Tis the season for some Frankincense Frenzy and a little bit of Myrrh Madness…

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all our ORS readers! In the spirit of the season, I will be reviewing some frankincense and myrrh incenses. As many of you likely know, frankincense and myrrh were two of the gifts given to baby Jesus by the Magi (three wise men or three kings) with the third gift being gold. According to some interpretations by biblical scholars, the frankincense represented Jesus’s spirituality and his connection to the divine, the myrrh represented his human mortality and prophesized his mortal death, and the gold represented his royal power and influence.

To my mind, frankincense and myrrh are like the peanut butter and jelly of the incense world. Each is good on its own, but teamed together, they achieve greatness.  The following incense reviews lean more to frankincense then to myrrh. This is a reflection of my own bias; though I like myrrh, I love frankincense. Also, some of these incenses were already reviewed previously, but are included again because they fall into the theme and to act as a reminder of what’s available. Though of course, there are so many more frankincense and myrrh incenses out in the market.  However, I do believe the below are a good representative sampling of some of the better ones.

Fusoos frankincense resins: We’ve talked a lot about Hougari frankincense here at the ORS – and rightly so, it’s amazing frankincense, with its bright and lovely citrusy top notes followed by an earthy balsamic endnote. However, it’s time to give Fusoos, Hougari’s sibling, some consideration as well. Fusoos is a type of frankincense from Oman (which incidentally is the birthplace for the best frankincense resins) and differs from Hougari in that it’s less citrusy with a drier scent and is slightly earthier.  Incidentally, the Omani people consider Fusoos to be superior to Hougari.

Yemeni Myrrh: Those that love myrrh really should try and obtain the resin from Yemen. This Middle Eastern country produces the best myrrh, with a darkly resinous edge, one with depth and a scent that lingers for a long time.

Minorien frankincense: This provides good frankincense aroma with a woody undertone; alas there is no citrusy top notes though.  Nonetheless, Minorien as a company has provided consistently good work, and their rendition of frankincense is a good one, one that is more subtle.

Tennendo frankincense:  Tennendo uses frankincense resins from Oman. Whether or not Tennendo utilizes hougari resins is unknown. Regardless, don’t expect the citrusy top notes that are often found in Hougari frankincense, but instead a slightly sweet, slightly fruity honeydew melon top note. The frankincense scent itself is earthy. I’m quite fond of this incense, but I know others don’t care for the fruity sweetness, and prefer a darker more straight up frankincense scent.

Kyukyodo Shirohato White Dove: This is an interesting mix of frankincense, sandalwood, and a touch of floral. This is not a sweet scent like Tennendo’s frankincense. This is a warmer, woodier aroma. The frankincense and floral scents are accent notes.

Pure Incense Connoisseur Frankincense:  This is a sweet and foody type of frankincense scent. Due to the vanilla powder and other ingredients in the base, there are touches of cocoa and caramel notes to this incense. The frankincense scent is an endnote and muted as well. Those that would prefer a less candy like scent and more frankincense should look elsewhere. However, those of you that like the sweet scents are likely to be over the moon for this incense.

Fred Soll Classic Frankincense: The name says it all; this is a classic frankincense scent. This is smoky and resiny goodness in a stick form.

Fred Soll Frankincense and Cedar: This is a mix of frankincense, cedar, and pinon herbs. This is an unusual blend that is slightly musky. This incense does not have the bright citrusy notes of Hougari (boswellia sacra), which isn’t surprising because Fred uses resins from boswellia thurifera, another type of frankincense tree from Somalia. Nonetheless, this is still a good frankincense scent, and due to the addition of cedar, has a warm woody note.

Fred Soll Frankincense and Patchouli: A nice mix of frankincense, patchouli, and pinon. The frankincense and patchouli are the more prominent scents, and work surprising well together with the earthy sweet patchouli blending well with the resiny frankincense.

Fred Soll Frankincense Jasmine and Roses: Due to the jasmine and rose notes, this is more of a floral than frankincense aroma. Top notes are jasmine, followed by rose, and the frankincense is the end note. The frankincense is muted here, so for those that prefer more dominant frankincense, you should consider going with another incense. Though this is still a very good incense blend, and those that are looking for a new floral twist on frankincense may enjoy this particular blending.

