Duggat-al Oud Ma Wardh Taifi (by Anne)

[I didn’t want this review to get lost in our growing Review Your Incense page, I know it convinced me to add it to my list! Thanks to Anne for letting us post it here. – Mike]

This is the long overdue review of one of the finest rose incenses on the market, in my opinon. I first purchased this incense in June of this year, from Paradise Perfumes (see my review of this retailer in the ‘Review Your Incense Retailer’ forum). I did some research, and I discovered that ‘Wardh’ is the arabic word for ‘Rose.’ And ‘Taifi’ is actually a place, it’s just ‘Taif’ in English, and it’s a city in the Mecca province of Saudi Arabia. Taif is famous for its’ roses, which are actually Damascus Roses, the most fragrant, most wonderful, most sought after and most expensive roses in the world. The reason why they are so cherished is because these roses produce the aromatic elixir known as attar, which is the heart and soul of the rose scent. Anyhow, Taif is to roses the way Provence is to lavender – an essential supplier.

To learn more about Taif and their roses, go to this link:

http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/199706/the.roses.of.taif.htm

Duggatal Oudh with Wardh Taifi is essentially an aloeswood rose incense. ‘Oudh’ obviously is ‘oud’, which is the arabic word for aloeswood and/or its essential oil. Given the expensive price of real aloeswood, I suspect that the aloeswood in this incense is on the low end of the scale. But that doesn’t matter all that much because the incense woodchips, which are very fine and granular, are heavily, heavily, impregnated with the most fantastic rose scent imaginable. In an earlier post I had said that this had a tearose scent, and I now I must recant this statement. Or at the very least, clarify it. When I first opened the container, the scent that drifted up to me reminded me of an old product that used to be produced by Crabtree and Evelyn back in the eighties/early nineties, and that was a damask rose lotion. It also reminded me of the Body Shop’s old tearose perfume (back when it was good). Crabtree and Evelyn had to discontinue their damask rose scent line because of the heavy cost of producing it.

But I digress. The rose scent on this incense is just absolutely lovely. It’s a full body rose, and contains not just the scent of the rose itself, but of the stems and green leaves, too. Yes, there’s definitely a herbaceous element at play here. The aloeswood is muted, and a background player, coming out as an endnote, not a top or middlenote in this perfumey incense.

I tried an experiment tonight, and put some duggatal oudh with wardh taifi on both my electric incense heater and on a charcoal. BTW, heater from Mermade and charcoal from EOTA; charcoal also was of the scentless japanese variety. Anyway, the scent that came off from the heater was more rosey, more floral, and softer and sweeter. The scent that came off from burning on the charcoal was bombastic, the aloeswood which came out as an endnote on the heater took center stage while on the coal. This became the topnote and the floral rose scent soon followed. The herbaceous element which was lovely on the heater, providing the lovely airy green note, came near the end and was darker, more earthy, musky even. The scent that came from the different burning mediums was recognizably the same, but also different, if that makes any sense. The heater was like a symphony orchestra, all the scents harmonious and performing sweetly. The coal was like a rock band, the scents not so harmonious, and the various notes were in your face and bombastic.

Both the heater and the coal method of burning this incense will scent your home wonderfully. I think the heater provides a more true floral rosey scent, where the rose is the star player. The coal method plays up the oud element more, not surprising since the woodchips are aloeswood, and when burning on a coal, the scent will be more prominent. The coal method is also a good way to scent a large room for longer, I believe (there’s more smoke while burning on the coal). Though I think you can achieve the same result by turning up the heat on the heater, thus releasing more scent more quickly and with more force. I had my heater at a relatively low level, 10-15 range.

Incidentally, I’m in love with this incense all over again. I literally hadn’t used it in months. I’ve got so much incense, and I go through “incense moods” that I moved away from florals and went to resins, particularly frankincense, and was preoccuiped with burning that for the last little while. Now I find myself heading towards woodsy scents such as sandalwood and pinon…etc. Anyhow, I’m glad I used this again. It reminded me that it’s as lovely as ever, even though some of it’s potency is a little worn. Don’t forget I purchased this in June, used a bit of it, and left it. Even though the incense is in a metal container, the oils do evaporate, thus there was loss of potency. BTW, there’s a cute little spoon that comes with this incense for free. It’s gold colored and is specifically for spooning up the incense.

If you found this review overly long and rambling, I apologize. It’s late my time, and I’m distracted by my neighboors, who are still up and stomping around upstairs from me.

