The Olfactory Rescue Service is the new home for the retail incense resource that used to be part of Mike’s Prattle and had outgrown it. Joining Mike McLatchey for ORS is Ross Urrere (who also christened the new site) and Anne Chan. The ORS exists to review and discuss the world of retail incense in order to help bridge the gap between East and West in terms of understanding incense and helping the reader find higher quality scents, sources for these scents and to connect with others passionate about fine scent. While ORS cooperates with all reputable incense companies (several of which send samples for review), it currently remains a third party resource and only claims bias in favor of excellent service, fair pricing and the constructive. The following are the writer bios:

Mike: I live in Sacramento, California and work as a legislative analyst. As a music journalist I used to write for several national and international “progressive music” magazines including Exposé, i/e, England’s Audion magazine, Italy’s Melodie e Dissonanze and others. I am a cofounder of the Gnosis Project. I now consider myself retired from writing about music. I do write about my other interests at my second blog (found somewhere on the left), but consider it all pretty informal, more a journal than serious attempts at criticism.

I’ve loved incense since I was a very experimental teenager and the connection between incense and the mind became engrained in my being. For so long it was Indian incense, but my discovery and exploration into Japanese incense has basically been documented here.

Ross: I was born, hatched or spawned (depends on who’s talking J ) Nov 23, 1950. I have lived most of my life in and around Berkeley and Oakland CA. with some time in Georgia  (Naval airbase) and onboard an aircraft carrier (CVA 62) in the Mediterranean for 6 months.

I discovered incense just before going into the Navy. As I remember it was a “Joss Stick” in a red box. Smelled great in my barracks room, but terrible in the hallway outside my door. Ever since then I have wondered at this phenomena. I am still looking for the answer. This is also when I found out that not everyone liked incense. And that there are so many kinds and styles. After the Navy I went into a Junior Collage. I also, at the same time, managed to get to work for the Bill Graham Presents organization for about 4 years (1972-1976) and see quite a lot of really good music, perhaps the perfect college job.

I spent about 10 years as a glassblower, before moving into metaphysics and spirituality.

My teacher was heavily into computers so I too found myself using them. Early Macintoshes, Amigas and the PCs of the time for publishing and audio/video editing.

Currently by day I work at UC Berkeley as a network and computer repair and troubleshooter person. At night I teach meditation, healing and some other classes at a school that has been around now for 25 years. In fact I just presented my first class on incense there. Great fun and something I plan on doing a lot more of.

I love incense and all things that smell good. I also like motorcycles and plan to be back on board one as soon as I get a new hip. I have read Science Fiction and Fantasy since the 3rd grade, although I have slowed it down a bit over the years.


You can reach me by email at  “clairsight “at” yahoo.com” . Make sure you put the word incense or perfume in the subjects section.



Anne (no bio – you can reach Anne privately through Mike or Ross’s e-mails)

Nancy: (currently on indefinite sabbatical from ORS) I live in Asheville, North Carolina where I practice Chinese Medicine. I came to this profession through my love of herbal medicine. I first became interested in the healing power of plants when I joined a co-op where my friend was the manager of the herb department. I worked in health food stores for many years, sort of an informal education, and became certified as an herbalist along the way. I furthered my studies through a degree in Chinese Medicine at a school here in Asheville and went on to open a practice in my neighborhood.

Though I appreciate many different kinds of incense, my current interest focuses especially on the Japanese offerings, specifically the traditional herbal varieties. Most ingredients used in these blends have been revered for their healing properties for millennial. Like medicine for the soul, I find that real plant-based incense has a profound effect on my spiritual and emotional well-being.

My introduction into the world of incense began in Junior High when I became infatuated with Gonesh’s Coconut incense, which I purchased at a head shop in the local suburban mall. I was reintroduced to incense years later at a new age store that was burning the ubiquitous Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa. This became my favorite for many years until I started working as a buyer in a health food store that carried Shoyeido. Shoyeido had just expanded into the US market around this time, opening their distribution center in Boulder, Colorado. Exploring Shoyeido’s offerings opened my mind and senses to the complex formulations of this established company, so different from the masala and dipped charcoal incenses I had known before. I have truly enjoyed witnessing the flowering of the US incense market and tip my hat to Shoyeido for opening the door for so many other Japanese companies.