Fred Soll Frankincense and Myrrh: Fred’s rendition on the classic pairing of these two incense resins. The myrrh is not very strong, which may appeal to those that aren’t myrrh aficionados. Frankincense is the more dominant scent, with myrrh being muted and the end note. This is still nice incense, and is a good choice for people that want an easy accessible stick with these scents but don’t want to bother with the real resins.

Ancient Forest Frankincense and Myrrh: An excellent blend of frankincense and myrrh, with a nice even balance between the two resins. The myrrh is readily apparent but not overwhelming. These short little incense sticks once lit are very smoky. Though like Fred Soll sticks, they do have a tendency to be difficult to light or stay lit.

Orthodox Incense Myrrh: About a year ago, I wrote this about orthodox myrrh – “The athonite style myrrh, blended in with floral oils, is a nice change of pace. The top notes are of a fine floral bouquet, the scent of various flowers blended in together, which then give way to the bitter resinous edge of myrrh. The two play off each other very well, the soft sweet florals give way to a sharper, dry, resiny myrrh earthiness. However, the floral notes still linger, and so the edge that myrrh brings isn’t completely overwhelming. It’s an interesting contrast, as if this is the olfactory version of balancing sweet with sour/bitter in a culinary dish. That said, I think that those that don’t normally take to myrrh would like this athonite style of it. However, hardcore myrrh lovers and traditionalists could literally turn their noses up at this, believing that the florals are too soft, too sweet, and detract from the lovely bitter edge that myrrh is known for. The floral bouquet in this athonite style is myrrh is very hard to pin down. I can’t say definitively what floral oils are in it, but I think I’m detecting honeysuckle, lily, lilac, perhaps lily of the valley, and the merest whisper of rose.” I recently revisited this incense and all of the above remains true, though the myrrh scent is now a bit more muted, having lost some of its potency. Nonetheless, this is still lovely incense, and one that I recommend.

Omani Frankincense sticks: This is an incense stick that I discovered a while back, one that is made in Oman and which uses genuine Omani frankincense resins. The aroma is bright, sharp, and penetrating, and very fragrant. This is an excellent frankincense stick, one that provides a very authentic frankincense aroma. It doesn’t state so on the package, but it’s quite likely that hougari frankincense are used in these sticks. The citrusy and balsamic notes associated with hougari are present in these sticks. Regardless of whether Hougari is used or not, this is a superior frankincense incense stick, and might just be the best in the market for those looking for a pure unadulterated frankincense scent without having to use the actual resins. This incense stick is about eight and half inches in length, with six inches of it being burnable, and the remaining two and half inches being the handle. This is very smoky, and burn time duration is about an hour and a half.

Incidentally, note that the Orthodox athonite myrrh resins are available from OrthodoxIncense.com. The Omani frankincense sticks are available from Ibn Saif Trading in Oman (see my review of this incense retailer in the Review Your Retailer section). The other incenses mentioned in this article can be found at various retailers on the internet.

So what are you burning this December? Are you veering toward the traditional frankincense and myrrh due to the holiday/seasonal associations? Or are you burning whatever suits your fancy? Perhaps something calming and relaxing to sooth raging emotions caused by holiday stress and madness? Chime in and let us know!

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44 Comments

  1. Josh Matthews said,

    September 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Just sampled Fred Soll’s “Frankincense with Myrrh and White Sage” – this to me smells strongly of Frankincense, and the Frankincense is the citrusy type – smells very much like Tennendo’s Frankincense stick though this is a richer and bigger scent – amazing! Phenomenal incense – huge euphoric aroma..

    In the reviews above Mike says that Fred Soll uses the non-citrusy type of frankincense – but that review was a few years ago – maybe they have switched types?

    • Mike said,

      September 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Yeah I would think the Soll Frankincenses would likely change from batch to batch given the wide variety and quality and frankincense that is available. If they’ve gone with higher quality resin that is indeed good news. However some of the aroma in that might be due to the pine pitch that’s used in the base as well as the quality Sage in there. I remember that one being something of a clever mix in fact I should go pull the pack out again!

