Absolute Bliss / White Lotus Oudh Saffron, Bengali Jungle Flora, Forbidden Fruit, Devansh

The following four Absolute Bliss imported incenses are four of their absolute finest and in this case there are no match ups that I know of in the Temple of Incense line. After Corey sent me samples of these I almost immediately ordered more stock, and while these certainly aren’t the end of the great ones, every single incense more or less grabbed me in just a few inhalings.

I wrote about the regular Oudh Saffron in my last installment, so you might consider the White Lotus Oudh Saffron to be something of a more deluxe variant of it. It presents a magical act where I’d assume a White Lotus absolute has been mixed in with the formula which not only adds some level of floral to the other scent but the way it interacts with the oudh and saffron itself is truly remarkable. In fact you can smell some of this on the fresh sticks, the way it brings out a sort of mintiness out of the oudh was an instant winner for me but only the crown of what is going on. Like the regular it appears to be a lightly dusted charcoal stick, but I think where often other oudh mixed charcoals often bring out the base a bit, the really intense floral makes it go in the opposite direction and it is truly arresting. Make no mistake that this is something of the capstone of perhaps all of the Absolute Bliss imports that originate from the creators of the Happy Hari line. In fact I’m not even quite sure how much is left of this current batch, but I’d certainly write Corey about it if you’re interested. Certainly fans of the regular Oudh Saffron and the Happy Hari Oudh Masala will want to check it out. It’s really a stunning, complex aroma that will have you pinging between the floral oil and the oudh and saffron mix and marveling at how so many complex ingredients can interact in so many fine ways. I still reach for sticks of this and keep the package close at hand.

Let’s be honest, a name like Bengali Jungle Flora is the kind of incense name that made me get into everything in the first place, it just has that ring of something special and exotic. Long time readers might remember the old Shroff Channabasappa Jungle Prince incense from so long ago, well this is not just reminiscent in name alone. However where I pointed out that the Jungle Prince was woody, that’s not quite so true here, it might be more that the floral oils are (or were) shared across the incenses. The Jungle Flora stick feels a bit softer than the usual HH charcoals and so I’m not sure if there’s some halmaddi in the mix here, but for sure this has that sweeter sort of floral mix that tends to be closer in family to champa or even champa flower or lotus incenses. There is even some deeper level of spice or something behind all the florals, which just helps to give it some depth and richness. A beautiful incense indeed and fairly unique to the rest of the AB/HH/ToI catalog.

Forbidden Fruit is an incense that reminds me a lot of the old Maharaj/Maharaja blends that Mystic Temple and Incense from India used to carry during the days when incenses like this were halmaddi-rich. However while those had a green-tipped bamboo stick, this one is orange. This aroma is really a combination of sweet and spicy qualities and so it’s not in the more polished style of fruit incenses like ToI Fruits of the Forest or Arabian Attar. But it really has that sort of exotic and rich spice mix that seems a lot rarer today but used to be more common. In fact I even remember certain Satya blends used to be more like this (one memory popping up is incenses like Aastha, Ajaro etc). Incenses like this were always highlights of my Indian collection and this one is really no different, it felt like a winner as soon as I lit one. Describing it more fully is somewhat difficult as it seems to be a combination of all sorts of different elements as well as floral oils that aren’t as common in more familiar incenses. But this is unquestionably one of my new favorites in the AB catalog.

And finally there is Devansh, the fourth of what are all very fine incenses. Devansh is one of the most sophisticated and complex incenses in the AB arsenal. It seems almost facile to call it a floral incense even though it obviously has rose and, perhaps, other floral oils on the top, but there is a richness to the base scent that is often missing in purely floral-themed incenses. This feels like it certainly has a bit of sandalwood in the mix and it nods in the direction of flora incenses without really having their overall profile. Think of it this way, if it was a flora it would perhaps be the finest of the class. So in a way it’s almost like you want to get out of the way that this is something like the Queen of Roses and think of it more a stick where the top note is the lead for something quite a bit richer in the middle. I might add that this reminds me a little of the ToI Amber Supreme in the middle. It is a tremendously gorgeous work of incense art.

Please note again that you can find all of these incenses at Absolute Bliss. However, I’ve been informed that none of the incenses reviewed here will be put up at the website, so I would use the contact page to contact Corey Topel for prices, shipping time and availability. But let me underline here that all four of these incenses are absolutely amazing and among the most highly recommended in either the AB or HH catalog. They are well worth hopping on while stocks last.

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4 Comments

  1. scandojazz said,

    January 23, 2022 at 12:24 am

    Bengali Jungle Flora seems to be a real flora and is very halmaddi rich, as expected. It also displays its Champa-like characteristics that make floras what they are. This is a prime example and one of the best of them, I feel. It never overwhelms you with its fragrance but captivates, elevates, and informs the room with its lovely scent. I think one of the reasons is the thinner handmade stick. Many floras like Elif’s are thicker. This is top class.

  2. drummagick said,

    November 3, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Forbidden Fruit has been my #1 favorite incense since Corey first got it in (and it was called Sweetness btw, my daughter and I still call it that) and I have ordered it over and over in large quantities. It does remind me of an incense from the 70s, something you’d smell walking into one of the old school hippie shops. If they weren’t burning blue box Nag Champa. lol

  3. August 29, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    A few weeks back I contacted Corey and ordered some incense. One of the items I ordered was a Sampler Pack, and in that pack were (among many others) these 4 items. All 4 of these are very refined blends, each unique in their own way, all 4 of them alluring, unique, exotic, strong (but not overpowering) and delightful to experience. I could not be more pleased. While they are all worthy and beautiful scents, the White Lotus Oudh Saffron stands out as exceptional. I opened the package and the words OMG came out of my mouth…it was that special and unexpected. Thanks for this review.

    • Mike said,

      August 29, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Yes I had the same reaction with the package, it was like whoa… And the Oudh Saffron on its own is top class, so this one’s like its own level for sure.


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