Now I burn incense almost every day. I even take it with me when I travel and bring it along for hikes in the woods. I continue to be astonished by the incredible diversity and variety of what is available. Depending on the blend, incense can be peaceful or stimulating, warming or cooling. It can empty the mind or provoke deep philosophical reflection. It can command your attention with its complexity or simply delight. For me incense is so much more that just an enjoyable smell and my life would certainly be incomplete without it. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share my love of incense with a wider audience through Olfactory Rescue Service. I hope you enjoy my reviews!

If you’re interesting in contacting us or have questions, Mike’s e-mail is sigil23 /at symbol/ comcast.net. If you’re interested in having any of us review incense, please use the Reviews Information page for guidelines. Please keep in mind we post from different computers and may not be able to reply to e-mail until the weekend.


  1. Andrew Richard Fitzherbert said,

    October 3, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I was burning “Genuine Tibetan Joss Sticks” from Hong Kong in 1967, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 3 or four years before all the Indian Incenses hit Brisbane, for the first time, in every shop. The manufacturer went out of business before 2015, at which point I began burning all the different incenses I could find, and indeed, the Green Tree Candle Company’s “MANTRA Premium Masala Sticks appear to be an identical, or near-identical incense.. I love your website, my own current collection is 43 different but the Web shows there are in fact many hundred, perhaps thousands, or others, Your reviews are very much better than the reviews I have been writing on my own computer file. Your reviews are wonderful, I’m delighted to have found your site I’m Andrew Fitzherbert..

  2. Terra Renee said,

    August 5, 2015 at 7:21 am

    For anyone in love with Tibetan Holy Land, EoA has FINALLY restocked Grade 2 (the monster Holy Land sticks that burn for hours) after YEARS of being out of stock! Stock up on these if you love them, I’m sure they’ll go fast. I’m planning on stocking up for sure.

  3. Gavin Shaun Lyall said,

    August 8, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Dear ORS
    What a wealth of information! Happy to experience the passion and professionalism you guys put into this blog!
    I have however a query that I have not been able to find satisfying answers for anywhere. Years ago I came across a type of incense that apparently is common in India but that I have not been able to find anywhere else. Its a black, sticky, very easily moldable incense. My friend mentioned that there was ghee in there but other than that I am mostly clueless as to how to make this kind of incense. What are the ingredients? Do you have any recipes, perhaps just a general ‘formula’, for this type of incense?
    Hope you can help me out a bit! Thank you

    • Mike said,

      August 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Hi Gavin, thanks for the comments. What was the shape of the incense? Was it kind of like a gooey “log” kind of shape?

      • Gavin Shaun Lyall said,

        December 17, 2014 at 5:42 am

        Yes it was a black, gooey, sticky, moldable log type incense. I wonder what they r made of!

  4. irinabrian said,

    October 10, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Hello. I’m a newbie to the world of higher quality incense and recently discovered your site via the Essence of the Ages website. Just wanted to thank you for an invaluable resource! Also, I was wondering if you have reviewed any Peruvian incense (I didn’t see a category for “Peru”, and my search for “Espiritus Del Ande” came up empty).
    Thanks again — Brian

    • Mike said,

      November 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Hi Brian, I don’t think we’ve reviewed any Peruvian incenses here. Thanks for writing and sorry for the delay in approving the comment.

  5. July 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Thank You. This is a great website. We run a very small Japanese Antique Arts Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. We also sell a limited set of the Shoyeido range. Your website has been really helpful and is so close to my personal assessment on those products. I will now stock the Xiang Do Forest and Hori-kawa incense after reading your assessment. The Xiang Do Sencha incense has just started to grow on me. It was too green and heady when I first tried it but I burned some in the Gallery today and found it to have all the characteristics you described including a mintiness which I had not smelt before. Our sense of smell must be finely tuned to our bodies chemical composition and after having gone through a detox my sense of smell must have changed so I can now appreciate Sencha much more. We plan to be in Kyoto in October so I will get the chance to try out more of their fragrances but in the meantime your website has been invaluable. Thanks again. Sue

    • Mike said,

      July 16, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Thanks for the comments Sue, I’m glad the reviews have been resonating with you. I think some of those Xiang Do incenses do well with larger spaces as they’re so concentrated that the subnotes might not expand as well in a smaller space.

