Everything’s Coming Up Roses – A Valentine’s Day Tribute to the Flower of Love

It’s February 1st, and Valentine’s Day is only 13 days away. In keeping with the holiday centered on love and romance, I have decided to do reviews on rose incenses. After all, the rose is the flower most often associated with amour (that’s the French word for love, by the way) and romance.

Indeed, the rose makes a significant appearance in one of the most deeply romantic of Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo and Juliet. It is a love struck Juliet that mentions the rose in her famous soliloquy:

JULIET:
      ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
      Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
      What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
      Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
      Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
      What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
      And for that name which is no part of thee
      Take all myself.

So was Juliet right? Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? With regards to the following incenses, I’d say… definitely, maybe. The following ten incenses cover a range of styles, countries, and prices. Each has the rose scent in one form or another, and each is, in its own unique way, special and lovely. I hasten to add though, that this is not the list of the top ten best rose incenses, ever. There are a million rose incenses out there in the market, and it’s impossible to cover them all, obviously. These ten incenses were selected to give you, Dear Reader, a sampling range of what’s good, available, and perhaps to you, new and different.

I have grouped these incenses by Country, and where possible, have even given the word for ‘rose’ in that country’s language. After all, a rose by any name is always a thing of beauty!

Japan:

Fun trivia fact, the Japanese word for ‘rose’ is ‘Bara.’

Encens du Monde’s Rose:

 As some of you already know, Encens du Monde is a French company based near Montpellier, France. They are a major distributor of quality incenses in Europe, offering a fine variety of Japanese, Indian, Tibetan, and other incenses. It’s speculated that some of their incenses are actually made by Japanese incense companies, and then sold under the Encens du Monde label. At any rate, Encens du Monde’s Rose incense is a Japanese style incense, i.e. without a stick core. This incense has a soft, slightly spicy floral rose scent. I catch whiffs of benzoin and clove mixed in with the rose scent. The rose is both a top note and mid-note here. The benzoin and clove come in at the end. Incidentally, the marketing write up on the label reads “The delicate and feminine nobility of the May rose.” And that is actually an apt description, the rose scent here is decidedly a young rose scent; this is not the deep full-bodied aroma of a mature rose, but that a of young spring rose, just in the process of blooming.

Shoyeido’s Rose (as a part of the Royal Floral World Incense Pack):

Shoyeido’s Royal Floral World Incense Pack contains 60 pieces of three different scented incenses. There are twenty sticks each of jasmine, rose, and sandalwood. The sticks are a short seven cms or two and three quarters inches. Despite their tiny size, don’t be fooled, these little guys pack quite a scent wallop! One little stick will scent a room easily. The rose incense in this pack is a strong spicy rose floral. The rose is actually a mid-note here, with the top notes being spicy, and again, there is benzoin, clove, and cassia. I even catch a whiff of sandalwood and vanilla as the endnotes, which add a sweet finish to this stick. This is a more mature rose scent, deeper and a bit darker, but it’s not a strong rose aroma. Nonetheless, it’s quite enjoyable, and I think those that like spicy florals will like this incense.

Baieido’s Rose (Smokeless incense):

Like incense but have a problem with smoke? Or have family and friends that have allergies and issues with smoke? Then smokeless incense may be the item for you. Baieido’s smokeless rose incense is a soft subtle rose incense. This is a gentle rose aroma that quietly wafts around the room, scenting the atmosphere. This rose scent doesn’t have the spice elements of Encens du Monde or of Shoyeido. This is a simple, gentle rose scent, with just a hint of greenery mixed in at the end. The green note connotes leaves, and stems, and adds a light airiness that is quite enjoyable. Indeed, I wonder if the green note may even be green tea.

India:

Fun trivia fact, the Indian word for ‘rose’ is ‘gul’ or ‘gulab.’

Pure Incense Connoisseur Rose:

I’ve recently been a bit critical of Pure Incense for using the same base blend in all their incenses. I mentioned that the base elements often exude a vanilla and honey sweetness, resulting in all their incenses having a similar scent with no distinct personality of their own. That said, I do like Pure Incense as a brand, and I do like their Connoisseur Rose incense. Unlike Encens du Monde or Shoyeido, this is not a spicy rose floral scent. Rather it’s a sweet rosey floral, with elements that verge towards candy like at times due to the vanilla and honey notes in the base. Indeed, the sweetness reminds me of desserts and candy such as rose scented Turkish delight. Those that prefer sweet florals over that of spicy florals would probably like this. In fact, I think this incense would appeal to children because of the sweet elements in it.