  2. hyblaean said,

    February 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I finally got to purchase some Minorien Frankincense (and Sandalwood) and could not believe how good they smelled! My normal favorite house is Shoyeido, which, for my senses, seems to hit all the good notes and miss most of the bad ones. Minorien exceeds them in these 2 scents (and I’m sure in aloeswood as well, I just don’t care for that wood)

    • Anne said,

      February 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Hyblaean,

      Welcome to the ORS! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Minoriens. This is a very good incense company, and though they don’t have a lot of diversity in their line-up, what they make, they tend to do very well.

  3. greg said,

    January 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    just a quick note about Kyukyodo incense. i just received my “CARE” parcel from my shopper in Japan and in it was the Akikaze incense which is not available as of yet in the US. It is beautifully packaged in a brocade-over-metal scroll shaped tube with end caps, which is then wrapped in rice paper and nestled on end rests in a paulownia wood box labeled in gold flecked rice paper. box is about 40% larger than the sho-ran-ko blend and contains about 40% LESS sticks, though each akikaze stick is about 10 inches long. i have to say that though akikaze is more pricey per inch than sho-ran-koh, there is very little difference in scent, before and after burning. you get the occasional wisps of floral fragrance blended skillfully with the aloeswood and spice notes so familiar to kyukyodo aficionados. no kyara notes whatsoever in this blend. there are 2 more expensive incenses than akikaze in the kyukyodo line-up available in japan and someday i’ll try those blends. I have to say to all those who might regret not having available to them the entire lines of kyukyodo, tennendo, kunmeido, yamadamatsu, that Japan Incense does a very good job of selecting those blends that are superlative and distinctive while avoiding importing scents that are similar variations on the central theme. best new year’s wishes to the incense lovers on this website!

    • Mike said,

      January 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Greg, almost all of the Kyukyodos have a similar note in them, but you’ll find they’re actually quite different if you burn one next to each other. All three of the silk rolls in pawlonia boxes are terrific, Murasakino (the #1 in that range) is a green stick with a very heavy aloeswood punch to it, some slight green and floral notes and complexity for days. Haru-no-yama is yellow and a lot like a more deluxe aloeswood heavy Sho-Ran Ko. I remember burning these after I got them for days and then went back to Akikaze and found it strikingly different.

      Kyukyodo do have at least one kyara, it’s totally unlike anyone else’s and extremely pricy (about the same as Murasakino but only 20 sticks). It’s almost like one of their deluxe sandalwood blends with green kyara in it. Utterly gorgeous and unique.

      • greg said,

        January 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

        thanks Mike for the intel. on the higher end kyukyodo line. i will have to try the murasakino and their kyara rendition. it will have to wait until i receive my next order of a series of pricey agalloch blends from Japan with the sobriquet “elephant incense” ?! have a terrific new year.

        • glennjf said,

          January 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

          The more I read the more questions I have.

          The Kyara by Kyukyodo, is it “Musashino” number 069 top left of page 5 in their current catalogue ?

          I also have a vague memory reading something about “elephant incense” somewhere recently, probably was here at ORS, I can’t locate the article now. Can you help out with a company name who makes the incense please greg?

          The pricey agalloch blends you mention inspire questions also, so again I’d ask if you have any company names and names for the particular incenses and are happy to share the information then please do. I for one would be interested to know more.

          • Mike said,

            January 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

            I think Kyukyodo might have more than one kyara but yeah the one I described is 069. Pleased to find out what its name is!

            • glennjf said,

              January 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm

              That’s another one pinned done, thanks again Mike 🙂

              The other Kyukyodo Kyara incense I’ve managed to ID is Catalogue No.296 Kyara (stick version).

              I believe I’ve also managed to determine Gyokushodo as the company that is producing the Elephant Series incenses.