If you like rose scents, you really owe it to yourself to purchase this incense. And at affordable $22 CDN for 50 grams, this is a real treat. Get thee forth to ParadisePerfumes.com now! 🙂

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26 Comments

  1. Maharani said,

    December 12, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Well-I crumbled, and on the strength of Anne’s excellent and detailed review, have ordered this bakhoor from Paradise Perfumes. But it really must be my last purchase in December……… I am very much looking forward to exploring the bakhoor style-with a heater and 2 bakhoors on order, I can make a good start. Very interested in trying to define for myself the difference between Indian and Arab incense. The Al Haramain and other perfumes also look very intriguing and I will order a couple to try. ORS has definitely enriched my life and allowed me to broaden an interest I always had.

  2. Hamid said,

    December 4, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Thank you Anne, I am grateful for your reply.
    Its morning here in the UK, the winter sun is shining on a misty river Thames and the air is filled with the perume of Duggat Al Oudh Ma Whard Taifi.
    I was given the name Hamid by my Sufi teacher btw, and rose is to Sufism as lotus is to Buddhism or Hinduism. So it has a particular resonance for me. Last year I visited a famous Sufi shrine in Delhi the burial place of a famous Sufi saint. His grave was covered in rose petals and scores of packets of rose incense sticks. The bakhoor is redolent reminds of that scene. Anyway thats enough rambling from me !

    • Mike said,

      December 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

      The rose is also a major symbol in Rosicrucianism (rosy cross) and the western Esoteric schools (probably by way of Sufism), on one hand it’s the unfolding metaphor via the rose opening, on the other hand the rose and cross isn’t all that far off from the symbolism of the ankh (in itself similar to the astrological symbol for venus). Definitely understand the resonance here…

  3. Hamid said,

    December 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Anne are you ( or of course anyone else ) familiar with any good sandalwood bakhoors ?

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 8:09 pm

      Hamid,

      I haven’t tried any bakhoors where sandalwood was a distinctive note. However, from my research, I’ve discovered that sandalwood is usually an ingredient in many bakhoors. I’ve googled around and discovered the following for you:

      -Bakhoor Mulhum by Al Nabeel. The scent description is “an aromatic bouquet of raw materials such as sandalwood, frankincense and mixture of the essence of Oud, Musk, Amber, Rose etc……….it is truly heavenly.” It can be purchased on Ebay from a UK based seller called Ifaru. Here is the link:

      -Mermade Magickal Arts had (and may still have) a loose mixture of an aloeswood/sandalwood bakhoor. I’ve sent Katlyn an email asking if they still have this in stock, but she hasn’t replied back yet. I believe this loose mixture was once apart of their veil bakhoor sample box product, which seems to have been discontinued, I think.

      -If Mermade no longer stocks this, then Laurie, another poster on this forum, should be contacted. She purchased some bakhoor from Mermade a while back, but found that the bakhoor flared up her allergies, I believe. Anyway, she mentioned in a LiveJournal entry that she would be willing to sell these bakhoors. Link to her journal is here:

      http://community.livejournal.com/evil_enablers/1148059.html

      Hope this helps. If you end up purchasing any of these bakhoors, please report back with a review!

  4. Hamid said,

    December 3, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I will be interested to compare notes eventually on other bakhoors.

    Going back to rose incense I think that it actually takes a blend to smell like a rose. Clearly a synthetic blend will not do the trick, but to take Pure Incense Conn, for example it has a high proportion of very good quality rose oil per stick. Which makes it smell wonderful, sublime, but to my nose not like an actual floral rose . I suspect that to do that takes an expert perfumier and a blend which replicates the various top,middle, and base notes of the rose. Which means that a clever blender can capture something that a good rose attar, although a thing of beauty in itself , may not have. They are actually apples and oranges in terms of comparison. I might of course be talking nonsense.
    Anyway thanks again for the tip. As I write the scent of roses permeates the space around me. Quite remarkable.

  5. David said,

    December 3, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Good Morning Anne,

    I actually have and am not that fond of the Tennendo. It just doesn’t do it for me. I love the Shoyeido Incense Road Nanzan but wish there was a longer stick. The Minorien comes in a close second for me. Spurred on by all your talk of wild Holiday spending, I purchased a number of Fred Soll incenses hoping to find something good. 1 Benzoin, 1 Dragon’s Blood, 1 Myrrh, Sacred, 1 Frankincense Ancient Blend Sweet. I hope these are nice.