Shroff’s Night Rose:

Of all the incenses reviewed in this post, I think Shroff’s Night Rose is the most romantic named one of them all. I don’t know, but there’s a certain romantic element there, the name kinda just connotes romance, and love, and starry skies over a trellis full of roses, with their sweet floral scent gently wafting in the evening air. Well, ok, I’m a bit of a sappy romantic at times; you didn’t know that about me, did you? 🙂

Anyhow, Shroff, the masters of Indian agarbattis, serve up another delight in their Night Rose incense. This one is actually similar to Pure Incense’s Connoisseur Rose, but without as many sweet elements; there’s a vanilla note here, but it’s not as strong as in the Connoisseur Rose. More importantly, the rose is stronger, and is the topnote, too. Even unlit, this stick is choice, smelling softly of roses. This is not a super strong rose scent, though, so those of you looking for that should look elsewhere (and I’ll tell you where that is at the end of this post).

Tibet:

Fun trivia fact, I don’t know what the Tibetan word for ‘rose’ is. Though it might just be ‘sa snum.’ At least that’s what popped up when I tried to use an online English/Tibetan dictionary. However, I’m not even sure that the dictionary was working. If you know, chime in!

Chandra Devi Rose:

This is a smokey rose incense, with the typical campfire smoke smell that is common in so many Tibetan incenses as an endnote. The rose scent here is a soft and subtle one, and comes in bursts. This isn’t a bad incense from Chandra Devi, though their jasmine one is far superior to their rose. If you like smokey rose scents, Chandra Devi’s rose may be the one to try.

USA:

Fun trivia fact, the American word for ‘rose’ is ‘rose’, just like it is for the Brits, Canadians, Ozzies, and the rest of the English speaking world! 😛

Orthodox Incense’s Mt. Athos’ Rose:

This particular rose incense is done up in the Greek orthodox anthonite style, which is to say that pieces of frankincense are soaked in floral oils (in this case, rose) and dried and cured, and then dusted with purified clay powder. The end result is a rosey frankincense scent, though here, the rose florals dominant, and the frankincense is a slight endnote. This Mt. Athos rose was actually made in a monastery in America, thus my classification. Anyway, the rose scent is a soft sweet floral, and quite rosey indeed. This is a fairly potent incense, two teaspoons of it on my electric incense burner scented my apartment very well. In other words, this has a good scent throw. And the scent is very nice, too.

Nu Essence Venus:

Ah, Venus, an aptly named incense to feature in a Valentine’s day themed review. Venus was the Greco-roman goddess of love. And the Nu Essence Venus incense is definitely inspired by that. The write up on the back of the tin states, “Creative imagination, the bridge between the mind and the heart, from thought to Art. Remembering that real victory is through love.”

This is a very interesting incense. Visually, just looking at this incense is arresting. It’s the color of red ochre clay, and is soft and powdery with little bits of dried rose petals in it. There are a number of other ingredients, and rose is not the star player, but is instead, a member of the symphony. Every ingredient is playing a part, and rose is one element of many. Some of the ingredients are sandalwood, benzoin, marshmallow root, nutmeg, rose, peppermint and myrtle. The scent is a bit complex, starting off floral, then hitting spicy, then drifting into sweet, and finally ending as minty (that’s the peppermint kicking in) and uplifting.

Fred Soll’s Joyous Rose:

If Shroff’s Night Rose has the most romantic name of all the incenses in this post, it’s Fred Soll’s Joyous Rose that is the most romantic incense of them all. Fred created this incense for his wife, Joy, and named it after her. And what a joy it is, indeed. Fred’s signature use of pinon resin and high quality oils are present here as in all his other incenses. The pinon and the rose would seem to be an odd blend, but they work as nice contrasting elements, and play off each other well. I liken this to finding an unexpected wild rose amongst a pinon forest. The rose shouldn’t really be there, but it is, and it brightens and uplifts the surrounding pinon forest.

United Arab Emirates:

Fun trivia fact, the Arabic word for ‘rose’ is ‘wardh.’

Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi:

Oh, you really didn’t think that I wouldn’t give this one a mention, did you? This is still my all time favorite rose incense, and is one of my favorite incenses, plain and simple. Earlier I said that if you were looking for a stronger, truer rose scent, I’d tell you where to find it. Well, Dear Reader, here it is. I’ve already given a detailed review of this incense, so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say, this is the truest rose scented incense out there that I know of; the scent is incredible, and perfectly captures that of fresh cut red roses.

Well, there you have it. A sample of various rose scented incenses for you to peruse and try. All the incenses mentioned above, except for the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi, may be purchased at Essence of the Ages. The Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi may be purchased at Paradise Perfumes.Com.

Whether you plan on using any of the above rose incenses for a Valentine’s Day evening with your sweetheart, or if you simply want to scent your home with the scent of roses, I think any of the above would create an interesting atmosphere. I’d like to think that there’s a little something for everyone, and that the price ranges for these incenses reflect that sentiment, too. The prices range from a few dollars for a roll of Shroff’s Night Rose to close to forty for Shoyeido’s Royal World Incense pack.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, I know it was a pleasure writing it for you.

