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Thread: Indian incense

  1. #1

    Default Indian incense

    Indian incense can be divided into two categories: masala and charcoal. Masala incenses are made of dry ingredients, while charcoal incenses contain liquid scents. Masala incenses have several subgroups.

    Masala
    Masālā is a word in Hindi (and other Indian languages) meaning "spice mixture". It is commonly used when referring to curries or other food dishes. Masala incenses are made by blending several solid scented ingredients into a paste and then rolling that paste onto a bamboo core stick. These incenses usually contain little or no liquid scents (which can evaporate or diminish over time).



    Durbars
    Durbars are a sub-group of masala incense. They often contain ingredients entirely unfamiliar in the West and contain very complex scents. They are usually very slow-burning and are quite sweet and spicy in scent. They contain both solid and liquid perfumes in a binder which never quite dries out, making the incense sticks soft to the touch.



    Champas
    Champas are a sub-group of durbars. They contain a natural ingredient indigenous to India called "halmaddi". Halmaddi is a grey semi-liquid resin taken from the Ailanthus Malabarica tree. It smells like the flowers of the plumeria tree. Plumeria flowers are known as champa flowers in India, hence the name of the incense group. Halmaddi is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moisture from the air. This can cause champa incenses to have a wet feeling to them. Nag Champa is probably the most famous incense of the champa group.



    Dhoops
    Dhoops are another masala sub-group. They are an extruded incense, lacking a core bamboo stick. Many dhoops have very concentrated scents and put out a lot of smoke when burned. The most well-known dhoop is probably Chandan Dhoop. It contains a high percentage of Sandalwood.




    Charcoal
    Charcoal incenses are made by dipping an unscented "blank" (non-perfume stick) into a mixture of perfumes and/or essential oils. These blanks usually contain a binding resin (sometimes sandalwood) that holds the sticks' ingredients together.

    Last edited by Man_from_Shalimar; 25th October 2009 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Indian incense

    I'm very interested! I would love to find out more inforamtion related to this topic. Thanks in advance.
    me too, I need more detailed info.
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    Last edited by anvalcu; 21st October 2009 at 08:44 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Indian incense

    Nice snapshot of what to look for, thanks - I have mainly bought Japanese Incense in the past, although we had some nice stuff coming into NZ in the 70s from India. I'm hoping to get to Bombay & Pune in a couple of months and will prevail on one friendly basenoter who has promised to steer me in the right direction to find some Mogra Incense and best Nag Champa available and maybe even some Oud and . . . maybe even some Mysore Sandalwood . . . and what else, then. I'll think of it

  4. #4

    Default Re: Indian incense

    Well I order mine from this website:

    http://nepalishop.com/incense.html

    There is soo much variety! I especially like this brand:

    http://nepalishop.com/incense--india...99---box-.html

    Agarwood is definately available also Mysore Sandalwood, Patchouli, Musk etc.

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