    Toodles,

    David

    • Janet said,

      December 3, 2009 at 7:49 am

      You ought to like the frankincense you chose, keep us posted!
      I find that the Shoyeido Diamond – while not nearly at the level of the Tennendo, Minorien, or Nanzan – offers a sweet and reasonably pungent frankincense aroma in a pinch.

      • David said,

        December 3, 2009 at 7:52 am

        I’ll have to try the Diamond sometime. Thanks for the tip.

        de

        • Anne said,

          December 3, 2009 at 8:30 pm

          David,

          If you are thinking about getting some frankincense resins, then you may want to consider ordering some from http://orthodoxincense.com/frankincense.html – I had mentioned Orthodox Incense on this board a while back, but never got around to ordering from them (which I”m going to rectify soon). Anyway, their offering frankincense resins at a much lower price point than some other retailers out there. They’ve got frankincense from Oman (which is THE place to get frankincense) for $6.99 USD per ounce. Whether or not this is hougary, they don’t say.

          Also, because we’re in the Christmas season, Orthodox Incense is offering a Nativity Incense sampler pack, containing one ounce each of Oman Frankincense, Myrrh, and a choice of Bethlehem or Spruce Island incense. Link is here:

          http://orthodoxincense.com/bookstore_081115_2.html

          Anyway, just thought this might be of interest to you and others on this board.

          • Mike said,

            December 3, 2009 at 9:21 pm

            Not that I want to discourage anyone from buying from Orthodox incense, but you do want to make sure it says Hougary as Hougary is the A grade Omani frankincense and there really is a big difference between it and the lower grades. It’ll definitely say when it’s Hougary and you can get some of the finest available via Mermade. Putting it on the heater is almost like waking up in the morning and cutting into a fresh orange. Myrrh’s the same way, there appear to be huge differences in quality, so I’m always on the lookout for the A grade.

            • Anne said,

              December 4, 2009 at 10:00 am

              Just an fyi that I emailed Seraphim, the operator/manager of the Orthodox Incense site. He replied back that his frankincense is indeed Hougary.

              I’ve placed an order for some incenses from them. I’ll report back later, when they arrive.

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 9:02 am

      Morning David,

      I’m surprised that you’re not that fond of the Tennendo. It’s gotten favorable reviews, and I personally love the stuff. But different strokes for different folks and all that.

      You intrigue me with your talk of Shoyeido and Minorien frankincense. I was thinking of getting the Minorien frankincense but passed because I had ordered the full box of Tennendo. Well, these will go on my “want list” and will be purchased at a later date.

      I haven’t tried or ordered Fred Soll’s Benzoin, Dragon’s Blood, or Sacred Myrrh. However, I did order Soll’s Frankincense Ancient Sweet Blend a few months ago, and I’ve used it all up. In my opinion, this is an excellent frankincense stick. It’s sweetly resiny, and better than his Classic Frankincense stick. There’s a sweet note in this that counters some of more harsh bitter notes that can be found in franks.

      If you love frankincense, you may want to consider ordering some hougary frankincense and burning it on a heater.

      • Mike said,

        December 3, 2009 at 9:07 am

        I’ll second the hougary recommendation, it’s the absolute pinnacle of the frank experience, and I love all of the sticks in discussion here. Frankincense really does vary a lot in quality though, the Indian sticks such as Pure-Incense do are even farther away from all these, but still well worth looking at.

        I’m also crazy about Minorien these days, I think all five of their exports are superb.

  6. Hamid said,

    December 3, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I should add that I burned it first at a high setting on my electric burner, but in fact found the result better when I turned it down fairly low.

  7. Hamid said,

    December 3, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Thanks for the heads up about the Duggat al Oudh Ma Wardh Taifi Anne, its everything you say. One of the very best bakhoors I have come across and at a very reasonable price. It is a real rose smell, quite amazingly so, and I would guess that is not easy to achieve, paradoxically the best rose sticks do not in my opinion actually smell like roses, they smell like the best rose sticks if you see what I mean. Those sticks , Pure Incense, Jivaka and so on have a characteristic smell that comes from burning the best quality rose oils.which is superb but does not actually smell like a bed of roses. This bakhoor does. It is a real “sofa scenter” , the scent lingers for a long time. Quite wonderful. I intend exploring the rest of the Al Haramain range.

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

      Hi Hamid,

      I’m glad that you liked the Duggatal Oud with Ward Taifi incense. I think the reason why this incense smells more like real roses than other incenses is due to the quality of the rose attar in it.

