Shroff Channabasappa Part 1
Shroff Channabasappa Part 2
Shroff Channabasappa Part 3
Shroff Channabasappa Part 4
Shroff Channabasappa Part 5
Shroff Channabasappa Part 6
Shroff Channabasappa Part 7
Shroff Channabasappa Part 8
Shroff Channabasappa Part 9
Shroff Channabasappa Part 10
For some reason this batch of incenses, which would all fit nicely under the Dry Masala heading, has been classified with the Masala Base group of which I’ve already covered the rest in part 10. I’m not sure why this is the case as none of these are the same type of hybrid charcoal floral scents discussed last time. What we do have is a couple of sandalwoods, two florals and a few other fairly unique scents.
Night Queen is one of the florals and until this Shroff version I had trouble with nearly every Night Queen I’ve tried, after all this sort of night blooming jasmine is probably not something easy to capture naturally without great expense and the results are usually cloying charcoal perfumes. It definitely helps that this is more masala than charcoal, as the scent ends up being a lot softer. It’s sweet, slightly powdery, feminine, exotic and most importantly the perfume is well measured. The aroma is definitely carried by the oils for the most part, but at least there’s no harsh competitive base for it to get lost in.
Like the Parrot Green Durbar or one or two other Shroffs, the Palace Durbar has a bit of an ammoniac character which is something particularly prevalent with a lot of aromatic fatigue and it’s a weird note to have in what’s a sort of semi-sweet, fruity and floral thick stick. It’s unusual for Shroff in that it’s not strikingly impressive, in fact like the other “durbars” (in Shroff’s case such a term is not synonomous with the champa) there’s an almost paint-like characteristic. Not everyone will like this, and even after some persistance (something that tends to open up most of the Shroff line), it remains somewhat generic. I’d recommend starting with the Green Durbar as it shares some similarities and has more character.
The Parivar is an exquisite incense with a bit of musk and a somewhat “paradise flower” like floral aroma on top that is sweet and powdery, crystalline, but also based in a certain wood scent with a touch of caramel thrown in. It’s somewhat similar in a soapier way to Vrindavan Flower in the Pure Incense line, although the citrus note is more lemon than lime. An incense quite close to the flora style in its intensity, perhaps the only issues (as intimated above) are some minor/occasional ammoniac sour and bitter scents. That is, at times I wonder if it’s maybe too much of a good thing.
The Sandal (K/SPL) might be considered a special in name but it seems more or less the standard Indian masala sandalwood. Unlike the Madhavadas sourced sandalwood incenses this doesn’t have the vanilla subnotes, nor perhaps the high quality/quantity of oils in the Connoisseur version, but it trades these qualities for a much drier scent. Nice, if not particularly arresting.
The Sandal King is more saturated than the previous incenses and not quite so pure an aroma. This is a bit of a wet scent, a bit pillowy and perhaps slightly watered down in terms of a sandalwood scent. The oils are quite present on top and at the base but lighter in the middle. It might be perfect for those who want their sandalwood incense slightly more remote in intensity.
The Simple Flower is an unusual quasi-floral scent with a strong perfume that tends to bely the gentle nature you’d want from a light floral. This is also a bit spicy and salty. If Shroff are known for getting florals right usually, this might be a miss, or at least there is a somewhat shallow and synthetic quality to this that doesn’t usually sit well for me (ammonia? alcohol?).
My favorite in this group is definitely the Vanilla Balsam which while it seems to describe a combination of two ingredients actually strikes me as balsamic with the vanilla notes accentuated (for example I find tolu balsam to already have something of a vanilla note). The beauty of this is incense is it’s airy and dry so there are really very few aspects of the scent to get in the way of what’s a very well balanced and not too sweet incense. There’s really no other incense in the catalog quite like it.
I’ll be reviewing the new Shroff scents probably early next year as this is a company who really hasn’t ever stopped creating (or recreating) new incenses, so a new batch arrives about the time I end up writing up the next batch. This will probably be my last non-list review for 2010, although we’re hoping to put together an end of year list in a few weeks.