          • greg said,

            January 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm

            sorry for the delay glennjf – Gyokushodo makes the elephant series with 7 blends housed in classy (car paint metallic) cardboard boxes. i now have all the series and the top three (i.e., most expensive) have kyara in them. the scents are extremely high quality with soft aloes wood fragrances melding with floral oils, clove, cinnamon and camphor! In Japan you can get a sampler of all seven in an elegant hand stenciled paulownia, two-tiered box with porcelain burner. The sampler contains about 15 sticks or so of each except the”En no Sho” which has 5 sticks in the internal box. Each stick is about 4 inches in length and the higher end sticks are square cut as opposed to the “pole type”stick shape. the sampler sells in Japan for about 150 dollars US. the whole set was so elegantly wrapped for me in washi paper and 2 outer boxes. Hope this helps!

            best, greg

            • glennjf said,

              January 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

              Thank you Greg and lucky you! The Gyokushodo Elephant series information is very much appreciated.

      • mhc said,

        June 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

        Tennendo Frankincense STINKS! it does NOT smell like frankinencense, either in the tube or when heated or when burned. When you open the tube it smells like cheap sour apple “room freshener” and when you heat or burn it it smells like cheap firewood with rotting undertones of rotten vegetation. When I complained to “Essence” about it they said it “had a citrus smell” – a. no it doesn’t, and b. frankincense should not smell citrusy anyway! TOTALY rip-off. Withe 15% “restocking fee” and of course no refund of “shipping and handling” it’s not worth returning the thankfully small order I placed. Instead it’s going out with the used cat litter, along with their business card. BE WARNED. If you are after a frankincense product, THIS IS NOT IT.

        • glennjf said,

          June 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

          Me, I’m happy to say it again, I adore Tennendo Frankincense, as I’ve stated here previously, on this page infact! Restating further, it is a very personal business this appreciation of scents business certainly no two noses are alike that’s for sure.

          One might also say of Minorien Frankincense that it also does not smell exactly like frankincense but with regard to both incenses they contain not only frankincense but also other ingredients and that’s what makes experiencing them so amazing. It’s the combination of ingredients that when burned takes you places. I would not expect to get the pure frankincense experience from either incense, for that I always use some of the actual resin sprinkled over lit charcoal or in conjunction with my electric burner.

          For the pure resin form of frankincense, burned over charcoal. I’ve seen people swoon in what can only be describes as ecstasy as the resultant smoke wafts over them. Others meantime will suddenly cringe, strongly grimace and rapidly make plans to run a mile! Same burned resin, two very different results. There’s not only citrus notes in frankincense but other notes also, depending from which species the resin is obtained, there’s more than one species.

          I also cannot fault Essence of the Ages in what they do or how they do it, this after many orders placed with them. So pleased was I that some time ago I made the effort to personally phone them and issue my personal thanks to them for the amazing effort put into gathering and delivering into my happy hands some of the most amazing incenses this planet has to offer. I live halfway round the planet from them by the way,

          • Mike said,

            June 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

            The main question in incense these days is whether a recipe has changed or not. So when I see a commenter go after what has generally been a pretty popular blend at ORS, I wonder if maybe the formula has changed. I can understand someone thinking Tennendo isn’t an exact frankincense match (although let’s be fair when you’re adding binder wood for a stick it’s never going to be 100% pure), but “rotting undertones of rotting vegetation” strikes me as hyperbole, It’s hard to imagine any Japanese company producing incense with that kind of scent – most incenses with such an aroma I wouldn’t even bother to review here.

            • Mike said,

              June 28, 2012 at 8:19 am

              I also want to mention something very important about Essence of the Ages. Beth’s practically a pioneer when it comes to sussing out great scents from all over the world, but in these days and ages when companies are pulling recipes out from under us without notice, it’s not those of us who buy a roll that take the biggest hit, it’s Essence who ends up stuck with stock, especially when we have to report the change. Quite frankly the hit Highland took really took some of the wind out of my sails with incense, because the fact we have someone who loves incense so much she’s out there digging up treasures, only for it to occasionally backfire is really troubling to me.

        • Hamid said,

          June 28, 2012 at 2:34 am

          Our scene of smell is very subjective…it depends on our own physiology. on weather conditions, even mood.
          I think it behoves us to remember that when tempted to make dismissive and semi- abusive statements about others people olfactory choices….

          • Hamid said,

            June 28, 2012 at 4:51 am

            Just to add, high-class frankincense OFTEN has a ” citrusy ” smell.
            The lemon-like tones of Hogary and Maydi are frequently remarked on.