  6. Sharon said,

    July 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I very much appreciate this website. I have looked for an answer to my question on this site and have learned a lot, but so far haven’t found anything that addresses my particular issue. Here is the question: I use approximately 2,000 incense sticks a month, so I need incense that is very inexpensive. It also needs to be pure and not strong smelling, because my husband has terrible incense allergies. Can anyone recommend an incense that is mild, pure, and cheap all at the same time? Or is this impossible???? And thank you ahead of time!

    • irinabrian said,

      October 13, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Hi Sharon
      Have you tried Baiedo’s Kobunboku? It has a very pleasant, unobtrusive aroma and it’s priced low compared to most of the high quality Japanese incenses. I don’t know if it’s cheap enough to buy 2,000 sticks per month, but you’re probably not gonna get “mild, pure” incense at the lowest price range. In my experience, the cheapest stuff tends to be the most overwhelming.

  7. Kaori said,

    May 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you soooo much for this blog! I just returned from Japan and fell in love with the incense used at the temples. There’s very little detail about Japanese incense out there but your blog is so thorough and detailed! I just love all the reviews and information! Thank again for keeping this blog going. You are a godsend for incense noobs like me and seasoned pros alike!

  8. Julie said,

    April 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Hi there folks,
    I’m going to Northern Vietnam next month, and would love to buy some high-quality incense. Does anyone know where to go, what the Vietnamese words are, what to look for? I’m a total newbie, but I am fascinated, and would be happy to share when I get back. I live in Napa, CA, so I think I’m close in geography to some of you. My name is Julie, and I can be reached at drbucket@gmail.com. Thanks a lot.

    • Hamid said,

      June 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

      Hi Mike and Ross I have tried to post a review of another new-to-me incense company of the Review Your Incense pages but both times the review disappeared…

      • Mike said,

        June 12, 2012 at 7:01 am

        Hamid, I just dug two from the spam catcher, if you want me to delete one, let me know. – Mike

  9. Geo Wakeman said,

    March 14, 2012 at 2:23 am


    First of all thanks to all of you for making this a fantastic website. I have just “rediscovered ” the delights of burning incense after having not put flame to stick for nearly forty years. I’m an Englishman living in France and as yet have not found anywhere to buy quality incense. So first port of call was that well known auction site, and duly bought some boxes of that equally well known blue boxed Nag Champa and a few others. Expectations were high but after a few sticks felt really disappointed as these were nothing like the sticks of my late teens. Had my nose and senses been dulled by living most of my life in polluted London? Thankfully ORS has saved me. Bought a selection of sticks from Dhuni, after reading your Hall of Fame, just burning one stick I was rescued. Fantastic, complex, a joy to the senses. Now burning a selection of Mother’s India and Pure-Incense. Have tried a few of the cheaper Japanese sticks but find them too subtle for my old nose. I don’t use the incense to aid meditation, but my wife often finds me in my favourite chair fully relaxed, the air perfumed by my latest burning. A glass or two of wine may of course be a factor.

    Thanks for all your time and effort spent on this site.


    • Mike said,

      March 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Geo, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. I often wonder how many people walk away from incense due to the nag champa changes.

  10. March 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Hello Mike, and Sawasdee Kha as we say in my home country of Thailand.

    My name is Srisuda (but everyone calls me Jay) and I own a site called The Buddha Garden. I wanted to see about sending some incense to for you to review, but I didn’t know how to do it. Is there an address that we should send it to you?

    I don’t want to leave the link to our site here because I don’t want to pollute your comment section with links. But you can probably figure out that our web site is our name with .com after it

    But you can see our email I think if you look at my comment (I think it should mention the email).

    Anyway, I have clicked the Notify Me of Follow Up comments via email, so if you can post a way that we can send some incense for review to you, that would be great.

    Thanks in advance, and Sawasdee Kha.

    • March 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Forgot to mention that our toll free phone number is 1-888-243-6816 and our email is our store name (“the buddha garden” with no spaces) at gmail . com

      • Mike said,

        March 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Hi, the e-mail address to contact me is at the end of the About text (it’s sigil23 (at sign) comcast.net), to discuss sending samples just shoot an e-mail over to me and I’ll send my address. Thanks – Mike

        • March 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

          Thanks. Now I have to figure out which incense you HAVEN’T reviewed yet. I didn’t realize that you had reviewed so many of our favorites already 🙂

  11. February 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Mike McLatchey,
    I would enjoy meeting you. Please give me a call at Corti Brothers at 736-3800.
    A remarkable site. I was just looking for Kyukodo and up you popped!

