Tengboche / Ceremony, Offering

Nepalese monastery Tengboche creates three incenses that come in the customary small and long sticks forms. Based on samples of two of them, the incense seems to be safely ensconced in the upper quality level of Nepalese incenses with aromas that are robust and not scuppered by the use of too many generic woods. That is, both of these have assertive personalities.

I’m particularly fond of the Ceremony incense, which takes the usual berry wood combination found in many Nepalese lines, lowers the smoke quantity to gentle while still retaining a very pleasant scent full of evergreen woods, a general berry scent and hints of tobacco-like herbs. The key here is the balance, none of these elements get in the way of the others, which helps to keep the incense interesting along the burn. In fact when thinking of a berry Nepali incense this one’s now actually pretty close to the top of the list, although it’s probably entirely because of the herbal notes.

Offering is completely different and a bit less accessible with a tangy, herbal blend with some strong coffee notes in the mix. While the specific scent is perhaps not quite to my taste as I’m not unusually fond of coffee incenses, it’s no less undiluted than the Ceremony and thus certainly worthy of attention if you feel differently. This also has one specific ingredient mentioned (other than the generic woods and flowers description), saffron water, although the incense didn’t strike me as having any particular saffron like subscent. And I should say for as much as I notice the coffee scent, there’s also something of a Lipton-ish iced tea one in the mix as well.

In the end it all depends on just how high your Nepalese stick count might be as the Ceremony covers a solid version of a familiar scent and the Offering an unusual blend that may or not appeal, but if you’re new to the style of incense this appears to be a solid brand.