            • glennjf said,

              June 28, 2012 at 5:03 am

              I heard various people remark they’re catching a strong pine note from burned Hogary resin, they’ll utter… smells like a pine forest. The frankincense sticks from Oman (Mermade now has them for sale) will draw the same comment.

  4. David said,

    January 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Year round you can find me burning and enjoying the Minorien Frankincense. And there’s a Frankincense that you did not mention that I adore – Shoyeido’s Southern Mountain Nan-zan. Both are absolutely wonderful. I burn them all the time. Happy New Year to you all!

    David

    • Anne said,

      February 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      Hi David,

      Sorry for the belated response, I thought I replied earlier. I wanted to review Shoyeido’s Nan Zan, but didn’t get around to it. As that I already had an ample supply of various frankincense incenses, I decided to not order any more at that time. Oh well, there’s always December 2011 to cover this incense then!

  5. glennjf said,

    December 31, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Reporting back about the Omani (Hojari) Frankincense sticks and Hojari Resin…

    I can tell you the sticks are utterly fantastic in every way and just as Anne has described them.

    I’ve found lighting a stick the quickest and easiest way of getting the Hojari frankincense experience, no fuss and no mess except for some ash. I think the sticks would be a hit with frankincense lovers anywhere and turn anyone not acquainted with Hojari frankincense into a lover immediately at least that’s what has happened to me.

    With the first wiff of a lit stick I got that Tennendo Nyuko Frankincense scent but without the watermelon overlay sometimes talked about here at ORS, all round a lovely experience.

    The resin, warmed on an electric incense heater or sprinkled on charcoal, produces the expected result, uplifting in every way 🙂

  6. Mumon said,

    December 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I still owe you guys a picture of the mysterious un-named Indian incense I received earlier this year, but – you asked what we’re burning – I wanted to clue you in on something you might not have known: Nippon Kodo’s Mainichikoh/Viva incense is actually derived from temple incense in Japan – the purest expression of this green sandalwood form I’ve found is the green sandalwood incense from Kofukuji temple in Nara.

    If you’ve experienced Kofukuji’s incense, you’ll understand what Nippon Kodo was trying to do: create an echo of this style of incense without treading on the subtle grandness of Kofukuji’s. (For a spicier version of this, the green sandalwood from Hanny-ji (also in Nara) is worth experiencing.)

    • Anne said,

      December 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Mumon,

      Thanks for the info about NK’s Mainichikoh/Viva incense. I’m actually taking a break from the frank and myrrh, and am burning some sandalwood at the moment.

      When you can get around to it, pls do post that pic of that un-named Indian incense that you have.

      Best,

      AC

  7. glennjf said,

    December 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Easy and informative read about Frankincense I found at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center website. The History of Frankincense

    Something else that I did not know about the uses of frankincense…

    “One thing you can do is choose the light coloured (Hojary) Frankincense and put two pieces in your mouth and chew them. It may be some are bitter to start with and breakdown and sticky, but when you continue to chew, you will find that to be the best chewing gum you have ever had. The smells, the texture, and ever lasting taste.” – Muhanna Saif Al-Nabhani from Ibn Saif Trading

  8. Masha said,

    December 16, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I’ll second the recommendation for Holy Transfiguration Monastery’s frankincense and myrrh- based incenses. Sinai and Tsaritsa are my favorites.

  9. glennjf said,

    December 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    The Omani Frankincense sticks sure sound worth following up on.

    I also adore the Tennendo Frankincense, I plan to never be without a roll if I can help it.

    Shoyeido, The Angelic Series “Peace” I read about this incense here as a fair example of a Myrrh base incense stick. I bought a pack after reading the review and never regretted it. I don’t burn it often but when I do I appreciate it’s sweet and musky? nature very much..

    I only just got to sample Hougary (Hojari) Frankincense which was originally from Mermade Magickal Arts, thank you to Kim 🙂 It is lovely stuff and so good to experience first hand. Used it only with the electric incense heater but will try some on some of the ‘japanese’ charcoal, soon as I get hold of some.