    I collect incense and kogo and koro. Did not think a site such as Olfactory Rescue Service existed. Amazing!
    Darrell Corti

    • Mike said,

      February 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Darrell, wow what a surprise to hear from you here, have been shopping at your amazing store for decades! Will drop you a line when I get a chance. – Mike

      • Mike said,

        March 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

        Darrell, if you’re still reading this, I haven’t forgotten just had a million things to do, will call this week….

  12. harry said,

    August 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I want to thank everyone who participates in providing reviews of incense and places to buy it. This site has really open me up to many scents that I probably would never have heard of much less tried. It also has cost me a bunch of money, but hey you cannot take it with you.

    I have been reading through the various sections for about three months now and i just wanted to thank everyone for a great site.This places is amazing!


  13. Ted said,

    July 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

    A big thank you to Mike, Ross, and everyone else responsible for all these great reviews! I’ve been following your site for awhile now, and I just wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciate all the great info.

    I’ve been meditating for the past few years, and I ran across your site trying to find the incense they burn at my zen center (Reiryo koh). Since then, you guys have turned me onto some other really great incenses by Kunmeido, Baieido, and Gyokushodo. Lol, there are probably about 100 more I’d order tomorrow if I had the money. It’s really not a bad thing though, because these scents are so deep and rich that I can take my time and explore each fully. I look forward to many years of new scents by these companies and others like Tennendo and Shunkohdo.

    BTW, your recent Indian reviews have convinced me that I need to give them a shot. I’ve got a package of Mother’s and Shroff on the way now. I doubt that I’ll use them during meditation, but well… just for the smell of it I guess. It seems like I want to burn sticks all the time anyways, so why not go for something new.

    Thanks again!

    • Mike said,

      July 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Ted, thanks for taking the time to write and am pleased that ORS has been of use. Be curious to hear what you think of the Indians after you try some. Best – Mike

      • Ted said,

        July 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

        Hey Mike, I got my order a few days ago and I’ve been doing a lot of burning. I love my Japanese incense and in comparison the Indian is a completely different animal. Japanese incense can be so subtle that sometimes I find myself straining to take it all in. The Indian, on the other hand, is definetly a ‘windows-open’ incense style. Even then, some of the styles (Pearl & Little Woods) are a bit overwhelming for me.

        That said, I like all of the styles I’ve ordered quite a bit. The perfectly named Jungle Prince is my immediate favorite followed by Om, Red Sandal, Darshan, and Ganesh. The Pearl and Little Woods are certainly not bad, but I’ll have to adjust to the intensity of these two. I also received a free sample of R-expo Bam Champa; which I put out after half a stick (at least I didn’t pay for it).

        Overall, I’m pretty happy with my first big step into the Indian realm, though it’s going to take me a while before I can really take in and absorb these complex scents. Perhaps, I’ll let you know how my opinion changes as I become further acquainted with these scents. Thanks again for all the great info. I’m having a blast exploring these great new scents!

        • Mike said,

          July 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

          There definitely is a scent adjustment between Japanese and Indian incense, in fact I find over time I tend to want one or the other. Right now my sense of smell is dulled a bit by allergies so Indians work a lot better for me, because I’m having trouble even smelling Japanese sticks, but I think when Fall and Winter roll around I’ll probably switch back. Anyway I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying your order and look forward to any further comments you have.

  14. Robert said,

    July 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Here I sat for all these years, thinking I was the only complete Incense freak on the planet.
    Great site!

    • Mike said,

      July 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for commenting Robert! Glad you like ORS. – Mike

  15. Lien said,

    June 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I just found out about this site today and i am having a great time reading your writings, through which i discovered the Baieido Koh-En incense (via one of Mike’s posts :-). Thank you all the sharing.

