Tsheringma / Men-Sang Ja-Tsa Gyed

So here’s a bit of a change up on the Bhutanese scale. Men-Sang Ja-Tsa Gyed isn’t a purple or Jaju incense but something a lot heartier and more wood-based in fact it’s something of a spitting image of a campfire sort of scent. I think this one’s likely, as a result, to be a bit harsh for some users. I had a friend once smell something similar to it and called it “burnt tire,” an allusion that has always struck me as being true enough, but mostly in low quality Nepalese Tibetan incenses which are primarily cheap woods. I don’t really get that’s as much of the case here, it feels more like its just heavily woody, after all the description says that this has over 108 different ingredients. But this is not quite what I’d call a western friendly incense overall.

However let’s also look at the caveats on the package. This is one of the first incenses I’ve ever seen with what passes for a sell by date. It not only says to store this in an airtight container but that it’s best before 10 months from manufacture. The date on mine says Februry 26, 2020, which means we’re well over that at this point and I don’t know where it travelled. On the other hand 10 months is perhaps a reasonable sell by date for a lot if incenses that may lose some addition heft in the early months. So I’m not sure really how much I’m losing burning it now and I’m particularly not sure if there are some fainter or missing top notes now, but I’d guess they’re still relatively minor.

Anyway the incense is a bit sweet, quite herbal in the profile, along with the woodiness. It has something of a cooling middle and a very streamlined whole for an incense with as many ingredients as it claims. It’s fairly unlike any other Bhutanese incense I’ve sampled and there’s some more grassy herbal notes that take over the profile at times as well. Overall, it’s a bit of a hard sell and certainly not my first choice from Bhutan so buyer beware.

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