Coming up…

Been busy on the incense front. First of all upcoming is a look at the series of 14 new Nag Champas from Mother’s India Fragrances. Both the home company and their Dutch distribution have been tremendously supportive (and they’ll definitely be in the US eventually as well) on the samples end, which also means there will be a lot more Mother’s scents to go. I’ll do this in two parts, with the first part already nearing completion. Those who loved the original five will find some really fantastic new concoctions, and best of all they all have halmaddi in them and the company has an informative, explanatory document on the champas which has really helped.

I’m also moving closer to completion on the full Shroff line, I’ve got notes written up for all the Masala Base florals and am currently working on the other seven Masala Base incenses that came in in the last batch, so I’m hoping to have these done, at least until any new ones might come in (crossing fingers).

There will be a couple more installments in the Pure Incense Absolute line. I don’t have a few of the most recent incenses yet, but when I do I think we’ll be up to date on those as well. The notes on the next batch featuring mostly the Cedarwood mixes are finished. After that the Sandalwoods and Patchoulis.

In the Tibetan category, there’s a couple from Tengboche, the wooly Tibetan Yak, and a sampling from Stupa, all notes are finished. Shechens, Domas, Luckys, and Arogyas farther down the line.

And Ross and I will be doing some more stuff from the Triloka book as well.

I also plan on going over the Baieido aloeswood playbook, but this is on the slow track as I’m still not  to the point where I habitually use my heater as much as I’d like to. Plus there’s nothing like a heated chip of Hakusui or Ogurayama to make you drop everything you’re doing and go astral.

And I’m still working through the new categories as you may have guessed from the longer side bar on the left, I think I’m well over half way through the 2008 posts.

9 Comments

  1. danothy said,

    August 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Since I live in Europe, I was able to get them already from the Dutch company. And they are indeed everything they’re cracked up to be. Being a staunch Japanese incense fan, it’s taken me a while to find my way into Indian incense, and especially into Nag Champa. After trying many that left me cold (at best), these have really pulled me in.
    My initial reaction was that they were all quite similar, but now that I’ve been with them for a while, I have distinct favorites (which I’ll be curious to compare with the review here).
    So now with Mother’s in Holland and Pure Incense and Purelands in the UK, things are not quite as desperate here in Europe as they have been in the past, at least for Indian incense. Now if only I didn’t have to didn’t have to spend a fortune importing Japanese incense…

    • Mike said,

      August 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

      I had the same initial reaction as you. They actually are all pretty similar at first due to the format, but definitely the more I use them the more they separate themselves. It also helps that the company sent me a lot of their essentials and absolutes, which I think will help me in picking out the notes. Almost across the board all of their oils seem to be different than what I’d usually pick up, and what’s nice is so many of them are mellow and subtle.

      It’s really unfortunate that so many Nag Champas today are so mediocre, including the famous blue box, which in its heyday was well up to the hype. I remember the friends who introduced it to me would bring boxes in showing just how gooey and fresh the sticks were. When I first started coming across dried up boxes I thought maybe they had been sitting in warehouses too long or something and then later learned of the ingredients changes. But even years after that I’d have friends finding boxes of the old formula at shops here and there and thinking they had a particularly fresh batch.

      I think India has gone through the process of trying to protect halmaddi just like they are with sandalwood. I have no idea if they’ll ever end up producing enough so that the commercial companies could put it back in their incense, but one can hope…

  2. glennjf said,

    August 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Same goes for me koinu7. I sort of missed whole the 60’s and 70’s and the 80’s halmaddi thing. Although I was there I wasn’t really if you catch my drift. I was burning incense for sure back then just not the sort of incense talked about here. (winks)

    I’m looking to be guided now by you Mike for which of the Mother’s to try that would level at me as near to as is now possible a fair (modernised) rendition of a halmaddi experience such as what is referred to here as having been experienced by folks back in the good old daze. (sic)

    • koinu7 said,

      August 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      Haha! I get you. I wasn’t around back then (well the 80’s but an infant) so I never had the chance. Reading all these reviews of the new blends has me amped up. I never thought I would like Indian incense, and here I am fawning over Mother’s and can’t burn enough! Dana

  3. koinu7 said,

    August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m really glad the new Mother’s champas will have halmaddi in them. I’ve loved Japanese incense for several years and only recently garnered an interest in Indian incense. I never experienced the old champas with haldmaddi in them. I’ve read all the posts about how deep and wet and incomparable those old champas were. EoTA will apparently have 13 new Mother’s blends available at the end of August. I can’t wait to try them.

    • Mike said,

      August 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

      I have to say I’m a little confused about the incenses. The literature on them starts with a paragraph on how halmaddi is used in the incenses and mixed with honey and clearly the intent is to feature all 19 champas. But on the actual packets themselves the description is that it’s mattipal mixed with honey. Both are different plants, so I’ll be having to ask what’s going on here, maybe both are used?

      Needless to say I don’t think these are exactly like what nag champas used to be like 10-15+ years ago, but they’re definitely, by far, the best ones on the market today and are really impressive incenses. For sure there is a sweetness to these that approach yesterday’s richness, but the bases are also more balsamic than the old champas.

      I’m sure EoTA with probably have all 14 of the new ones when they come in.

      • Mike said,

        August 18, 2010 at 6:23 am

        OK I’ve got clarification. Mattipal and Halmaddi actually are the same gum or resin. It is called Halmaddi (or pallumadi) in the language of Kannada, and mattipal in the language of Tamil.

        • glennjf said,

          August 18, 2010 at 6:29 am

          Bodes well. Just checked, Beth, EoTA now has a notice on her Mother’s page telling folks to expect 13 New Nag Champa Blends in late August.

        • koinu7 said,

          August 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

          Thanks for the info. I had no idea that they were the same thing. Again, can’t wait for the new series — Dana


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