Best,

Anne

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46 Comments

  1. glennjf said,

    November 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve can now join with Anne and Dave to say that I also am smitten with the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi.

    I’ve been burning my sample using a few methods…

    1. With my electric incense heater.
    2. Burned on charcoal.
    3. My own twist, burned on Mysore Sugandhi Chandan Dhoop.

    Method 1. lasts the longest, a small amount warmed will fill your space amazingly so turning the simple process into an hours long exhilarating experience.

    Method 2 and 3. are shorter lived processes but just as amazing experiences, the scented smoke that releases when the bakhoor gets the glow on is heavenly.

    As Anne said.. “Suffice to say, this is the truest rose scented incense out there that I know of; the scent is incredible, and perfectly captures that of fresh cut red roses.”

  2. glennjf said,

    September 15, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Would this topic come under Rose in categories do you think Mike?

    • Mike said,

      September 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Glenn, I’d suggest waiting until I finish adding categories to all the posts before suggesting anything, in fact I’ll let the list know I’m done at that point (not to mention I think it will need a second round). This is a project that may take me many months, it’s time consuming, not terribly fun, will take secondary priority to new posts and I think I’m not even done with 2008 yet, let alone 09-10.

      • glennjf said,

        September 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm

        I knew there was a lot of information stashed here, truly I had no idea how much, not even done with 2008! Jeepers! This place is so very unique, thanks again for all your work Mike.

        • Mike said,

          September 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

          I appreciate your enthusiasm Glenn – and yeah I definitely have my work cut out for me. So much of it is trying to balance it all with the rest of life and I really have to be in the right frame of mind to add categories. But I’ll definitely be asking for what I missed when i’m done.

  3. glennjf said,

    July 18, 2010 at 6:02 am

    This thread was getting thinner and thinner with every post added to it, Anne’s latest addition to it (July 18, 2010 at 5:28 am) didn’t seem to show the reply button at it’s close so I’ve posted like this to gain back some width.

    from Anne’s last comment…

    “No, you don’t need to put a foil on the coal to burn the Duggatal Oudh Ward Taifi. In fact, though you could do it, I don’t recommend it.”

    and…

    “Burning the DOWT on the coal straight up is recommended. Indeed, I believe that you will like it much better than using it on the electric incense burner.” – Anne

    It shows how little I know about bakhoors! Just when I was thinking heating them using my electric incense heater was the only way to go. More reading and a bit closer attention to what I’m reading and it turns out bakhoors are designed to be burnt just as Anne has said. Good news is I have the first and only packet of charcoal tablets I’ve ever puchased still. Now, if I only had some DOWT I’d give it a whirl.

    Anne, Dave, others, whoever ultimately buys the Gyokushodo Rose Classic, I’d love to hear thought about the incenses in it. There is a box for sale in a local shop here, I see it whenever I pass by, very tempting but so far I’m resisting, so far….

    • Dave said,

      July 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for the replies Anne and Glennjf.

      As it happens I received my batch of rose incenses a few days ago and have been giving them a first burn and first reaction. I think as a pre-requisite I’d have to say that what I have been looking for is very specific and yet hard to define. Almost like an insatiable urge for a smell I haven’t smelled yet!! In that light none of the stick incenses which I bought have lived up to what I was looking for. That aside I’m sure other people would like them all for their own merits.

      On the other hand I’ve discovered burning Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi on charcoal which is quite simply amazing and of the highest standards in scent sensations!! Its funny because alot of smoke comes off once the DOWT is put directly on the hot charcoal but its not a dense smoke, more a light scented smokey substance which seems to disappear and penetrate the very atmosphere of the room. BTW I burned this with some Tennendo Frankincense in another corner of the room and even lit a little pure white sage at one point (what a cacophony eh??). Anyway at one point I just couldn’t believe the rose scent which seemed to be present in the atmosphere without actually seeing a waft of smoke pass by my nose. That was my first try at this method and I will definitely be exploring this a lot more. The only one thing I would say is that there is more set up time and waiting for the charcoal to reach the right state etc than a stick form of incense. I’ve just accepted it is for slightly more special occasions for this very reason though.

      On the other incenses I’ll give a quick first reaction:

      Kunjodo Rose – Less smoke:

      Nice smell, certainly nothing off putting or offensive. It smells like a nice rose scented perfume to me which a lot of people might like. For me just lacks the depth I’ve experienced in other incenses.

      Baikundo Rose – Less smoke:

      Again a nice smell and absolutely nothing off putting. The rose smells like a perfume of some sort. I think I prefer this to the Kunjodo as there is a slightly smokier smell. Still seems to lack depth.