    Best regards, lien

  16. March 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Ross, you never cease to amaze me!

  17. January 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Great site. I have been a fanatic of incense for years and produced some of my own mixes for purification, meditation, focusing and other purposes.

    i had the great opportunity of acquiring some of those unimported incenses while being in the regions of Jaipur in India and particularly in the Ladak region of northern India , inkalimpong (I bought some tsho drong zimpo)

    However, i have heard of the existence of some special incencee or perhaps it is a resin which is said to be used by the great mystics of India and which produceseuphoric, meditative and possibly alternate reality perceptions. but i have yet to know what it is and where it could be found.
    i have also been told that it is quite expensive.
    Would you have heard of such an incense and if so where can it be obtained

    • Mike said,

      January 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

      Daniel, thanks for taking the time to write. I’m not familiar with the incense or resin you’re speaking of, in fact it sounds almost like an urban legend kind of thing. I think botanicals used in incense generally only hold minor entheogenic properties, especially since I don’t think there’s probably any botanical powerful enough to alter perception via smoke in a room. But who knows?

      Personally I think meditation is far more efficacious when one removes the distractions rather than adds to them, and I honestly think that a lot of really good incenses are so arresting in aroma that they probably don’t aid all that much.

      • maitri said,

        September 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

        wow-I regularly am altered by strong but pure incense. And if you have ever entered any temples in taiwan with the huge sticks of incense burning, you know what I mean….it’s def. an altered state, comparable but not as as strong as, something like h*ash, for example. Also, a main purpose for incense is to prepare a space for meditation, to exactly do that: clear out distractions, energetically and otherwise-you know, purify the air. There’s a reason shamans use copal. Also, the ritualistic aspect of focus, intention and concentration, is aided, just as one could focus on a candle, object or other image. some people do better with zen, sparse; others do well with an evocative image. It’s not a distraction. And, pujas-fire ceremonies-smoke and fire def. have purification and meditation properies….
        Also, if you buy pure sage, juniper, etc., you will def. get the botanical properties just as you would with an essential oil-the olfactory system has a powerful affect on the brain and nervous system.
        Well, thus concludes my thesis on the therapeutic and mind alterative aspects of high quality incense.
        Great site thankyou for all of the reviews and effort!

  18. July 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    […] address and I will pass this one to Ambrosia at Perfumes By Nature. You can find my email in our “About” page, last line on my […]

  19. Aer said,

    April 16, 2010 at 5:37 am

    This is a really cool site, I’ve been looking for a site that actually went int odetail about retail incense. I noticed that one of you lives in Asheville, NC like I,can you tell me of a local place I can get good incense, although I don’t mind shopping online either. I usually get mine at Green life grocery, and they are okay, but they don’t have the selections I want. I used to go to a beading shop that carried the bamboo stick charcoal based ones, but I don’t care for those.

  20. Jarek said,

    February 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I would like to know how get this stuff. I’m leaving in Poland. City : Poznań.
    I can’t get this inocense. I can buy only very but not good for me and my friends. We are Buddists.
    Recently my friend has get this stuff from Norway therefore I know this web site.
    Please for information about places where I can get the inocenses – not necessarily in Poland.

    Yours Faithfuly

  21. Hamid said,

    January 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Hi everyone I wasnt sure where to post this…I seldom now use the PC that I registered on. How do I ensure that I getupdates on this PC ?

    thank you.

    • Steve said,

      January 13, 2010 at 5:40 am

      Hey Hamid!

      If you subscribe to the RSS Feeds for our blog, you will never miss a thing! You will need to re-subscribe from each computer that you use, so if you were subscribed to the feeds on your PC but now use the new laptop you purchased, just subscribe to the feeds again from your laptop. More details here (make sure to read the comments, too!):


      Hope this helps…

      • Hamid said,

        January 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

        Done, ( I think ) thanks very much Steve.

  22. Sam said,

    September 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while and really enjoying it, commenting only once on your Lama Chodpa review. It’s wonderful to see people getting so deep into the art and science of incense.

    Have you tried the Chagdud Gonpa incenses? As far as I know they’re available only from Tibetan Treasures, the retail outlet run by the Chagdud Gonpa Foundation. I really like both their P’hul-jung Men-pö and Riwo Sangchod incenses. They both fall within the traditional Tibetan spectrum, but with interesting variations on that theme. I’ll post a review if I can find the time.

    After saving up the ash from incense offerings for a number of days, I finally tried filling the bottom of my little Nepali incense burner with ash instead of sand. I was amazed at the difference it makes in the burn. The sticks actually burn all the way to the bottom, instead of leaving a little stub as I was used to with sand. Do you have any idea why this is?

    The ash does produce a salty mineral smell for the last minute or so, which may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s actually not bad as a sort of palate cleanser.

