Coming soon…

On November 1st, we’ll be rolling out this year’s batch of reviews. I think there are about 20 or so ready to go and so will post them every few days for most of the rest of the year!

Incense Community Updates

Over on the /r/incense subreddit, /u/WeAreZilla has posted two updates this year that we wanted to share here.

Most recently, the update that IncenseGuru.com is closed. But earlier this year, Incense On The Way also closed down. Both are due to the death of the person running it.

We wanted to post these updates both to inform the community and to offer our own condolences to the friends and families left behind.

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The Issues with Vedic Vaani and other previews…

So first of all, I had hoped to have gotten started with a new season of ORS reviews much earlier than I had hoped; however, two things contributed to the current delay, the first is that the day job has been a lot more challenging this year for a number of different reasons, the second is that we fell down the rabbit hole that is the Vedic Vaani catalog. This shop boasts about 400-500 different, mostly very high quality incenses, or at least it seemed to until we started ordering. So without saying much more because there’s still a lot more to be done on how we present reviews and so forth, much of this likely to happen next year, I wanted to post a picture that probably best demonstrates one of the major issues of this catalog that should be self explanatory. See above.

Other than that, there are reviews to come. I have some written, want to get more done and I will soon be posting a bit of an update for the most recent Absolute Bliss restock (basically an across the wall improvement on some incenses you may already know) and there’s also a California based distributor of Meena Supreme and other incenses in that catalog that should be here soon and should follow. Already written and ready to go later are some Baieido updates, a few more Tibetan and Bhutanese sticks (some relatively newly imported through incensetraditions.ca) and a few things I’m forgetting here. So we will be back and I’ll get at least the first two I mentioned on their way to you soon, but I think we might be looking at maybe doing a run starting in October, surprises notwithstanding. Hope everyone is well!

Absolute Bliss restock

Corey has restocked the Absolute Bliss/Happy Hari line, please use his contact page for more information. I am hearing there are some quality upgrades on a few of the normal scents, so that is particularly good news!

News

So I’ve been meaning to post… ORS has been largely quiet a lot later than I expected. My job has had a bit of a shift in direction that has been a lot more time consuming deeper into the year than I would expected and I know Stephen has also had some personal shifts. Second, we have both essentially gotten pretty lost in the Vedic Vaani catalog which for multiple reasons isn’t an easy place to just jump into reviews and so if we ever get down to sorting all that out it’s more likely to be next year. They sell 100s of incenses and it’s not always a consistent company but it has captured our attention due to its overall high quality. I would say I’d like to think we might see some reviews in coming months, but I am not entirely sure yet. The winds blow where they will…

So the major reason I’m dropping by is to post a gofund me link for Corey Topel. It is sad news and we wanted to show our support for him at this time. Keep in mind that if you can’t donate to the gofundme campaign, Corey is still selling incense and expects restocks soon, so buying from Absolute Bliss is another way to help him and his family through a difficult time.

Hope everyone is well and hope to be back as soon as the energy for writing comes back…

Fundraiser for my neighbor Oleg

Hi I’ve had a lot of offers from people over the years who have offered to contribute financially to ORS, but I generally do fine and have tried to keep the site commercial free as possible. However for those who wish to do so, I have set up a Gofundme campaign for my neighbor Oleg who has run into a bit of a hard time since November and could use the help. Aside from transfer fees and such, all of your contributions go straight to Oleg and should go a long way to help him get back on his feet again. More info at the campaign link! Thank you all!

Administrative Status Update

It’s been a bit quiet around here late, but that’s for a few reasons. First of all I’m in what is my peak work period. I write, in part, for a living and Feb to May or June is when I do most of this and unfortunately my team is about half new this year and so I’m having to train a lot, pick up a lot for management and there is really no energy left for ORS (it was kind of the same last year where I posted nearly every day for half the year starting in June). ORS is also working on a lot of stuff behind the scenes as well in terms of research and so forth, which we’re hoping will eventually beat fruit and it does mean there’s a pretty big pile forming up, but this will have to give birth once it can.

