New Incense Forum

Leslie from Leslie’s Incense Review has created a new incense forum. It looks like the old Incense Trader’s forum isn’t up anymore but there should be opportunities to chat and trade at the new forum. Do go over and sign up!

A quick note…

Hope everyone is doing well. I’ve had a bit of an uptick on various personal incense “advice” inquiries of late and unfortunately at a time where other activities are keeping me busy. I do intend to reply to most of these under the right circumstances, but at this point I’d have to say that inquiries that include asking me to do free research or to recommend incenses or resources for (usually start-up) business purposes I’m going to have to pass on, I’m afraid I just don’t have the free time to do these even when offered something in return. You can, however, ask for assistance on our Ask Olfactory Rescue service page. Although this won’t necessarily guarantee you a response, you might find some assistance among our other staff members or readers. If you’re unsure of the parameters of what is acceptable on this page, feel free to write me at the address on the About page, if questions are way off I won’t pass them through. I also highly recommend looking at the Review Information link (and some others) on the left if you’re a business asking for reviews as there are a lot of incenses that we won’t review here as part of our remit is to encourage the use of higher quality incenses which leaves out a lot of lines (like Gonesh or Hem for example) on the commercial market.

The other thing I would suggest before writing me personally, is to look around and get an idea of what Olfactory Rescue Service is about before writing me. I’ve had at least one or two inquiries that betray the lack of even getting a general idea of what we do here, like asking me to carry a line of incense (this isn’t an incense business it’s a resource) or include a business-run guest blog here. We’re not a business and don’t feel our readers will benefit from an invested interest here, although we certainly encourage others to create their own incense blogs (and I’ve always said, if you have one, we’re happy to link to you here). Anyway feel free to discuss here, and I’ll try to weigh if and when I can.


Yellow Kyara, a message from J. K. DeLapp

The following is a message from our good friend J. K. DeLapp at Rising Phoenix. Please direct all inquiries to the e-mail address below. Comments are disabled on this post. There has been some controversy over this offer (including a member of my staff, someone highly respected when it comes to this subject), so I would like to direct your attention to the comments section of this page which I have opened up for discussion. These comments include JK’s documentation about kyara, which, even if you’re not going to go for the offer, is very informative and interesting and worth the read. I want to reiterate that JK runs a sound business and the controversy over whether this is kyara or not should not reflect on his ability to deliver on this offer. I have allowed civil discussion in the above linked thread because it’s not for me to make the call on what is kyara or not, but at least it should give the buyer information in order to make their choice.  – Mike


I’m in the process of getting my hands on some Kyara dusts – namely Red and Yellow Kyara dust.

Reliable supplier whom I’ve done business with for a long time.

The material is sourced from a construction company that uncovers the materials on building projects (as most Kyara is buried in the soil between 1-5 meters). So – this is definitely ethical material. 😃

The dusts are of superb quality, comes from “breakaway” loose pieces when the chunks are unearthed, and is ideal for making compounding further into incense – or using as is. Less than rice grain quantity is needed for use on it’s own – and will fragrance a room for hours. I use it in my clinic to great affect!

Whereas the price of buying Kyara is often closer to $750 per gram, these Red and Yellow Kyara dusts are being offered at the nominal price of $75 per gram.

I’m purchasing a fairly large quantity (part of why I’m getting a great price) – and could use a little help with the hefty bill of the large score.

Would be great if folks could handle picking up 1 or 3 or 5 or 10 (or more) grams!

**This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to pick up the rarest of incense materials at a fraction of the market price.

Payment would be up front – and I’ll have the material direct from the source in 3-4’ish weeks. I can then ship the quantity you’ve purchased directly to you.

A little goes a LONG way in compounding incense (used kind of like “salt and pepper” in food…just a pinch is all that’s needed) – or can be used as is for the most luxurious experience.

Again – this is for Red Kyara and/or Yellow Kyara dust. This is known as “breakaway dust” from larger pieces (as they are cleaned of any loose pieces), which is why I am able to get such a phenomenal price on this incredibly rare material.

This offer is a bit time sensitive – so if you’re interested – please do speak up ASAP!

If interested – please do email me ASAP at:

Thanks! 😃😃

PS – a photo of a 53.2g piece of Yellow Kyara that I have – as an example of the quality these dusts come from:

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A few guidelines to think about before posting a complaint here.

I’ve tried to make Olfactory Rescue Service a place where you can share complaints about businesses, but what I had in mind was when there is a serious problem, like if someone runs off with your money for good. And yet I’ve let some minor complaints through and unfortunately what this has done, particularly in Essence of the Ages case, is send people over here en masse to complain about things that actually should be directed to the business itself. We do realize that over the last year or two Essence has changed the shipping times from within a few days to seven business days. This is now clearly stated on the site. And seriously if it goes over a business day, let’s not complain. I realize we want our incense as fast as possible but let’s not pretend that most incense businesses are corporations on the level of Amazon who have the infrastructure to deal with things in a way one single person running a business can’t. One thing I have noticed is that when Beth gets a complaint here, she will respond to it and 4 times out of 5 there isn’t a counter response, because her logic is tight. On the other hand, I think people need to pay close attention when something is out of stock. If you don’t want to wait for something to restock let her know that on the order when you place it. Believe it or not, I don’t work for any of these businesses and yet I’m having to play middleman in a way I don’t really have as much time for at the moment due to other concerns. But I do know that Beth is good people and I’ve probably let out the leash too far on letting things pass through here and I’d bet money the incense orders would go out faster if she didn’t have to keep explaining herself or replying to repetitive emails. Just have some patience. Be good people yourself.