      I’ve tried Pure Incense’s Jasmine incense, and though I do like it, I find the other scents in the stick, the vanilla, cocoa, and hemaladdi distracting, and detracts from the real jasmine scent. This is why I actually prefer Chandra Devi’s jasmine incense for a true to life jasmine aroma. Similarly, this is the case in most rose scented incense sticks, I believe. Either the maker uses inferior rose oil, or synthetics, or puts in too much of other ingredients (which, btw, still may be of top quality), but which ultimately end up distracting, and off-putting to some.

      I’ve got two other Al Haramain bakhoors from ParadisePerfumes.Com and will review them at a later date. Based on these three bakhoors, I’d say that Al Haramain puts out good product, and it’s worth exploring their other incenses.

      • Anne said,

        December 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

        Just want to clarify that I’ve tried Chandra Devi’s aromatherpeutic jasmine incense and not their other stuff. Well, I least assume that it was Chandra Devi’s aromatherapy line. I ordered Chandra Devi’s jasmine sampler pack from EOTA for the princely sum of .75 cents, and I loved it. Since the description for the sampler pack says that this is CD’s highly scented jasmine, I’m assuming that it’s the same jasmine found in their aromatherapy line.

  8. Maharani said,

    December 3, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Great review! Bakhoors are the next thing on my list for sure. I adore rose in any combination.

  9. janet said,

    December 2, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Anne,
    I’m not sure I believe you when you say you don’t want to be an enabler….because I really want this stuff, and I don’t even LIKE rose incense!
    😉

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 6:25 am

      Janet,

      If you like the scent of real roses, you may like this incense. It has a true rose scent, mixed in with aloeswood too. All too often rose incenses employ cheap synthetic rose oils, which are a turn-off to many. The chemically synthetic aroma can be headache inducing, too.

      As for enabling…ack! I know you’ve got house repairs going on, plus with the holidays around the corner, there’s bound to be more expenses. And well, of course, there’s also the 12 days of Christmas sales going on at EOTA. So no doubt, many of us are going to the poor house together! 🙂

      Joking aside, I’d suggest that you wait until other reviewers post their opinions of this incense. If these reviews are also favorable, then perhaps you can consider puchasing it then. I’d hate for you to go out and buy this based on my review and end up not liking it. Particularly as that we are in the midst of the holiday season, and many of us are incurring additional expenses because of that.

      • Janet said,

        December 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

        Anne,
        I was just playing, I accept full responsibility for my insanity – I need no enabling, trust me…I just plow on ahead!
        I actually don’t have a heater yet, that’s a way of exerting a certain amount of self-control, but I have been to the site, and will definitely keep this high on my list for when that day comes….
        I actually do enjoy the Soll and Pure rose incenses on occasion, and I do truly adore the smell of flowers, including roses (which I grow for that reason), so I don’t understand why I don’t have more affinity for floral scents, even the good ones, but gravitate heavily towards resins, woods, and – my personal weakness – patchouli.
        I also have a very hard time blending floral perfume that I am happy with.
        Strange.

  10. Steve said,

    December 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Anne – very nice review!

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 6:26 am

      Thank you. 🙂

  11. David said,

    December 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for the interesting review etc… Not sure that rose is the scent for me. I’ve been burning Shoyeido Frankincense quite a bit and loving it. I just wish they made a longer stick.

    I found your ending comments kinda funny. I completely sympathize with you having noisy upstairs neighbors. I nicknamed mine “Stompy Stompers”. They (initially a young couple and then plus a crying or shrieking infant) were so obnoxious I had to call the police 3 times. I was thrilled when they had to move and arranged to move up to the top floor (ie no more upstairs neighbors) ASAP. You might want to do the same thing. They raised my rent for an identical apartment which sucks. At least the view is nice.

    Best,

    David

    • Anne said,

      December 3, 2009 at 6:40 am

      David,

      If you like frankincense, you should consider sampling Tennendo’s frankincense. It’s got the resiny frankincense aroma and a lovely melon like topnote. It sounds like a bizarre combination, but together these two scents play off each wonderfully. I ordered a roll of Tennendo frankincense from EOTA and fell in love with it so much that I recently ordered an entire 10 roll box.

      As for noisy neighbors, trust me, can I ever relate. I had some really bad experiences in my previous apartment. The current place is much better, and that’s why I was so dismayed the other night when all that noise was happening. Generally my neighbors are fairly good.

      Your tip about moving up to the top floor is a good one. Unfortunately, all the other apartments in this building are already taken.

      Anyhow, if you get the chance, I do recommend sampling the Tennendo frankincense, you might end up loving it!

      Best,

      Anne


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