    • Mike said,

      September 22, 2009 at 11:06 am

      Hi Sam, thanks for posting about Chagdud Gonpa, I’m unfamiliar with them.

      As to ash, supposedly it’s less dense than sand allowing oxygen to permeate it more easily allowing incenses to burn below the surface. However, I think that changes depending on how packed the ash is, as I always notice when I clean out my burner and run it through a sifter to be able to heat the ash and clean it that there are still quite a few stubs left that didn’t burn and most of the time they’re those that have fallen deep into the more packed ash at the bottom of the bowl.

  23. David Drain said,

    July 8, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Hi guys, just want to say that this site is really great. I’m not one to keep going back to anything (especially websites) unless it has something special and I’ve been reading this site alot over the last few weeks. I’d already been trying to research quality incense for a while previously but the findings were sporadic and sourcing a large variety of quality incenses with independent reviews just wasn’t working out at all. I’ve already ordered batches of frankincense from the minorien and tennendo lines and also some holy land 1 & 2 from the tibetan medical college. Also looking forward to continuing to sample various incenses over time using your reviews as a basis for my decisions. Your enthusiasm is contagious so keep up the good work. Dave from Ireland

    • Mike said,

      July 8, 2009 at 7:39 am

      Hi David, appreciate the kind words. Thanks! – Mike

  24. Didier said,

    May 25, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Hello ! I am from France and my english is not good.
    I would like to buy encenses for my clients and I love encenses from Mandala Art & Incense but I cannot find retailer.
    Could you help me or advise me for those ones and other naturals ?
    thank you !!

    • Mike said,

      May 26, 2009 at 9:27 am

      I believe Essence of the Ages (see link on left) could supply those for you Didier, if you’re willing to go oversees for them. I think Tibetan-Incense.com supplies those as well (I think from Israel?), although I’d check with them first to be sure.

  25. May 13, 2009 at 10:48 am

    […] researching incense, I stumbled upon the Olfactory Rescue Service (ORS), a blog devoted entirely to the subject. In the site’s own words, “The ORS exists to […]

  26. kihm said,

    May 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I love what you do, and really appreciate all the information. I’ve been posting pieces on incense and the arts at http://kihm2.wordpress.com/ and hit my 50thh post today, so it seems to be more than a whim. I invite you over. Thanks again.

    • Mike said,

      May 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Kihm thanks for coming over, I’ve added your blog to the list on the left. I really like all the historical information on incense, the pictures of antique censers and the links to RPGs like Warhammer as well as the really fascinating Spiritual Sky article. Well worth checking out.

  27. Lee said,

    March 21, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Wow, what a tremendous wealth of information and insight. I have slowly been getting into incense over the last year or two, finding myself moving toward the scents of Tibetan Incense, strictly by “nasal taste” as well as “mental affect”. I have had a Japanese Influenced Zen Buddhist practice for last 15 years on and off, and have gotten deeper into my practice as of late. So I had been influenced by the Japanese scents and become accustomed to and fond of them. A while back I decided to try Tibetan Incense from the Dharma Crafts Catalogue. I liked the Blue Sky, (but none of the other Tibetan I tried from them) more than some of the Japanese. Well good fortune for me, they were out of Blue Sky this month. So my first foray into searching for Incense on the internet and I arrived at your site. Between this site and your excellent recommendations and the “Essence Of The Ages” site, I have just finished my first week of burning Holy Land & Holy Land 2, as well as Medicine King – Special Medicine….all I can say is WOW, fantastic, sublime. I look forward to burning, reading and learning more. It’s like “Pandora’s Box of Incense” has been opened…Thanks again!

    • Mike said,

      March 23, 2009 at 7:48 am

      Hi Lee, thanks for dropping by and appreciate the comments and sharing your incense journey. The three you mention are among my favorite incenses, truly I still have a hard time keeping my hands off of any of them. That’s the nice thing about Tibetan incenses, the most deluxe of them all don’t cost you high end aloeswood prices, which means I can go back to the boxes fairly often.

  28. Mike said,

    January 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks for the kind comments Susan!

  29. Susan Law said,

    January 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    This is a great site and a great service. I use incense a lot, strictly as an offering during meditation. My own practice is Tibetan, but Tibetan incense in a comparatively small space seems to leave the whole place smelling like I’m heating with a wood fire. So I use Japanese incense – mostly Baieido. Your reviews are very very helpful and a pleasure to read. Thanks.