    For the Fred Soll incenses, I’ve not tried anything of Freds (yet) notably almost unbelievably I missed the opportunity of a discount on them at the recent ETOA 12 Days of Christmas Sale, whatever was I thinking?

    • glennjf said,

      December 16, 2010 at 4:49 am

      Seasons Greetings also to the ORS folks and the terrifically friendly followers of ORS.

      Greetings and thanks to the various incense retailers I’ve been fortunate to interact with these last 12 months, you and those mentioned above have made a hugely positive difference in my life over the period. Thank you all. 🙂

    • glennjf said,

      December 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      Anne, confirming for you, Omani Frankincense sticks are made with Hougari frankincense. I emailed Ibn Saif Trading in Oman yesterday and received back a wonderful reply 🙂

      Quoting…

      “Frankincense Sticks are very new in the market. I started to supply the market end of last year.
      I manufacture Frankincense Incense Sticks here in Oman using genuine Hojari Frankincense.
      We crush the Frankincense to powder then produce the Sticks.”

      also..

      “The sticks are not only good for the aromas, but are excellent insect repellent, especially when used outdoors.” – Ibn Saif Trading

      • Anne said,

        December 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm

        Hey Glenn,

        Thanks for confirming the Omani frankincense sticks are indeed made out of hougary resins. Since you like Tennendo’s frank, I think you’ll like Fred Soll and Ibn Saif Trading’s incenses as well. Though you missed out on the Fred Soll sale at EOTA’s xmas sale, they’re still quite affordable. Who knows, if japanese incense can find its way to Oz, then perhaps there’s some incense vendor there that carries Fred’s line of incenses.

        • glennjf said,

          December 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

          Thanks Anne.

          I searched but so far no luck, no worries as Beth carries Freds incenses on offer plus as you say, his creations are affordable.

          I also made contact with Ibn Saif Trading, and what a terrific experience that was too. Soon I’ll be placed to have some of his sticks with me when I get about my local area. If they are as good as you say then I hope there will be a local business who will be interested enough by them to order some to sell, I hope so. Thanks for the alert to their existence.

  10. apsara said,

    December 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I must say I like the Tennendo Francincense a lot. A whole lot! Infact, it is wafting through the air right now. Infact, to me it’s an incense unlike any other. Even the high end Japanese aloeswood mixtures, I feel there are many similarities between them. The Tennendo Frankincense is very different (I only know, or rather pursue and purchase, Japanese incense). To my nose, there is either “like” or “dont’ like”. Whether it’s watermelon-y, I can’t tell. Freshness, I call it. It’s definitely not a synthetic smell.

    I have the electric burner. Did not get into the traditional charcoal method so much, due to the time, patience, preparation of accessories, cleanup and especially the occasional charcoal smell (and smoke) involved. The electric burner is great. Just a few drops of Frankincense resin on a small piece of alu foil. I have bought some from different vendors, but must say, the Enfleurage resins are expensive (too expensive). I also like Dammar, it is very delicate. For resin, the dial hardly needs to be above 10 or 12. Above 20, mine gets too hot for everything.

    • Anne said,

      December 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Apsara,

      Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head there with your comment about Tennendo’s frankincense having a fresh scent. I’m not sure what they did, or how they did it, but somehow Tennendo has managed to infuse their frankincense sticks with an airy freshness that is quite appealing. Indeed, I think of all the frankincense incenses that I’ve tried, they are the only ones that have managed to achieve this.

      I also agree with you about the electric burner vs the charcoal method of burning incenses. Every now and then I’ll use a charcoal for burning, but I generally prefer to use my burner – it’s easier, quicker, and there’s less mess to deal with afterwards. And best of all, there’s the ability to control and adjust the heat, so resins and other incenses can be gently “simmered”, thus releasing their pure scent without having the burnt or scorched aroma that using a hot charcoal does.

      Oh, btw, I also agree with your comment about Enfleurage and their pricing. I once called the New York store to inquire about prices for some frankincense and was quoted a really high sum – way too high, in my opinion. There are other vendors that are more reasonable and that provide excellent frankincense too.