      Shroff Night Rose:

      Quite perfumey but has a lot of depth and you can smell straight away that this stick has a lasting quality and lots of character. Personally while I recognise the quality of a lot of the Shroff sticks I feel as though I just haven’t grown into them yet. I love the Red Sandal and the Champa (although the Champa is for rare occasions) and Shroff incenses to me just ooze of what I can only call a nostalgic feeling as if they bring me to somewhere in india but I can’t fully relate to where they bring me. This is why I think maybe someday I will actually grow into these sticks. Kind of like recognising a good red wine but for whatever reasons it doesn’t fully agree with your system… Also definitely perfumey but in a good way…

      Pure Incense Absolute and Connoisseur Rose:

      Something in here I’m not quiet sure of… May have to give it more time…

      • glennjf said,

        August 20, 2010 at 12:43 am

        Another vote from me for Pure Incense Connoisseur Rose, even unlit it’s worth inhaling.

  4. Dave said,

    July 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Hi Anne,

    Just wondering do you know of a very good japanese rose incense in stick form? I want smoke (no low smoke or smoke less for me I’m afraid) and I want quality. It has to be pungent. I don’t mind if it is mixed with something else as long as the rose comes through strongly. I’ve read your reviews thanks and even tried the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi which is extremely good but for my own reasons I would like a Japanese style stick. I don’t want to try the NK morning star rose because I don’t reckon its gonna do it for me. I will try some of the indian style sticks too but I would be especially interested in a high quality Japanese smoky stick incense 🙂 Maybe this just doesn’t exist… Thanks anyway

    • Anne said,

      July 7, 2010 at 5:32 am

      Hi Dave,

      From your comments, it seems that you want an intense rose scented smokey japanese incense. Though I have listed some japanese rose incenses in my review – Shoyeido and Encense de Monde – they may not be what you’re seeking. Those are both good incenses, but the rose scent isn’t that strong.

      However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t answer your question. After reading your comments last night, I went a googling and lo, look what I discovered! A japanese incense pack devoted to rose scents, and not just generic rose scents, but the *best* rose scents – Damascus Rose, Tea Rose, and Bulgarian Rose! Now having said that, I hasten to add that I haven’t tried these incenses (yet!), and so therefore don’t know if they are representative of the best rose incenses in the japanese style. However, given that they are supposedly scented after the best roses know for their fabulous scent, then I gotta say, it looks real promising! Incidentally, Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi uses roses from Taifi, which are Damascus roses. So I’m qutie curious indeed to try this japanese damascus rose incense. Oh, who am I kidding? I want to try them all! 🙂

      Anyhow, without further ado, here’s the link:

      http://www.lilitu.com.au/japan.htm

      Scroll to half way down the page and look for ‘Rose Classic.’ The box set retails for $35 Australian dollars. The store, Lilitu, appears to be one of those funky fun stores that carries music, books, and incense – in short, my kind of store! Lilitu ships overseas, too.

      If you get these incenses, Dave, please consider coming back and writing up a review. I’m sure our fellow ORS readers would appreciate the feedback and commentary!

      Best,

      Anne

      • glennjf said,

        July 7, 2010 at 6:43 am

        Hi Anne, Dave,

        First up, http://www.lilitu.com.au/japan.htm are stocked by the Australian wholesaler “Incense of the World” (IOTW) see my earlier Review your Incense Retailer writeup to learn more about them.

        Looks like Lilitu’s Books & Music are stocking all the Japanese IOTW have on offer. They have done some major work to their website by the looks. It’s great news that Lilitu’s Books & Music are shipping the IOTW incenses to overseas.

        It should be noted that Japanese Company names are not given with the incenses at the IOTW website but with help from the good people running IOTW I have managed to determine (hopefully correctly) names of the companies represented and the incenses they have on offer, but only for their Japanese incenses.

        Starting with the four black packaged incenses…

        Azabu Kogado and Paco, Tokyo, make…
        Green Tea
        Bamboo
        Rose
        Lavender

        Gyokusyodo is represented by…
        Rose Classic
        Kojurin Sandalwood
        Sumire Violet

        Kunjudo
        Byakuden Shirayuki, White or Virgin Snow
        Cherry Blossom
        Karin Karin
        Karin Royal Nave
        Lavender
        Lily of the Valley
        Moonlit Night – To the Moon
        Plum
        Shobiko – Oriental Breeze

        Seijudo
        Crimson Plum
        Emperor’s Choice
        Japanese Lotus
        White Chrysanthemum
        Wildflower

        Shoyeido
        Golden Pavilion
        Japanese Orchid – Ranka
        Kyoto Autumn Leaves – Kyo-nishiki
        Kyoto Cherry Blossom – Kyo-zakura
        Middle Path
        Mount Fuji
        Sora / Sky – Evening Zen

        Amazingly some time ago I actually spoke on the phone with the woman who runs Lilitu’s Books & Music and would you believe it she’s allergic to incense and things, can’t bear to light a stick, such a pity.

        For you Dave, seeking a Japanese type Rose incense? I have the Azabu Kogado and Paco Rose here and was intending suggesting it to you. It’s very good but since I have never tried the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi I can’t really make a proper comparison.

