Highland/Samye Monastery

Incenses are back in stock at Essence of the Ages. These are among the best in Tibetan incenses.


  1. Kevan said,

    July 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Okay, now I’m confused. It took me 3 sticks, but I have decided that I love Samye Monastery. It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted (but never got until now) in a Tibetan incense. I burned another half-stick this evening, waited about an hour, then lit a Holy Land stick. And now I find that I’m enjoying Holy Land more than I ever did before. It still has a funky “wet forest/mud” character to it, but could it be that after Samye smoothed the way (or prepared my olfactory palate) that Holy Land is more acceptable to me now? I’m finding the herbal qualities of it more pleasing, and the musk bomb not so offputting.

    It has me contemplating an order of Highland, but I’m still holding off. I don’t like when words like “barnyard” and “civet” are thrown around, mostly because I once tried a sandalwood cologne that had a prominent civet note and it ruined the experience for me….like a tiger came along and squatted to take a dump at the base of a sandalwood tree. I don’t think I’d want my house to smell like that.

    So now it has me looking at Nectar from the TMC….

    • Carrie said,

      July 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      You have been assimilated.


    • Mike said,

      July 14, 2011 at 7:35 am

      It’s been interesting to read your Tibetan journey. I do think some of the ones that come straight out of Tibet need some wrestling time and I also think there might be some you’ll always wrestle with. For me it was Dzongsar incense. I think it has the same level of depth and intensity as Highland, Holy Land and Samye but since I find it difficult tolerating asafoetida, I could never warm to it, despite that in many ways I still find it a brilliant incense. As for Nectar, I should give the caveat that I kind of consider it the Holy Land B or C grade, so I wouldn’t expect a lot of difference if you go for it (it often strikes me as if they mixed Holy Land with a lot more juniper).

    • Alan said,

      July 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I will put Samye on my wish list..Highland incense maybe the most
      powerful civet musk of all..Sometimes I burn Nectar instead of
      Holy Land because it is softer, milder and less sedative..
      Maybe I like juniper..

    • Alan said,

      October 14, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I was describing my Highland Incense from August 2010..
      Apparently the formula has changed for the worse since then..

  2. Kevan said,

    July 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Samye Monastery came today.


    This is the first Tibetan incense that didn’t make me roll my eyes. Unlit, the first scent that hits you is cloves. They’re really strong and make their presence known. Smelling deeper, it really does have similarities with spiced tea and crisp herbs. When I lit it, I was again surprised. This smells (to me anyway) quite like a “spicy aloeswood” Japanese stick! The spice notes are bold, and the character of the ingredients taken together is like something you’d get from Baieido, yet different enough to make me smile. A clovey/mediciney/aloeswoody delight.

    I’ve already burned two half-sticks of this. Looking forward to more later (I NEVER thought I would say that about a Tibetan incense!)

  3. Alan said,

    July 12, 2011 at 1:44 am

    This BBC news video clip “Tibetan incense producers stick to old traditions” may be of interest:


    • Alan said,

      July 13, 2011 at 3:33 am

      Interesting to see the sticks are extruded like pastry…

      PS….You may want to add an additional letter or number
      to your name (for clarity) unless you began posting
      before me on 04/05/10 (in which case, my bad)..

  4. Kevan said,

    July 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Even though I haven’t had good experiences with Tibetan incenses so far, I got a pack of Samye. I’ll post back here when I try it.

    I’ve spoken before of how I just don’t get the love (or a lot of the other notes) of Holy Land. I often burn it with sandalwood or a sweet aloeswood to mitigate the muddy/leafy funk smell it has, and that helps.

    It seems that the Samye has less of a musk presence and I’m hoping that’ll translate to something less “funky” than Holy Land.

  5. Carrie said,

    July 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I received notice that my EotA package was waiting for me at the post office today. I went to pick it up and I was ripping through the packing tape with my car key as I was walking through the building so I could get at that box of Highland and smell it and oh my gosh, it smells HEAVENLY unlit. Quite unlike my first experience smelling Holy Land unlit 😉

    Very, VERY nice lit. I see what you mean about it not having the touch of floral that Holy Land has, although the floral in that incense is very fleeting to me, I only rarely get it.

    Excellent incense!

    Next order – Samye!

  6. Carrie said,

    July 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I have been waiting for this for, well, a few months anyway. 😀

    I am excited!

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