      • Hamid said,

        December 17, 2010 at 3:09 am

        The elecrtic burner is much safer too….especially if one is as butterfingered as I..when I used charcoal I left little burns from sparks on stuff. Which could have been prevented by using a censer with a lid of course.But I will stick to the burner
        Hopefully not literally..
        Nice Christmas selection Anne… which I have to write as I dont know how to transpose a real one.

        • Hamid said,

          December 17, 2010 at 3:11 am

          Just to explain the above myserious remark I attempted to write “thumbs up smiley.”..but it disappeared in the posting thereof. I will tiptoe away and leave you all in peace now,,,

          • Anne said,

            December 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

            LOL. Belated thanks, Hamid. And no need to tiptoe away – saunter out with your head held high! 🙂

            • Hamid said,

              December 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

              I’m saunterin’ Anne….

              • glennjf said,

                December 23, 2010 at 11:58 pm

                If you thought it was hard to make up a thumbs up smiley try finding a sauntering emoticon online! At the rate I’m going I’ll be googling till next christmas and probably will have nothing to show for it, good thing there’s incense here I can be burning while I’m searching.

                😉

  11. Hamid said,

    December 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Orthodox incense do a lovely incense called Nazareth that smells like a particularly nice after shave…I kid you not. Its delicious and its Christmassy.

    • Anne said,

      December 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Hamid,

      Well, I’ve got bakhoors that smell like colognes or perfumes, so an athonite style incense that smells like a Christmassy aftershave doesn’t quite surprise me!

      I will have to put this on my wish list. I have other incenses from Orthodox Incense, and they’re all quite good. So I expect Nazareth will not disappoint either.

  12. Alex said,

    December 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I completely agree with your comment on the Tennendo Frankincense: it seems to point in the general direction of but not quite reach the citrus scent, which leaves it at a sort of halfway point in my book (honeydew describes this much better though 😀 ).

    The king of Frankincense for me is Fred Soll’s Classic. It’s an absolutely fantastic scent, and it’s what I go to whenever I’m in that mood. The best part is that I can burn half a stick and the wonderful aroma stays for hours!

    I also have Fred Soll’s Sacred Myrrh, which is very nice as well. I think it’s great to have both of these, as I have a much stronger idea of what each of these should smell like on their own now, allowing me to better enjoy Frankincense and Myrrh blends. Someone mentioned that their batch of Fred Soll’s Myrrh was too sweet, but the sweetness is definitely outweighed by a great bitter scent in my pack.

    I like going for the Minorien Frankincense when I’m looking for more of a woody scent, which makes it my second most-burned after Soll’s.

    • Anne said,

      December 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Alex,

      Yes, one of the great things about Fred Soll’s incense is its strong aroma, and the way the scent lingers in a room long after a stick has been burnt and finished.

      I don’t know if you’ve tried hougary frankincense resins or not, but if you love frankincense as much as it sounds, you owe it to yourself to try it. There are various retailers that are selling it in ozs instead of pounds; therefore it’s quite affordable to obtain a sample.

  13. greg said,

    December 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

    the orthodoxincence.com offers a lycean myrrh that captures the base notes of myrrh while adding a combination of sweet floral oil top notes. depending on HOW you burn the resin gumdrops, you’ll get more or less of the latter. i prefer to place a few pellets on a piece of foil, lay a thick layer of rice ash on top of them then place a lit, shoyeido charcoal lozenge on top of the ash. you get a slow burn with very little burnout or acrid overtones. holy transfiguration monastery in brookline, ma also offers a superlative myrrh incense in the athonite style, though their ‘sinai’, tabor, and ‘tsaritsa’ are their signature scents in this format.

    • Anne said,

      December 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for the info about the myrrh available at the Holy Transfiguration Moneastery. BTW, that’s an interesting method for burning resins. Personally, I prefer putting my resins on an electric incense burner. There’s less mess using that method than working with ash and charcoals. However, there is a certain charm to ‘kicking it ol’ school’ and getting back to the basics of charcoals burns. In my own experiments, I’ve found that charcoals tend to release a great flood of scent all at once. Also, due to this medium obviously, there’s more smoke produced when burning incenses. Whereas the electric burner method produces less smoke and the scent comes through in more easily discernable stages (at least for me).

      There’s no right or wrong on these methods, of course. Everyone should use the burn method they prefer best.


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