Bhutan Jewel Incense of Bhutan A Traders/Tara Vegetarian Incense

One may remember some months ago our review of the Drichog Chotrin Incense. I will say it is not always easy to figure out what the company or organization behind a Bhutanese incense is actually called, even looking at box, if there’s no Poizokhang involved. The boxes of both this Tara Vegetarian Incense and the Drichog Chotrin say the incense is distributed by Bhutan Jewel Incense of Bhutan A Traders and so this will suffice for now. It should also be noted that like the Drichog Chotrin, the box is designed completely in English as for import purposes. Tara Vegetarian Incense is also indicated as vegan friendly and there seems to be some marketing application involved here, as it often seems like the very existence of a vegetarian incense seems to imply that some range of unnamed incenses actually isn’t. I am not sure if there is the same cultural level magnifying glass on this issue in Bhutan as there is in the US and the west, but there you have it. The ingredients listed on this one are cinnamon, juniper powder, and white and red sandalwood powder and what is perhaps very clear about it is these ingredients are all indeed the main ones you can glean from a burn of this incense. It’s actually quite simple overall with the spice on woods mix and although it’s woody enough to approach the usual high altitude sort of campfire vibe of the juniper, the sandalwood mellows it out a great deal. So in a lot of ways it’s an almost definitive baseline sort of Tibetan stick without a lot of regional herbs and ingredients to complicate it. However, the resolution of the ingredients that are involved make this just a little better than calling it an average Tibetan incense.


Bhutan Jewel Incense of Bhutan A Traders / DC (Drichog Chotrin) Incense (Bhutan Jewel Incense)

As I review Bhutanese incenses, it gets a little bit more difficult to differentiate one from another as many of them are in the same style, including what is the red or purple-stick “jewel incense” style. But I don’t think there’s any question that Drichog Chotrin is a solid entry into the field, in fact it very could well be the very picture or trademark of this style (and yes if this feels a bit like deja vu. it’s not entirely surprising). It has the strong tensile strength of a fully blended incense, the berry/cherry mix that acts as the front note, the sandalwood, the musk, the floral and saffron elements (this appears to be listed as safflower which is often a saffron substitute) as well as the sort of tobacco and herb spice that gives the sweetness a little bit of vigor to it. It’s not on the lighter side either, with all of the ingredients at peak strength which belies that even though the price range on Bhutanese incenses is rather narrow, this is closer to the upper end of it. Writing about these, I often feel like I’d almost have to do the full range before I could then start sorting out which of these are my favorites because I really do find them all enjoyable, but they’re also within a fairly tight range. However I might say an incense like Lhawang Driden is a bit denser and richer, in the same style. The box on this one also appears to be marketed to English speakers as it appears to be the only language used.