        The Rose Classic by Gyokusyodo is more expensive. That one I have not tried yet. I have been waiting for a broken box to manifest at IOTW so they can send me a sample or two. The only feedback I can give about the Rose Classic is that I have put my nose to the box and it’s delicious but very strong in the perfume stakes. I also spoke to a woman at that time who has it and her praise for the selection was glowing to say the least. Cost is what’s been stopping me from experiencing it.

        Some more information about the block roll…

        Rose by Azabu Kogado and Paco, Tokyo
        note: I can’t find anything for this company online.

        Single Roll, 30 Sticks 5″ 13cm

        A photo I took of a roll

        I think of this Japanese incense as primarily an oil perfumed incense. Certainly it would have been made using the best natural ingredients just the scent would likely be added to it in the form of an essential oil.

        I had to change my thinking a little to be able to hear this incense properly, to appreciate it fully. Previous experiences with rose incenses were all with Indian incenses and cheap ones at that. Once I stepped back from my bringing my previous experiences into the process I discovered a very nice rose incense before me.

        This is one of a series of incenses I believe was requested to be made for Incense of the World by Azabu Kogado and Paco, Tokyo and offered wholesale to the Australian and New Zealand Markets.

        • Dave said,

          July 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

          Wow,

          Anne and Glennjf, thank you both so much!! Those are absolutely great replies and a really great resource of information.

          The funny thing is no matter how much I googled japanese rose incense I didn’t come up with that much. The EOTA website however was good because you can just put ‘rose’ in the search bar and alot of different ones come up. I’ve actually ordered some Pure-Incense – absolute and connoisseur – rose / Shroff – Night rose / Baikundo – rose / Kunjodo – smoke less rose (I know! I thought I would try it anyway…) incenses from EOTA before I saw your replies. These I deemed to be tryable because they are all good companies from reviews on this website and so they should hopefully be on the way.

          I am definitely going to try the ones you guys have suggested as well. The thing is when I settle on a good stick I will keep buying it and preferably I would like one good indian rose stick and one good japanese type. And Anne I will try to do a review of them all although putting smells into words might not be my forte!!

          The rose interest for me is actually as a sweet contrast to the earthy aloeswoods (for example) and transcendental ?? frankincenses etc. Sometimes I like to burn different incenses together in one room. I don’t often do this but for setting certain types of atmosphere it can be quite a powerful experience, and yes very smokey but personally I like that 🙂

          Thanks again for the useful info and for taking the time to reply

          • glennjf said,

            July 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

            You’re welcome. I am very new to the world of incense appreciation only that I happen to live in Australia is why I have been able to write about the two incenses available here.

            You have me pondering over ways and means that I might gather the Gyokusyodo Rose Classic and the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi by AL Haramain into my life sooner than later 🙂

            Would be good to read what you write about the incenses you’ve ordered, particularly so if you extend yourself to buying the two examples from here.

            note: I use the Entries RSS and Comments RSS feeds to OFS to be kept up to date, to find the enabling links go to left side of this page, end of the menu listing 🙂

            • glennjf said,

              July 9, 2010 at 11:22 pm

              I’ve just emailed Lilitu with the company names and incense names also, ie the those names they’re known by generally for the Japanese incenses she shows on her website. I rang her and chatted earlier today.

              I suggested if she adds the Company name and Incense name particulars to what she has for sale then people will be able to search the internet and find her incenses more easily. I suggested she confer with the wholesaler before making any changes. my thinking is It would make a difference if searching for Gyokusyodo incenses in Australia if the company name “Gyokusyodo” actually appeared at the website beside the Rose Classic Incense made by Gyokusyodo which is on offer at her website.

              • Dave said,

                July 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

                I totally agree Glennjf. Personally I would be much more likely to buy incense from a company who is known at some level for their quality etc. Also doing internet searches would probably be easier for people too.

                When I receive the incenses I’ve bought I will do a quick review based upon my own personal experiences of the incenses. I probably won’t have any money to get the other two for a couple of months though so I’ll have to follow on with those.

                I’m quite new to the world of incense too. I have however found the reviews and in particular the monthly top ten lists and halls of fame on this site to be really invaluable in buying good incenses straight off. In venturing outside of the incenses recommended here I invariably ended up with whole lines of incense which I just didn’t like. There really is alot of sub standard incenses out there so best to aim for some of the good ones by research if you can.

                The Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi is really good although you will most likely have to get an electric incense warmer to use this. I have one now and I haven’t really grown into as yet but hopefully over time this will be something I will use more often.

                • Anne said,

                  July 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm

                  Dave,

                  We would welcome your personal incense reviews. However, please don’t feel obligated to write if this isn’t something you want to do. This is for fun, and if you want to share your personal impressions with the rest of the ORS readers, then that’s great! If you’re too busy, or just plain don’t want to post your opinions, then that’s ok too.

