Mermade Magickal Arts / Dionysos, Icaro +

One of the things I’ve been noticing of late is that I can often have a Mermade incense in queue to review (the latest two are the fantastic Heart of the Sun and Honey (Amber Champa) incenses) and then they’re already gone by the time I make a move to writing about them. So it should be said that in general Mermade vintages are going out to higher demand, so it behooves oneself to move quick on these things, perhaps even quicker than waiting for our reviews as unfortunately we can’t get to everything in time as much as we’d like to. Olfactory Rescue Service is of course well pleased that more and more people are experiencing Mermade and Katlyn’s bountiful creations as I can’t imagine a time where we wouldn’t have good things to say about them. The latest creations could be gone by the time I get this posted and it would be a shame as both of these are comparatively unique to the roster and well worth checking out.

Another thing I’ve been noticing is how Mermade’s linking of myth and magick to the incenses give them a sort of power in their own right. Dionysos is one of these and the label immediately puts in mind the feral Greek wine God and his intoxicated entourage. When the first notes of the incense arise from the heater, the scent is grape, berry and wine all of some mysterious vintage. But woven through this central note is the wildness you’d associate with this God, an evergreen, balsamic and grassy mélange that speaks of remote pagan locations. Two of the incense’s notes are Greek Aleppo pine resin and Bay laurel leaves, both of which work with frankincense, myrrh and labdanum to give this scent a noticeably different feel to it. It’s a brave creation and has that touch of the weird to it that helps to get these images rolling.

Icaro moves across an ocean from frankincense and pine to copal blanco, elemi and Breu Claro, from European forests to the rainforests of Brazil. The comparison between these two incenses shows how different scents can be. It is something of a hot, dry incense especially in comparison to the liquid resin-like qualities of Dionysos but it’s also defined by an intense cactus-green scent that likely comes from the ground ayahuasca that is buried in the copal-heavy mix of ingredients. This combination speaks to the shamanic myths of the area and strangely enough I’m also reminded of how close to the word Icaro (defined at the Mermade link), the Greek figure Icaros sounds, and how both speak of long voyages and journeys. Once again, we’re seeing new directions being assayed by Mermade and this is a heady combination that has an impact similar to the Dream Snake of many years ago.

I was sent other current samples of Mermade works, including two variations of a stick version of Pan’s Earth, one an aloeswood version thereof. I had enough to know these were beautiful and heady blends that speak of how strong Mermade’s stick incense has been getting with new variations (and this goes for the Honey/Amber champa sticks to which I’m looking forward to more of after I rocketed through my tube of the amazing things). Mermade is also selling Styrax Benzoin, which comes looking like a fragile geode of dark crystals sparkling in part due to the added tincture/essential oils. This nurturing of the natural brings out a very gentle amber-benzoin scent on a heater, mild and unassuming and avoiding some of the harsher qualities of cheaper benzoin.

I also received a sample of small disc-like lozenges of Deep Earth, but when I opened the little package, I lost one of them as it shot out of the package into that same dimension lost socks go. The other landed on my heater where its familiar but variant scent reminded me of how much I love the lineage of this incense, I believe I still have samples going back at least five vintages.

In summary, it’s just always a joy to go through Katlyn’s latest work and share it, but don’t forget these incenses are getting more and more fleeting as people learn about this venerable company, so it doesn’t hurt to grab a vial or two right away. Also, next review I should have some incenses from a new entry into the nicely growing US field of incense artists, a “newer” company I have really been looking forward to talking about…



  1. Terra Renee said,

    July 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Ordered a jar of Dionysos…can’t wait to get a full jar. Probably smells better than the sample because of the sealing.

  2. Terra Renee said,

    July 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I just received a free gift of Katlyn’s newest Mermade blend, Wicker Man, and it’s absolutely amazing! The way she blends ambery earth drops with sweetgrass is an artform. The smell doesn’t lean any particular way, the sweetgrass and amber/earth smells wafting through the air perfectly, a calming, soft aroma perfect for Lammas if you want to have your own celebration without the burning wicker man. My children love it, and I took the large straws of sweetgrass topping the jar and pinned them in their hair. This incense is another one of Katlyn’s amazing works of art.

    Haven’t had a chance to try her Forest Clearing (which I also received a small sample of), but just the scent of the unburnt stick reminds of the much-missed/loved Sacred Grove with a hint of sage. Likely to be a perfect stick for smudging with added sweetness. Also got a sample of Breu Claro, but I already know I love that. The smell is complex and almost reminds one of Copal Blanco, but while burning it’s a much more delicious smell and very, very tropical. I can see why this is in her tropical blend, Icaro. It puts one in mind of a rainforest.

    • July 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks Folks….Many new things in the works!

    • Mike said,

      July 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Appreciate your impressions as always! Always looking forward to new blends.

  3. July 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    “Honey Amber Champa sticks were made today, I will be posting them in about 5 days (July 7th?) should be a good batch.

    • Mike said,

      July 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      The honeybee, 7-7, perfect 😀

    • Mike said,

      July 7, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Excellent. People don’t miss these, the first batch was spectacular!

  4. July 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you Mike for your always intuitive and gracious comments. I try to make at least 50 jars of each blend per batch, but as you said , as the word travels they sell out quickly. To get to the new blends and batches as they come out it is best to check the Mermade Facebook page. As soon as a blend goes line it is announced there first thing. Wish I could devise a better system and create more, but such is the way of handcrafted arts…Blessing to all who support Mermade, we have the most wonderful and loyal customers ever! Katlyn

  5. Terra Renee said,

    July 2, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I recently received their Agarwood Delight sampler, and wow. The new blends are simply amazing. I think they’re better done than most japanese agarwood sticks. The sticks burn fine and smell delightful, and the hint of Ali’s in them just adds to the beauty of the burn. The Thai cultivated agarwood is gorgeous of course, it has that woody, strong smell of all agarwood. The Oud Kama I think is something magnificent. Katlyn is right to be excited about it. I can’t wait until she starts selling it alone. I don’t want to have to buy tons of Agarwood Samples (although nothing would go to waste) just to get 5 grams of Oud Kama. It has that same agarwood strong smell, tempered by the sweetness and complexity of the variety of Oud she used. This one is going to go fast, so I certainly hope she has a lot to put up for sale!

  6. Chris said,

    July 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I have made it a habit to check Mermade’s site once a week because in the past I missed out on so many treasures of Kaitlyn’s.

    Dionysos is a grand blend. I work from home and always have something scenting my office. The UPS man caught a whiff of it and politely asked to come in for a better whiff. I gave him some in a matchbox along with the url. Good stuff!

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