From now on, one’s complaints must be serious for me to let it pass through. You see some of the complaints here have been petty about people who have been almost extraordinarily generous. Complaints about Mermade for example better be damn convincing, because the evidence is far more in favor of extreme generosity than it is about making mistakes about orders. If I have to be honest by allowing complaints against people who process orders above board, I should be equally honest when I know the business integrity of someone as well. Let us be kind to each and understanding to each other.

Also, and I think I’ve said this before, if you’re a stranger complaining, I’m going to be very likely about deleting complaints unread, because unfortunately most of you don’t come back when your complaint is responded to by the business. People who read these complaints should pay attention to the responses and not automatically assume a complaint is valid if a business follows up.

Finally, let’s be clear about who runs Olfactory Rescue Service. It’s not any of these businesses. It’s me and my staff. I will explain the rules as kindly as I can and I will do the utmost to be honest and fair. But I have no fear of moderating severely when these rules are not respected. I would prefer the site to be as drama free as possible.

Posting guidelines for incense companies and sellers

I’ve been noticing something of an uptick in posts by incense companies of late although you probably wouldn’t notice as I don’t tend to let most of these through. Olfactory Rescue Service is a site aimed to be a resource for the incense consumer and so I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow companies to spam the site with links. Most of the time this is really obvious, like when a company will post in a thread that’s over 3 or 4 years old and has had no comments on it in just as long. To me there’s no effort to be a part of the community here, which is one good way for me to be able to tell if there’s a balanced approach to being here.

So what’s the balanced approach? Well, I’m definitely far more inclined to let posts like this through when they’re being informative and specifically addressing a person’s question. But in allowing a post like this through, then I don’t expect the frequency of this to go up to where these comments are dominating the feed. It’s not OK, just because you carry a particular brand of incense, to spam your company link on that page. I don’t buy spam-generated stuff like “I love your website” and then a link to an incense company. You won’t see most of this stuff here because we won’t let it through.

On the other hand, I’d like to think I’m approachable and I do want to get the word out there about reputable and honest incense suppliers and companies. So if you are one of these companies and would like to touch base, my contact information is on the About page. This is a much more effective route to getting the word spread. On the other hand if your company is one of those that makes synthetic perfume on charcoal stick kind of stuff, then this site probably isn’t right for you either.

Also, to many of these companies, this is not an incense retail site except for an occasional boutique kind of thing from one of our staff. So inquiries into sales, will not be addressed or replied to, particularly because this should be very obvious from a cursory look at things here, it tells me you’re not really paying attention.

Anyway questions on this page are welcome here, with the caveat that some things just aren’t up for discussion and browbeating and bullying me or my staff over the rules isn’t something I’ll tolerate or even humor. Yes there are some incense companies that will occasionally post here and the reason they do is because they understand the balance here and what is trying to be achieved. We’d of course like that to be true for everybody.

Small Administration Post

I’ve deleted the “Recent Comment Activity” thread, and felt it was just time for a friendly reminder of what is considered acceptable commenting behavior at Olfactory Rescue Service. Of course as always 99% of you always seem to implicitly understand what’s OK and what’s not and we appreciate that.

The general rule of thumb is you’re welcome to say whatever you want about an incense. I honestly don’t even care how much vitriol one uses if they don’t like something, that’s what we’re here to share. Where it crosses the line for me is when a post is made that implies a person’s character (or lack of) is somehow responsible for their opinion, or that posts are being made in terms to favor one business or another – basically that ORS is somehow a conspiracy. Posts that are simply made to be negative, epecially when there is nothing to back up an opinion except for an assertion, aren’t welcome here. We are a friendly bunch, and I don’t like having to be unfriendly, but will if I think its necessary to keep up the integrity of the site.

Second, we do welcome businesses to weigh in and if you’re part of a business and have commented and it hasn’t been flagged then we are perfectly OK with the activity. But it’s important to keep in mind that many people subscribe to this site by e-mail and if I see an inordinate amount of activity from any particularly business, to the point where the feed starts to look like a sales pitch I will do something about it. Under no circumstances is it OK to solicit sales from our readers unless they specifically ask you a question about one of your products.  Nor is it OK to circumvent this rule by sending people over here to ask those questions. 

