Stupa / Buddha Incense

It’s hard to tell from the listings at the Essence of the Ages page but a few of the packages under the Stupa name are actually more than just one incense and that’s no more true than this Buddha Incense package, which is a box of five sticks of five different incenses. The ingredients are listed as a whole: red and white sandalwood, juniper, spikenard, shang, bakchi, mugwort and others; however, it seems like these are sort of generally distributed over the five different sticks. None of the individual incenses have names, they’re only identifiable by colors and each is subbound by strings in the box.

Stupa’s a pretty solid mid-range Nepali company, while their incenses are often fairly typical, they have a strength and potency akin to companies like the Dhoop Factory, that is they’re a step up on the lowest tiers. The first of the five Buddha incenses sticks, colored olive-green/brown, is an unusual tangy nepali blend and it’s one I’d have thought asta sughandi might have been part of as it has that almost marshmallow/herbal like scent. I’d also guess the spikenard plays a bit of a part in this one as well, along with the usual sandalwood mix. Of the five sticks here this is probably the most original and unfamiliar blend.

The tan stick is very resinous and even though I don’t see it in the list, I’d suspect part of this made partially from frankincense or some other resin, blended thoroughly with wood. It’s fairly typical in style with this wood, resin and slight spice mix, but it’s one I find particularly friendly. The red stick (the brighter of the two reds in this box) is definitively red sandalwood and thus fairly dull, even if it does tend to get the scent right, with its slight mellow sweetness. Spikenard might also play a part in this one, but overall this is the least scintillating incense in the box.

The light green incense, streaked with a bit of red, is dominantly juniper, nice and intense with both wood and resinous aspects to it. Unlike a lot of cheap Nepali juniper incenses this one doesn’t overdo the heavy campfire woods and ends up being nicely balanced. The final incense, brick red to brown in color, is like a combo of the two greenish incenses in a way, with the tanginess of the first herbal scent and the slight evergreen from the juniper stick. I’d guess this is the scent with the heaviest mugwort content as it has a slightly tobacco-like herbal flair to it, with perhaps some rhododendron in the mix. Lilke the first incense it’s a bit unusual.

Not a bad sampler at all really, kind of midrange Nepali with a nice range of scents, perhaps with the commonality of the woods at base. It should also be mentioned that I don’t believe any of these scents are duplicated outside this box, but I’m also not sure any of them are noteworthy enough to warrant such a case.

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