A few things…

I’m finally getting around to reviewing some of the new Mothers Champa incenses, I’ve got three finished and am working on another three, so these will be out probably by next week at the latest. There are 12 total so I haven’t received the other batch yet, but I have to give cheers to the company for always sending plenty of goodies. A lot of the new Mother’s tend to a soft, pink and floral side, which they haven’t touched on much until now. So far I’m pretty happy with the Chakra Nagchampa which is the only one I’ve noticed so far that isn’t in the pink and floral group.

I’m also hoping to roll out long awaited reviews on a really great group of Shroff durbars, Apsara, Exotic Petals, Orange Blossom etc. These are ALL amazing, in fact I’m on my second box of every single one, including a new pick up Silver Bouquet (my favorite by a split hair is probably the Sugandha Mantri). Let’s just say I’m debating adding every single one to the Hall of Fame list, which needs a serious upgrade in its own right. One of the things I’ve noticed is that the group of Shroffs with Jungle Prince, Pearl etc have mostly gone recipe changes (some talk over how different the Jungle Prince is have shown up in comments). Pearl’s definitely a little different but still great. Little Woods has also gotten something of a change, but maybe even in the slightly better direction, it’s not quite as perfumed and a bit more subtle. Darshan struck me as exactly the same, so not everything has changed.

And speaking of change, I tried a sample of the new forumulation of Tibetan Medical College’s Holy Land. It has indeed taken a hit, but from the scent I’d guess they’re making the good stuff go longer, as this could almost be the B grade in between the original and Nectar. Anyway those who have old stock should hold onto it, as like Highland, the original is definitely gone. However the change isn’t quite as dramatic. But it does seem like most of the very special Tibetan incenses are disappearing along with their ingredients.

Anyway do feel free to use this thread to share ingredient changes on incenses over the last few years. Any bit of help will assist me to redo the Hall of Fame pages and get them current. Particularly curious about Shroff Moonlight.



  1. Marian said,

    January 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Mike- do you know approximately when the Highland incense formula was changed? I assume the powder, as well as the sticks, were reformulated?

    I know almost nothing about Tibetan incense but I was under the impression that a lot of it was burned for medicinal purposes. If they change the formulas I wonder if they substitute different ingredients but ones that are supposed to have the same healing properties. Any idea?

    • clairsight said,

      January 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      Good question Marian, been wondering abouy formula changes in Tibetan sticks and how that works with the medical aspect myself.

    • Mike said,

      January 31, 2013 at 8:20 am

      I think it was between a year and two years ago. The old sticks are thicker than the new ones and the new ones have a more reddish tinge. The old ones are very strong in musk, the new ones not so much.

    • Mike said,

      January 31, 2013 at 8:22 am

      I think with a lot of Tibetan incenses you’re often dealing with a proportion of the good ingredients to the binder. With Holy Land, for example, Nectar just strikes me as having more binder and less good ingredients than the Holy Land. Now with Highland I think it was a complete recipe change, it’s now a different incense..

  2. Mike said,

    January 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Yeah I can imagine probably all of those NK kyaras deserve to be there (I’ve tried the bottom two I think), but those top enders are really for the wealthy, you’ve got to have some kind of bank to pick up a $2500 box of incense. I’d certainly consider adding them via a sample. 🙂

    Anyway I’m not sure how much I can change the Japanese Hall of Fame at this point without any new info. The only thing I can remember from comments is that some of the Baieido recipes changed, but I’ve had no indication most of what’s on there is different from what it was two years ago. I’d be interested in tips of newer things that need to be there though.

  3. Michael Marquardt said,

    January 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Thank you Mike for this interesting review and – even more – for what you write about the necessity of revitalising the hall of fame. I`m in ORS for about three years now and I`m specially interested in the premium aloeswood products. Since at least 2010 there hasn`t been any change nor in the products neither in the sequence at the japanese top ten now. Of course we all know: different people, different fondnesses. We all, however, should afford a hit of fresh air. So why not replace Baieidos Koh-En by one of the NK “fab four”, Nbs 544 to
    547? Nobody seems to know these premiums for NK only offers this very expensive stuff in japan. So it seems to be easier to find someone who shook hands with bigfoot than to find a person who`s the proud owner of a bundle of, let`s say Tokusen Kyara Fugaku (Nb 546)…..

    • Marian said,

      January 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Michael- have you ever tired the Fugaku? If so, what distinguishes it? I’m wondering if it’s a totally different profile than Tokusen Kyara Taikan or Gokuhin, or if it’s related in terms of certain notes but uses higher quality ingredients.

      • Michael Marquardt said,

        February 2, 2013 at 3:00 am

        Marian- yes I did – in fact Nb 546 is the only one I don`t know. I´m a
        fan of NK, but I have to admit those “fab four” do not show a totally
        different profile than f.e. Tokusen Kyara Taikan. In my opinion the good quality of NK starts with Nb. 538/526. If you buy the very ex-
        penive ones you get more for your money, but I guess you won`t
        find too many people who`ll say it was worth. You might compare it with people who buy very expensive bottles of wine. Dissapoiniting
        for me was also, the black box Nb. 547 comes in is not made of varnished wood – Japan is famous for varnished wood – but just plastic.

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