    Have fun!

  9. #9

    Default Re: incense

    Shoyeido Incense was my drug of choice before I found Basenotes. I never knew they sold $1800.00 bundles of incense... it's amazing what you learn here on basenotes

    Their "daily incense," which is about $4.00 a pack, is still some of the best incense I've tried, and you can find it at most health food type stores in America, like Whole Foods, Sun Harvest, etc.

    My favorite Shoyeido sticks are Moss Garden, Kyoto Cherry Blossoms, and White Cloud.

  10. #10

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Shoyeido Incense was my drug of choice before I found Basenotes. I never knew they sold $1800.00 bundles of incense... it's amazing what you learn here on basenotes

    Their "daily incense," which is about $4.00 a pack, is still some of the best incense I've tried, and you can find it at most health food type stores in America, like Whole Foods, Sun Harvest, etc.

    My favorite Shoyeido sticks are Moss Garden, Kyoto Cherry Blossoms, and White Cloud.
    Try Enmei, it's amazing.

    Barry
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  11. #11

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Neurotic Scientist View Post
    A very good cultivated Agarwood, I actually prefer it to the $1,800 variety:

    http://www.ecclecstacy.com/aloeswood_incense.html

    It's product number E-PVA1 / E-PVAT

    $119 for 150 sticks (79 cents per stick).
    I have ordered quite a number of agarwood/sandalwood incense samples from them (the value exceeds 60 $), but I must say I am rather angry.
    I ordered on February 1st (and was charged accordingly), got to know that Dave was behind with shipments on February 20th (after I inquired), mailed again on March 11th and 17th to know if my samples had been shipped and got NO answer.
    That's NOT what I call a good customer service. Now I fear I am just lighter by 60 bucks and that's it. Not good.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  12. #12

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_in_Black View Post
    I have ordered quite a number of agarwood/sandalwood incense samples from them (the value exceeds 60 $), but I must say I am rather angry.
    I ordered on February 1st (and was charged accordingly), got to know that Dave was behind with shipments on February 20th (after I inquired), mailed again on March 11th and 17th to know if my samples had been shipped and got NO answer.
    That's NOT what I call a good customer service. Now I fear I am just lighter by 60 bucks and that's it. Not good.
    Jeez, that's bad luck, sorry to hear about that Lady_in_Black... I'll definitely avoid those guys. Hopefully you can contact paypal / your credit card and stop payment.

  13. #13

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    Try Enmei, it's amazing.
    Thanks for the tip Barry, I'll try it for sure. It looks like my local Sun Harvest stopped carrying Shoyeido, I guess it doesn't sell as well as Sai Baba I'm gonna try ordering from their website, has anyone here done business with Shoyeido online?

  14. #14

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Thanks for the tip Barry, I'll try it for sure. It looks like my local Sun Harvest stopped carrying Shoyeido, I guess it doesn't sell as well as Sai Baba I'm gonna try ordering from their website, has anyone here done business with Shoyeido online?
    Yes Monsieur Sparkle. Their customer service is excellent. I have ordered quite a few things from them and there has never been any bother ordering stuff to be sent to the UK.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  15. #15
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: incense

    Shoyeido is quite good for quality Japanese Incense. I tried the Premium & Daily Incense sampler and found Circle & Kyoto Cherry to be among my favorites.
    Last edited by kumquat; 2nd July 2009 at 08:05 PM.
    Currently wearing: White Flowers by Creed

  16. #16

    Default Re: incense

    I like incense. I still have some from a trip to Kyoto in the mid 80s that I use from time to time and have now finally got around to putting in an order with Shoyeido - will report any finds of note! I bought the CdG Kyoto sticks a while back - very nice if you're a fan of that scent. Also a fan of L'Occitane Amber & Lavender but it's now hard to find here.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
    ― Isaac Asimov

  17. #17

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    Try Enmei, it's amazing.

    Barry
    Double that. Barry knows his incense!

    I would also suggest Gentle Smile and Beckoning Spring - those two are the best in terms of bang for your buck, as they're high quality and still reasonably priced of the premium incense. They're available in the same premium incense sample pack that kumquat mentioned.
    Sales thread here

  18. #18

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Thanks for the tip Barry, I'll try it for sure. It looks like my local Sun Harvest stopped carrying Shoyeido, I guess it doesn't sell as well as Sai Baba I'm gonna try ordering from their website, has anyone here done business with Shoyeido online?
    The package arrived today - inside a week. I tried Pride of Kyoto late morning and it transported me totally to my trips there temple hopping 20 years ago - I literally sat speechless and just 'listened'. Of note - when I placed the order I received an email (they ship from US, not Japan) mentioning one particular ingredient, I presume one of the woods, could not be shipped and we adjusted the order to suit. Great service and I am smitten by the beauty of these.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
    ― Isaac Asimov

  19. #19

    Default Re: incense

    I have seen the traditional charcoal bukhoor(?) burners and the electric ones on ebay (and even some that fit the cigarette lighter for use in a car). Has anyone used or tried one or any of these?
    I got some incense sticks as a freebie when I bought some soap and I really like them and the effect versus trad. air fresheners so I'm just starting to look around 'incense' .

  20. #20

    Default Re: incense

    I tried some other Shoyeido's today, Love and Emerald.

    Love is probably one of the more sensual of the Shoyeido's, as it's made of mostly Benzoin, sandalwood and balsam tolu (so it's kind of ambery).

    I liked emerald even more though - it smells a bit feminine, with notes of rhubarb, fennel and cinnamon. it isn't as spiritual as the premiums, but it's probably in my top 5 of the Shoyeido's I've smelled. Very pretty and unique.

