On Bosen Incense

Howdy everyone! This is John, I am sad to hear of Ross’s passing, but glad to hear that Mike is opening the ORS up again. I am going to try to begin writing reviews again, and as you may or may not know I personally try to review each incense in a way that expresses the scent in an easy to understand manner, to make it easier to the layman to decide if it sounds like something they may or may not like, as well as providing a “John Score” on a scale of 0 to 10 based on my own personal preference. As I personally stink at elocution, I am providing a brief summary of my recent foray into Bosens line-up of sticks below.
To begin with, Bosen is a company based out of taiwan, and tend towards the tibetan style of incense.
The naming of their product line is a bit odd, and I will attempt to clear it up as I understand it. It seems each line is broken down into categories of quality, in descending order:
“Top Grade”
“High Grade”
Where Top Grade is the highest concentration of ingredients, with a thicker stick, and High Grade is the lowest concentration/thinner stick/more binder.
The notes I have taken on Bosens Lineup are below:

+7 Superior grade Hoi-An (Jinko) Aloeswood – Vietnamese agarwood, and buttered cinnamon toast, 50/50 split. very low smoke.
+5 Premium Vietnamese Hoi-An Aloeswood – Mostly Vietnamese aloeswood, slight cinnamon back. Stick has no scent.
+6 Superior Chin-zhou Aloeswood – sweet and salty agarwood. that’s it. Stick has no scent.
+5 Premium Ambon Aloeswood – Black pepper and agarwood
+0 Blessing Incense – VERY bitter and medicinal. No oud, no sandal, just pungent herbs.
+5 Refining Incense – Cedar, musty book, sticky sweet wood oil note, reminiscent of sawdust in a sawmill.
+3 Herbal Meditation Incense – Woodsy scent, sage and pine. possibly a small amount of sandalwood if any. Reminiscent of a campfire almost.
+4 Zambhala Incense – sage and pine base. IMO just a lager size stick of Herbal Meditation.
+4 Dakini – Herbal meditation but with a spikenard back added to it.
+5 Pythoncidere Incense – very woodsy, strong cedar sweetness, touch of sage, touch of spikenard, more balanced than dakini or herbal meditation.
+7 Shangrila Incense – Sweetness, slight base of pine and sage. Sandal, spikenard, herbs in a very pungent sweeter concentration.
+4 Tonga Sandalwood – Burning raw, dry sandalwood, with a hint of a bitter herb in there.
+5 Centuries Weathered Old Sandalwood – Stronger version of Tonga Sandalwood, with a hint of sweetness.
+7 Top grade Tibetan sandalwood – Burning sweet sandalwood, with a hint of herbs in the back. Stick almost reminds me of the scent of mysore sandalwood.


Esprit de la Nature

So as I feared, work and other responsibilities are making it a bit tough to get any articles out, but I just had to mention Espirit de La Nature. In the interim when ORS was down and where all sorts of wonderful independent people are producing incense well worthy of your time, not to mention with scents far away and outside of what you usually find in the mainstream, I think Espirit de la Nature is easily one of the most notable and impressive of the independent, boutique outfits. Many of you who shop regularly at Mermade Magickal Arts are probably aware of scents that Bonnie Kerr (Be en Foret) has created for Mermade but if you click on the Encens Ecologique link on the Esprit de La Nature site you can find a really healthy list of all sorts of other scents she makes on her own (and yes there is no shopping cart system, but there is a contact form here and she is more than happy to get an order out for you). I am hoping that at some point I can talk about some of these and truly do them justice but that is one of the things about some of these limited scents they can pop up and vanish in the time it takes to write about them. Anyway Bonnie is an extremely talented incense and perfume artist and a sure hand at such a wide variety of scents it is hard to do them all justice, but I can at least guarantee that they are done with a vision and voice that is clearly her own. And that is part of why it can be difficult to discuss them as each scent is crafted by so many different ingredients and mixes that they often have scents you won’t quite find anywhere else, in the same way that has long been true for Katlyn and Mermade. In fact I wanted to talk about a special Kyphi she made for Mermade but it’s already off the list. And then there was a favorite of mine she made a year or two ago from larch resin which was truly one of the most extraordinary and subtle blends I had ever tried, almost like those great Brian Froud paintings of nature that resolve themselves into faeries. “Living Light” is a green foresty blend that is both similar in style but also subtly different from the types of green incenses Katlyn creates that I have really enjoyed of late and “Spring Ephemeral” is so different from anything else I have tried I can hardly described it except it just has a sense of freshness and an explosion of wonderful energy to it. But anyway I hope this can increase the bandwidth for her beautiful work, I just hope there’s some left over for my next order!