  30. Mike said,

    January 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Francis, you’re on. If you don’t want your address permanently posted here, you can e-mail me through the About page with it and I’ll delete it for ya here. – Mike

  31. francis Schenstead said,

    January 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    THought I should give you my persoanl address so i could get involved in this round robin of incense

    3225-50th avenue
    lloydminster, Sk
    S9V 0N8 Canada

  32. clairsight said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Its a great book about how scent works. Even though it can get pretty science oriented his witting style keeps it very fun.
    Its also a great look at the research end of how perfumes are designed and what goes into making the basic scent components. You can pick it up online for very little.


  33. Steve Schaffer said,

    November 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Sorry, but I’ve not. Have you?

  34. clairsight said,

    November 14, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Nice find Steve. Have you read his book on scent and smell?

  35. Steve Schaffer said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I think you and others will find this talk about the science of scent fascinating:


  36. clairsight said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Hey Kerry
    I just finished your book and have also ordered some resins from you. Great stuff all around.
    Thanks for coming by the site.
    I am in Berkeley, right now recovering from a hip replacment(went real well)


  37. Mike said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Hi Kerry, I’m actually in Sacramento, wishing I could afford the various SF Jazz Festival shows going on right now, but hopefully when the economy eases up I’ll be making a trip out that way. Would be nice to meet you. 🙂

  38. Kerry Hughes said,

    October 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Mike and Ross,
    I remember commenting on one of your posts from Mikes Prattle.. I am an author of an incense book called The Incense Bible. I am also located in the Bay Area and would love to meet you in person one of these days as it seems we share a similar interest in incense!

  39. Mike said,

    July 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks so much Noah, appreciate the write up! Great to see a Dead fan over here too, they’re one of my favorites (particularly through 77), will add you to my RSS. – Mike

  40. Noah said,

    July 22, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Guys, this is wonderful. Music and incense are two of my deepest passions, and it is such a pleasure to run across a forum all about high quality incense. I’ve only read a fraction of the site thus far but already see names I know, and even better, tons that I don’t.

    I also have added you to the http://www.stumbleupon.com directory with this review/description. I hope you find it a fair representation:

    “A wonderfully in depth blog about fine incense. Written with passion, this site reviews and categorizes many of the great incenses out there. A niche market to say the least. But I, as a huge incense lover, find a lot to enjoy on these pages. “

  41. Steve said,

    June 11, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Ryan – sent you an email yesterday to get your mailing address. Please let me know if you did not receive.


  42. Mike said,

    June 10, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Thanks Ryan. Passed your info on to Steve.

  43. Ryan Bozis said,

    June 10, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Hello Mike,
    I cannot pass-up an offer of free incense. Especially since I’ve now expanded my incense cache, into two drawers of “japanese” and “other”. I was running out of room there for a minute. If there are any left, it would be great to help steve out :). Either way, thanks for all your recommendations over the months, and you really do have a penchant for weaving a tapestry of olfactory description, with your words.

  44. Mike said,

    June 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks. I’ll pass on on your info to Steve when I get to my e-mail this evening.

  45. G.W. Dudley said,

    June 9, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I’d be happy to accept a package of different incenses, if still available. I have loved incense since the late 60’s and still purchase quite a bit. I’ve enjoyed your well written reviews, and thanks for introducing me to “Essence of the Ages”, a very nice internet store.

  46. Steve said,

    June 7, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Message sent to you, Leigh!


  47. Mike said,

    June 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for writing Leigh, Steve should be in contact with you soon. You were not too late. 🙂 – Mike

  48. Leigh said,

    June 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I am so excited about your indian incense offer. Are they all gone yet? I just moved into a new apartment and am a huge incense fan. I love keeping the house smelling “exotic”. So I wanted to let you know that I’m interested in the offer you put forth! Let me know!

    Thanks for input on incense also! It’s very much appreciated!


  49. Mike said,

    September 1, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Monica, thanks for the kind words. It’s interesting you mention Robert Parker as well, as for a year or two I was a viticulture and enology major at UC Davis, which probably does figure into the reviewing some. Hope the reviews are helping you find some new favorites. 🙂 – mike

  50. Monica said,

    September 1, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    I am so excited I found your website. I love fine incense and enjoy reading your reviews. It really helps me to decide which ones to buy. You are like the Robert Parker for incense.


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