    I plan to try all of the anglic and jewel series in the next few weeks and will report back on them here.
    Sales thread here

  21. #21

    Default Re: incense

    One of my favourite bakhoors is Oudh Mubakhar by Ajmal

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/OUDH-MUBAKHAR-...3A1%7C294%3A50

  22. #22
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by L'aventurier View Post
    Double that. Barry knows his incense!

    I would also suggest Gentle Smile and Beckoning Spring - those two are the best in terms of bang for your buck, as they're high quality and still reasonably priced of the premium incense. They're available in the same premium incense sample pack that kumquat mentioned.
    I really liked those, too. I am going to see if I have emerald. that sounds nice!
    Currently wearing: White Flowers by Creed

  23. #23

    Default Re: incense

    I buy incense from my local health food store. The ones they sell there are all natural, which for me is a must. Plus you can sniff before buying.

    The only brand I can think of right off is Triloka.
    I send thee this sweet perfume a fragrance to the fragrant, as one would offer wine to the god of wine.

  24. #24

    Default Re: incense

    This is one of my favorite sellers:

    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5596564

    Ships fast, and I haven't gotten a bad scent yet.

  25. #25

    Default Re: incense

    I'm pretty big on incense. I love the Comme des Garçons Incense Series. I grew up Catholic and have always loved the incense burned at mass. I don't know why it never occured to me to go to a Catholic supply store, but I took a previous poster's suggestion and went to one.

    I was overwhelmed at first because I'd never used resin based incense before-- the concept of putting the resin over burning charcoal was foreign to me. I looked at all the different liturgical incenses-- and there were MANY. I found a kit called "Trinity Frankincense & Myrrh Starter Kit" for around $20. It includes 1 oz of Somalian Frankincense and 1 oz of Ethiopian Myrrh, 5 pieces of charcoal, a brass incense burner and a wooden coaster. I grabbed one.

    I looked over all the different incenses and saw one series that looked interesting. It was made in Italy and there were four different varieties named "Matthaeus" (for wisdom), "Marcus"(for purification), "Lucas"(for joy), and "Iohannes"(for meditation)--named for the authors of the gospels. What was interesting was that each was priced differently-- likely for the expense of the ingredients. (Luke-$9, Matthew-$10, Mark-$14, John-$15) I bought one of each.

    These resin based incenses are everything I was looking for. My living space is rather large and wide open with very high ceilings-- so I'm able to burn this type of incense without it being overwhelming.

    Now I'm going to try to find resin based incense that resembles the other styles of CdG Incense Series besides Avignon. I might check out some of the Byzantine incense next time.

  26. #26

    Default Re: incense

    I remember there's a thread about CDG Kyoto incense sticks, Couldn't find it anymore.

  27. #27

    Default Re: incense

    A friend of mine currently living in the south of France has just sent me a package of incense for my home, called "tchourai", I believe. It is made by Senegalese immigrants there. This friend lived in west Africa for years, and tells me (having never been to Africa myself) that this is how the shops and homes from Senegal to Cameroon smell. It is bark, soaked in perfumed oils, I know nothing other than this, and that the women of Senegal keep their family recipes a secret for the most part. I have been burning it on charcoal for the last two days, it is wonderful. I have some in the office, as well, that isn't burned but just left out, and it is great this way also. It is far superior to any cones or sticks I have used to this point. It is very sweet, but becomes much less so when burned, I didn't see any mention of it on this site, and was wondering if anybody else enjoys this as much as I.

  28. #28

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I'm pretty big on incense. I love the Comme des Garçons Incense Series. I grew up Catholic and have always loved the incense burned at mass. I don't know why it never occured to me to go to a Catholic supply store, but I took a previous poster's suggestion and went to one.

    I was overwhelmed at first because I'd never used resin based incense before-- the concept of putting the resin over burning charcoal was foreign to me. I looked at all the different liturgical incenses-- and there were MANY. I found a kit called "Trinity Frankincense & Myrrh Starter Kit" for around $20. It includes 1 oz of Somalian Frankincense and 1 oz of Ethiopian Myrrh, 5 pieces of charcoal, a brass incense burner and a wooden coaster. I grabbed one.

    I looked over all the different incenses and saw one series that looked interesting. It was made in Italy and there were four different varieties named "Matthaeus" (for wisdom), "Marcus"(for purification), "Lucas"(for joy), and "Iohannes"(for meditation)--named for the authors of the gospels. What was interesting was that each was priced differently-- likely for the expense of the ingredients. (Luke-$9, Matthew-$10, Mark-$14, John-$15) I bought one of each.

    These resin based incenses are everything I was looking for. My living space is rather large and wide open with very high ceilings-- so I'm able to burn this type of incense without it being overwhelming.

    Now I'm going to try to find resin based incense that resembles the other styles of CdG Incense Series besides Avignon. I might check out some of the Byzantine incense next time.
    OMG Indie Guy, this is so timely. I just came across a site that sells lots of resin incenses (frankincense, myrrh, opoponax, amber, lots of goodies) and I definitely want to give it a go, especially since I'm coming to love resinous notes in perfumery.

  29. #29

    Default Re: incense

    Quote Originally Posted by L'aventurier View Post
    Double that. Barry knows his incense!

    I would also suggest Gentle Smile and Beckoning Spring - those two are the best in terms of bang for your buck, as they're high quality and still reasonably priced of the premium incense. They're available in the same premium incense sample pack that kumquat mentioned.
    Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely give these a go. Shoyeido is definitely the best quality stick incense I've come across.

  30. #30

    Default Re: incense

    Thanks for the tip on the charcoal method. I'll be sure to note this for the future!

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