I did want to mention really quick that I am really pleased with Mermade’s Dragon Tears. This incense is described by Katlyn as “In my mind, what Dragon’s Blood should smell like…” and in many ways there is no more perfect description that this, because while actual Dragon’s Blood often seems to be prized more for its name, I’ve always been fairly disappointed in it as an aroma on its own. Mixed in with good frankincense and perhaps treated in a way that levels it up with more cinnamon spice pizazz? Sign me up! So don’t miss this little treat. Kat has been incredibly prolific this winter maybe more than I can keep up with at times and I’d describe her as “an artist in the zone” for sure (theres even a couple more things up since the last time I looked). Don’t forget to check out the resins and materials sections either as like I said as she curates some fine materials for sure.

Temple of Incense

As a kindness to Olfactory Rescue Service readers, Sam and Simi Aydee at Temple of Incense have provided a 10% off code! It is OLFACTORY. As we have stated in our reviews (which can be accessed either in our Reviews Index or by clicking on the Temple of Incense link on the left), we consider Temple of Incense one of the model western companies out there, with an absolutely astonishing and wide array of great incenses, well over 50 at this point. Their service and great energy is top notch. If you haven’t checked them out, now is a perfect time with the code.

News: Shroff Channabasappa, Vedic Vaani and others

So it appears there was some misunderstanding regarding the closure of Shroff Channabasappa and that the closure was actually temporary and COVID related (8 months). Ashok at Padma Store asked me to get out the message, but the company is very much alive, so we’re hoping to see more goodies from them. I have had a chance to check out the latest series of wet masalas through PS and they are all very good, maybe even a bit better than the final batch Essence of the Ages received before ending sales. So some very good news indeed! I am sure updated reviews on these will eventually show up here, although one might use previous reviews as a rough guide as you need to. Naturally these have all drifted a bit and one or two are actually completely different (the Saffron comes to mind), but we were not originally planning on reviewing these until the good news came across.

I accidentally ran across Vedic Vaani, which appears to be one of the largest Indian incense companies out there, based in Mumbai. They have an absolutely massive catalog of Indian incenses, they apparently ship to anywhere in the world in 3-5 business days, and for the most part it seems like with some exceptions, most of their incenses are minimum 100g boxes. They seem to range from something like $4-5 all the way to the high teens for 100g boxes, if you look in the masala range. I’m taking a quick test drive on some incenses to see if the service goes OK, so there may be hoards of things to discover in 2022 and after on the incense front here. But if you want to be a pioneer and check things out and then weigh in, you can do so here or when we get our VV review(s) up.

And I would be amiss not to mention some newer goodies we’re seeing at both our trusty stops at incense-traditions and Japan Incense. I will likely end up getting some reviews up eventually, but I really dug the Snow Mountain Gathers Incense, and the Sangdanli Temple Nunnery Incense and Sera Monastery seem quite nice as well on early takes. It’s worth noting that incense-traditions has opened up a whole new range of monastery loose incenses as well, and I of course grabbed the Wara Monastery. I seem to go through loose Tibetans much more slowly than other types, simply because they all seem like they’re better on charcoal than on a heater and I rarely use charcoals anymore, but would probably need to to fairly cover them. I still have old batches of the original Highland loose, an older Samye Monastery batch and a Medicine King or Mindroling one in a drawer somewhere. They tend to be dry but very aromatic.

Also worth popping over to check out Japan Incense’s New Products section. Notable are a couple more in the Kunjudo Kan Ken Koh series, this rather savory Koyasan Daishido Star Anise incense, both affordable and a bit different, and a trio of what appear to be new Baieido Ensei incenses. I either have some of these to review or they’re on the way. But there are a lot more goodies that have come in in recent months to try.

Hither & Yon

[Closing comments on this one. Hither & Yon finally got back to me, I ordered, they shipped right away!]

Does anyone know if this company is in action still? They seem to have updated stock recently, but I have written them three times over the last few months without reply, just trying to be sure they’re operating first. I’m interested in making an order as well as verifying their status as a source for Nepalese incenses, so it’s puzzling. They even have a contact form so you would think queries would not be lost in spam. Any help/ideas appreciated.

https://www.hitherandyon.com/

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