                  As for burning different incenses all at once in differnt parts of the room, I can dig that (geez, that phrase dates me so!). Hell, I’ve done that on more than one occasion, myself! It’s nice to have a delicious melange of scents interact and drift through the air, perfuming the home with a melody of good aroma.

                  As for the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi, note that an electric incense burner is not required to burn this bakhoor. The incense can be burnt old school – which is to say, on a burning coal. Indeed, in the Middle East, where bakhoors are the more popular form of incense, many people prefer to burn it on coals. The smoke emitted from this method of burning is desired as that they use it as a literal perfume to scent the air and clothing. Note that the word ‘perfume’ is derived from latin words, ‘per’ meaning ‘through’ and ‘fumum’ means ‘smoke.’ Incidentally, the french word for ‘smoke’ is ‘fume.’

                  Either method will work, though if using an electric incense burner, the smoke will be less, and you have the obvious advantage of controlling the heat level. As such, you can make the bakhoor last for a very long time if the heat level is set at low. If using a hot coal, this method will produce more smoke and more intense aroma in a shot, and the bakhoor will be used up faster.

                  • glennjf said,

                    July 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm

                    As for burning different incenses all at once in differnt parts of the room

                    I’ve been noting down combinations I put together. When I realised I was liking what I had going on I thought it
                    it might not be a bad idea, particularly if I found I liked a result. I can easily refer to recreate those combinations again.

                • glennjf said,

                  July 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm

                  I do hope Lilitu carries through after my suggestions.

                  It’s worth noting also that nine (9) of the Japanese incenses in the range she’s offering are available nowhere else, at least I’ve not been able to locate them being sold anywhere else or by anyone else either on or offline, in Australia or overseas. The rose incenses are two of that nine.

                  Know what you mean about spending money on rubbish incenses. It was good luck for me that I found OFS before I’d gone down that road very far spending money on non type incenses only to be stuck with them till deciding ultimately to consign them to the compost bin.

                  • Dave said,

                    July 17, 2010 at 6:08 am

                    Hi Anne and Glennjf,

                    Good thread here I think. Anne I won’t feel obligated to review the incenses thanks and of course it will be fun 🙂 And I’m going to try the Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi on the charcoal burner. I also got one of these from Mermade a while ago. Very clever little design with a steel mesh across the top so no sand required. I like simplicity. The only question is do you burn it with or without tinfoil? Personally I would really like if the Australian shop had the real sources noted on their packs. Still waiting on the rose incenses coming from America to Ireland takes a while!! I think I will try some Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi on charcoal with a stick or two of Tennendo Frankincense soon…

                    • glennjf said,

                      July 17, 2010 at 7:09 am

                      Hey Dave,

                      About the Bakhoor, Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi.

                      This incense appears to be a loosely composted fines type medium going on the couple of images I’ve seen of it online. You’d probably need to place the incense on foil.

                      For the Australian market incenses, showing sources …

                      The Australian market incenses being discussed do have the names of the companies on their packaging. Indeed many of them are well known outside Australia like for instance the Shoyeido Daily incenses being offered. They are sold in the same boxes as elsewhere and the individual rolls in those boxes are packaged in no way differently from rolls currently available elsewhere around the western world.

                      The issue is more around the wholesaler who is supplying the market here. The company has bought the incenses into the country under their own steam so I gather but so far they are not placing a great of importance on passing along to the retailers they supply their incenses to the names of the companies making those incenses. Further, the translations of the names of the individual incenses appear to have been done by a member of the organisation importing them. That’s fine and ok for the most part just that it means now that some of the incenses are being sold under slightly differing names to what they’re generally known by and sold as to the rest of the western world. It’s a small amount of confusion I know but still I would like to see it addressed and cleared up here, if nowhere else.

                      An example…

                      The incense currently being sold here under the name “Forest of Flowers”, with no company name shown at the wholesalers or retailers websites is the same incense that’s known as or at least generally referred to in the west as “Karin”. It’s a Kunjudo Company incense. The words “Traditional Incense Stick Karin” and “Kunjudo” are clearly recorded on the side of the box.

                      This is very basic information that I’ve recently gathered together myself and passed onto the one retailer who has them for sale at her website. My hope is she will confer with the wholesaler then add the “extra information” to beside each incense she is retailing. My feeling is it might make it the difference for some people to feel confident in purchasing as they’ll have a clearer understanding of which particular incense it is that they are buying, or not, depending.

                      There’s been a similar sort of situation occur previously with the
                      Encense du Monde line of incenses, but that situation has largely been sorted, not so much by alerting retailers about any differences more just by noting and informing people about those differences here at OFS.

