Kyarazen Monthly Newletter

Kyarazen posts a more or less monthly digest of informative articles, covering everything from fine tea to fine agarwood. I found this months to be most informative and timely, covering the two obvious lines of soil agarwoods on the market, as well as in depth information and pictures of what you should be looking for when you put large amounts of money out for wood which in many cases is coming from 1000’s of miles away with a “no return” policy. The article clearly points out how to tell the difference between what used to be traded as opposed to what is being sold in the last few years as meager copies. While many incense users only notice this as a decline in the quality of the incense stick they used to love, it was most noticeable in the quality of wood being sold out of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and today, even from Japan as the last of the old logs are consumed. While I got to see only a sampling of this decline during my 25+ years of trading in the wood, it is hard to beat Kyarazen’s view from Ground 0, so to speak, in Singapore, as well as the vast amount of research that he has done over the years. I really appreciated seeing the pictures of what is no longer possible to obtain (barring a lottery win, inheritance, etc.), as well as concise and easy to understand information. The article can be read here http://www.kyarazen.com/soil-agarwoods/

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A few guidelines to think about before posting a complaint here.

I’ve tried to make Olfactory Rescue Service a place where you can share complaints about businesses, but what I had in mind was when there is a serious problem, like if someone runs off with your money for good. And yet I’ve let some minor complaints through and unfortunately what this has done, particularly in Essence of the Ages case, is send people over here en masse to complain about things that actually should be directed to the business itself. We do realize that over the last year or two Essence has changed the shipping times from within a few days to seven business days. This is now clearly stated on the site. And seriously if it goes over a business day, let’s not complain. I realize we want our incense as fast as possible but let’s not pretend that most incense businesses are corporations on the level of Amazon who have the infrastructure to deal with things in a way one single person running a business can’t. One thing I have noticed is that when Beth gets a complaint here, she will respond to it and 4 times out of 5 there isn’t a counter response, because her logic is tight. On the other hand, I think people need to pay close attention when something is out of stock. If you don’t want to wait for something to restock let her know that on the order when you place it. Believe it or not, I don’t work for any of these businesses and yet I’m having to play middleman in a way I don’t really have as much time for at the moment due to other concerns. But I do know that Beth is good people and I’ve probably let out the leash too far on letting things pass through here and I’d bet money the incense orders would go out faster if she didn’t have to keep explaining herself or replying to repetitive emails. Just have some patience. Be good people yourself.

From now on, one’s complaints must be serious for me to let it pass through. You see some of the complaints here have been petty about people who have been almost extraordinarily generous. Complaints about Mermade for example better be damn convincing, because the evidence is far more in favor of extreme generosity than it is about making mistakes about orders. If I have to be honest by allowing complaints against people who process orders above board, I should be equally honest when I know the business integrity of someone as well. Let us be kind to each and understanding to each other.

Also, and I think I’ve said this before, if you’re a stranger complaining, I’m going to be very likely about deleting complaints unread, because unfortunately most of you don’t come back when your complaint is responded to by the business. People who read these complaints should pay attention to the responses and not automatically assume a complaint is valid if a business follows up.

Finally, let’s be clear about who runs Olfactory Rescue Service. It’s not any of these businesses. It’s me and my staff. I will explain the rules as kindly as I can and I will do the utmost to be honest and fair. But I have no fear of moderating severely when these rules are not respected. I would prefer the site to be as drama free as possible.

Zen Minded

I’ve actually been amazed at the amount of spam that goes through here from incense sites and I do my best to keep it off the site. I’ve recommended on a number of occasions that businesses interested in getting some exposure to contact me first and amazingly, this actually happened, one of the first for sure! Anyway just as a reminder the links on the left are from shops where I am confident they will deliver good service either from personal experience or from one of our staff or if I hear enough good things from our regular readers, people who I see frequently here (that is if a stranger shows up and goes hey this one’s good, well we’d need a little more than that) although we’d still appreciate your recommendation.

Anyway I am happy to have heard from Jim at Zen Minded in the UK. Please check out his site and better yet let us know what kind of experience you had in this thread!

http://zenminded.uk/