Unknown / Pure Frank Incense, Pure Aromatic Jasmine, Pure Aromatic Pine, Pure Aromatic Vetivert

In terms of unfavorable reviews this one’s going to be in nuclear territory, so if you don’t like them I’d skip this one. These are four incenses out of a total of at least 30 different kinds that all fall under the “Pure” appelation and nowhere on the wrappers of these four is any indication who’s responsible for these, in fact my guess is they wouldn’t want to own up to it. In fact it’s already problematic at the wrapper stage, these incenses are bound so tight that to get them out you nearly have to destroy the packaging.

In many previous reviews related to Nepali incenses and those Tibetan monasteries now in India, I’ve often compared them to poorer incenses, well these are a really good example of the poorest of the poor. Quite frankly these incenses seem designed to get rid of large quantities of cedarwood, by adding a dash of “flavor” to each one. My guess the cost to make these is almost negligible. In fact each individual scent is barely worth discussing on its own. The Frank Incense is perhaps the strongest of the group in terms of the individual scent, but the reason for that seems to be the perfumey nature of what ever frankincense oil or synthetic they happen to be using that ends up covering up some of the wood. The Jasmine is even more cloying, there’s no way such a gentle floral should ever smell this awful, it smells like a bad soap. I can’t even really detect pine in the Pine, it mostly smells like burning pencil shavings. The Vetivert is at least somewhat detectable but overall it’s little different from the Pine in terms of getting a noseful of cheap burning wood.

Based on the these four, I wouldn’t touch the others in the line, especially since Nepali incenses are all roughly in the same price range where you can easily find much better incenses (like from the Dhoop Factory). I should also mention that I did these reviews based on maybe a stick at the most of each one, it’s really all I could bear.


  1. Hamid said,

    February 10, 2011 at 3:04 am

    I just hope noone thinks that these sticks are anything to do with Pure-Incense.

  2. apsara said,

    February 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I hope you have something very nice to amuse your nose with after these, or I would feel really bad. But I read the first sentences and was lol.

    • Mike said,

      February 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Apsara, I definitely refreshed myself after every stick. 🙂 You made a valuable service to ORS by passing those on so I could warn everyone lol.

  3. Hamid said,

    February 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

    A shame that by chance or design they have used the ” Pure” word Mike…

    • Mike said,

      February 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Indeed. I’d honestly like to see incenses like this disappear from catalogs.

    • apsara said,

      February 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

      I was the one who fell for the word “pure”, and the result was that Mike’s nose was offended, which makes me feel bad for him, but at least a little better for me, because I could not detect anything pure.

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