                    • Anne said,

                      July 18, 2010 at 5:28 am

                      Hi Dave,

                      No, you don’t need to put a foil on the coal to burn the Duggatal Oudh Ward Taifi. In fact, though you could do it, I don’t recommend it. The foil would act as a buffer, mitigating the heat and lowering the temperature level (for a little while, before the culmative heat from the coal would course through it). Therefore, if you put a foil on the coal, you would be in essence, mimicking an electric incense burner, lowering the heat level and not producing smoke.

                      Burning the DOWT on the coal straight up is recommended. Indeed, I believe that you will like it much better than using it on the electric incense burner. First of all, the DOWT is fine granular woodchips, so when it’s placed on a hot burning coal, the incense will smoulder like any wood placed on a burning element. Therefore, it will start to burn up and release its lovely rose aroma. Second of all, as a result of burning, it will produce more smoke, which as you’ve previously indicated, is something you desire. And third, burning on a coal is a more intense method of usage – the intense heat of the coal will burn the DOWT faster and release more aroma into the air. It will also use up the DOWT faster than if you were putting it on an electric incense burner at a low setting, but it’s a fair trade-off in my opinon for getting a stronger scent. BTW, you could put the DOWT on the electric incense burner at a higher heat level, but it still would not produce the same amount of smoke than if you were burning it on a hot coal.

                      Hope the above is coherent and helps. It’s 8:30ish a.m., my time, and I’m still not fully awake yet!

                      BTW, I’m going to wait to purchase the Rose Classic, as well. I’ve got other things that I’d rather allocate my money to at the moment, and this incense set, beguiling though it is, will have to wait for another day. However, once I get it, I will definitely be posting a review.

  5. Anne said,

    February 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Just a belated addendum to correct my original post. Note that the Mt. Athos rose incense is not available at Essence of the Ages, instead it can be found at Orthodox Incense.com.

    Apologies for that, and for the late reply. I’ve been so swamped at work, and busy with other matters, that I haven’t had a chance to respond to some of the posts here.

  6. Hamid said,

    February 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I would say that I try to approach incenses in a Zen frame of mind..but a) it would be a bit pretentious…and b) it would be untrue, I have lots of preconceptions. The best I can do is on finding out that my preconceptions don’t tally with reality, I then try to meet the incenses halfway. Which is what you have just said Janet, only you said it more clearly.

    • Mike said,

      February 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      I find it helps to have a lot of you around commenting and liking something I may not have previously liked, it helps me go back to the drawing board and often appreciate something I didn’t get at first. “Oh that’s what that is” is often a revelation. 🙂

  7. Maharani said,

    February 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Great post Anne!

    I will definitely try some of these out as I love rose incense. I dont really have any other comments at this point except to remind everyone how lovely Shroff’s Paneer is, but of course that is a sandalwood and rose stick, so possibly not eligible for review as a pure rose. One small comment-my apologies for bringing it up-gulab is an Urdu/Hindi word coming from Persia, exclusively North Indian. There is no “Indian” and South Indian words for rose-such as paneer-are etymologically different. In fact in Kerala, where I come from, they say “Rozha-pu”, which literally means rose-flower and is a compound of English and the local languge!

    • Anne said,

      February 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Maharani,

      Actually, I debated about getting the Shroff’s Paneer, but in the end went with their Night Rose. Paneer was a candidate though, and I think a separate post of just Shroff’s rose scented incenses could be another blog entry in its own right!

      And thanks for the cultural tidbit of info! When I researched the word rose, the word “gul” and “gulab” popped up. That, plus a friend of mine from India told me that the word for rose was “gulab.”

  8. Steve said,

    February 1, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Awesome post, Anne! I don’t even like rose, but this was a fun and educational read. I especially like the USA fun trivia fact 😀 I guess if I’m ever to try another rose incense, sounds like Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi is the way to go…

    • Anne said,

      February 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      A sample of Duggatal Oudh Wardh Taifi will be heading your way soon, Steve! I know you don’t like the rose scent, but who knows, maybe Duggatal Oudh Ward Taifi may change your mind!

  9. Laurie said,

    February 1, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I also think Nu Essence’s Abra Melin is a lovely rose scent – I’m ambiguous about rose in general, but that one makes me think of a bed of soft, dew-soaked petals, almost drinkable, and I adore it.

    • Anne said,

      February 1, 2010 at 6:13 am

      It’s funny that you should mention Nu Essence’s Abra Merlin, Laurie. It actually came up in discussion with Mike, Steve, and Ross, when we talking about what rose incenses to feature. I have Abra Merlin, and yes, the rose scent in that is lovely. However, in the end, I decided to go with Nu Essence’s Venus because of what that particular incense represented, and because scent wise, it offered up an interesting and alternative take on the rose.

      • Mike said,

        February 1, 2010 at 9:22 am

        The Abramelin formula is an old one, it comes from an old occult grimoire called the Book of Abramelin, it’s the incense used in the ceremonies which are supposed to lead one to the knowledge and conversation with one’s personal Holy Guardian Angel. So in a way it’s more spiritual love that romantic love and thus the Venus is thematically more relevant. But I have to admit having a great fondness for the Abramelin, I’ve often wondered what it might be like if a really high grade aloeswood was used in it.