Most importantly, my staff or I don’t have to time to discuss or debate these rules, nor satisfy anyone’s sense of what is fair or not, we’ll just make the call we have to to ensure this place stays within the bounds we intend. We moderate all posts and if it gets passed that means we’re OK with it. If it doesn’t then I’d suggest changing the post and trying again. Ignoring or e-mailing my staff or myself (or even commenting in this thread) to nitpick over the rules will likely just have me turn the company reviews private until I get the message across. I don’t at all want to delete them permanently, after all, they are there for the consumer, but what I do want is respect for the boundaries we set.

Anyway hopefully this will be all I have to say on this subject for a while, I have upcoming reviews of a group of Shroff incenses I’ve been long meaning to talk about, the notes are all done, so it shouldn’t be long.

Kohshi in GQ magazine

Kohshi(Japan Incense) is listed in this months GQ magazine as ” best 25 stores around the world”.

Very cool and well deserved and a major plus for the incense community. I figure Jay and Kotaro are responsable for inceasing the awarness of the differnt incense available from Japan to a huge degree. -Ross

A note from Beth on Tibetan incenses

I received the following from Beth Johns at Essence of the Ages in order to clarify some of the issues regarding Tibetan Medical College Holy Land and other Tibetan incenses, based on comments in other threads…



I hope I can clarify a bit of what seems to be happening with the Holy Land incense, and certainly other Tibetan, Indian, and Nepali incenses.

Most of the incenses that I import are 100% natural or contain a very high amount of all natural ingredients.  Certainly Tibetan and Nepali incenses are the most natural incenses made, using literally no artificial ingredients. Now let’s change tracks a bit.

The wines produced from the exact same grove of grapes will taste differently from year to year. The weather has a huge impact on the taste of the fruit. Less rain produces a higher sugar content. More rain, less sweet. There are many other weather factors that also affect the taste of the fruit. Vineyards then call the yearly harvest and resulting wine a ‘vintage’. Even if you don’t consume wine, you certainly can taste the difference from season to season in the fruits you purchase from your local grocery. The taste is affected by the weather in the growing region of the fruit. Here in Minnesota, for instance, the drought from the past 2 summers has produced the most gorgeous fall colors I have ever seen … less rain means higher sugar content in the leaves and more brilliant fall color.

The same happens with the leaves, roots, flowers, et. al. that are used to produce all natural incense. The weather affects ALL growing and living things, including incense ingredients.

To the absolute best of my knowledge, the recipe of the Holy Land has not changed from when I first was able to import it in 2008. What HAS changed are the growing seasons. And I continue to be told by the Monastery that the Holy Land recipe has not changed.

The Holy Land that I currently have in stock was imported in August 2011. I believe it to contain a large amount of high quality ingredients, including animal musk.

This is the best explanation that I can offer. I hope you will try Holy Land for yourself, from my current stock, and enjoy what I consider one of Tibet’s finest incenses.



Beth Johns

Essence of the Ages

A few things…

I’m finally getting around to reviewing some of the new Mothers Champa incenses, I’ve got three finished and am working on another three, so these will be out probably by next week at the latest. There are 12 total so I haven’t received the other batch yet, but I have to give cheers to the company for always sending plenty of goodies. A lot of the new Mother’s tend to a soft, pink and floral side, which they haven’t touched on much until now. So far I’m pretty happy with the Chakra Nagchampa which is the only one I’ve noticed so far that isn’t in the pink and floral group.

I’m also hoping to roll out long awaited reviews on a really great group of Shroff durbars, Apsara, Exotic Petals, Orange Blossom etc. These are ALL amazing, in fact I’m on my second box of every single one, including a new pick up Silver Bouquet (my favorite by a split hair is probably the Sugandha Mantri). Let’s just say I’m debating adding every single one to the Hall of Fame list, which needs a serious upgrade in its own right. One of the things I’ve noticed is that the group of Shroffs with Jungle Prince, Pearl etc have mostly gone recipe changes (some talk over how different the Jungle Prince is have shown up in comments). Pearl’s definitely a little different but still great. Little Woods has also gotten something of a change, but maybe even in the slightly better direction, it’s not quite as perfumed and a bit more subtle. Darshan struck me as exactly the same, so not everything has changed.

And speaking of change, I tried a sample of the new forumulation of Tibetan Medical College’s Holy Land. It has indeed taken a hit, but from the scent I’d guess they’re making the good stuff go longer, as this could almost be the B grade in between the original and Nectar. Anyway those who have old stock should hold onto it, as like Highland, the original is definitely gone. However the change isn’t quite as dramatic. But it does seem like most of the very special Tibetan incenses are disappearing along with their ingredients.

Anyway do feel free to use this thread to share ingredient changes on incenses over the last few years. Any bit of help will assist me to redo the Hall of Fame pages and get them current. Particularly curious about Shroff Moonlight.

Quick admin update

  • Just got a note from Mother’s who have sent me the latest six new Nag Champas in their line. And apparently there’s another six to follow next month. All excellent news. And yes, hopefully reviews early next year.
  • Am very distracted elsewhere at the moment, but those expecting e-mails or packages, note that I haven’t forgotten. 🙂
  • I won’t be able to address any fixes to the site for a while, but I haven’t forgotten these either. Carry on 🙂

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