      • Laurie said,

        February 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        Oh, yes, certainly, I figured you’d picked the Venus because of the Valentine’s Day theme. 🙂 I’ve yet to try the Venus blend, but I liked Abra Melin so much I might have to.

        Mike, I can barely smell any aloeswood in the mix – I bet it’d be mind-blowing with a really nice one. I find it mixes beautifully with their Earth blend though.

        • Mike said,

          February 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

          With a recipe of Frankincense, benzoin, aloeswood and rose you would think it could easily have widely variable results. So I’m thinking Hougary + Hakusui + the finest in benzoin and rose oils. What this needs is a contest! 🙂

          • Laurie said,

            February 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm

            Hakusui is usually a little harsh/spicy for my tastes, although combined with such sweet ingredients it’d probably make for a really nice balance!

        • janet said,

          February 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

          Abra Melin and Earth! Great idea….I may have to try that one tonight!

          • Laurie said,

            February 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

            It’s delicious! At some point I stopped bothering to ever heat them separately…

    • janet said,

      February 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Great job, Anne, thanks so much!
      I read this post last night at 1:30 or so, right as I was drifting off, and decided a mention of the Abra Melin could wait until today 🙂
      Like Laurie, I’m not a big rose fan, but I really enjoyed it because it seemed rich and true without being overwhelming.

      • Laurie said,

        February 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

        Looks like I should have waited too, as I am apparently “ambiguous” about rose… I’m not sure what being ambiguous about rose entails, but possibly it implies imply sordid backroom shenanigans…

        (I meant “ambivalent”, lol.)

  10. Hamid said,

    February 1, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Bravo Anne. I am tempted to try the Encense Du Monde Rose.
    You will notice that I have not mentioned Jivada Hanuman Rose..

    • Anne said,

      February 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

      Thanks, Hamid. 🙂 I was thinking of you while writing up the reviews. Somehow it’s fitting, that you, the most ardent rose lover on the ORS, would be the first to respond to this blog entry!

      Having just recently read that you are not overly fond of japanese incense, I’d say ask for a sample Encens Du Monde’s rose from Beth the next time you place an order at EOTA. I think you’ll enjoy Shroff’s Night Queen more, given your preference towards indian incenses. BTW, if you haven’t already tried it, I’d say stay away from Shroff’s ‘Rose Natural.’ The name is a msinomer, imo, conveying that of fresh cut natural rose scent. However, it’s not particularly all that strong on the rose and veers towards being more woody.

      • Hamid said,

        February 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

        Yes I like the Night Queen Anne. Intially I did not take to the Rose Natural, my expectations of it being rosy were not met. However I have grown fond of it for what it is, rarther than for what it isnt if you get my drift.

        • janet said,

          February 1, 2010 at 11:16 am

          That’s a perfect way to put it!
          I often find for incenses that initially don’t meet my expectations, if I completely remove any previous characterizations of it from my mind and evaluate it for its own merits, my opinion changes for the better – often *much* better.

          • Anne said,

            February 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

            Just to follow-up on the comments about Shroff’s Rose Natural. This isn’t a bad incense per se, but I think that this name *is* a misnomer, as that it connotes and promotes an image of a natural, true to life rose scent. At least, that’s what I believe what most people would think based on the name alone. The reality is, the rose scent in this incense is very muted, and there are very strong wood notes present. Not exactly what usually comes to mind when thinking about how a real rose smells. As such, I think Shroff should rename this incense to something else. Because currently, I believe that people are being mislead, and come into purchasing it with different expectations. It’s like walking into a restaurant and ordering steak, but you get served a hamburger or some meatloaf. The hamburger or meatloaf in of itself may be tasty, but it’s not steak, not what you ordered, and not what you expected. So there’s bound to be some disappointment.

            If a rose incense doesn’t really smell all that much like rose, then it’s not a very good rose incense in my book. Given that Shroff generally produces such wonderful work overall, this rose natural is a bit of a misfire, I would say.

            • Mike said,

              February 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

              I’d guess the intent of Shroff was that the Natural part of the title has to do with the base of the incense (perhaps why it’s Rose Natural and not Natural Rose), but I admit that almost anyone reading that would still come up with your interpretation. I burned several sticks of it over the last week and it’s funny because the more I burn it, the less it smells rose-like to me, more like woody stick spiced up with rose. I still like it, but yeah buyer beware for sure.

              • Janet said,

                February 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

                Yeah, I agree with you there, Mike.
                Maybe because I have some familiarity with the Shroff line, I was somewhat expecting a base somewhat like the Natural incense – woody and not highly perfumed. As such, I wasn’t disappointed.


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