Dhe-Tsang Monastery / Sacred Mountains Incense

Dhe’s Tsang Monastery’s Sacred Mountains incense is a skinnier stick than their flagship blend incense. The one ingredient listed is gadan kyenba, which Incense Traditions describes as a mint-like herb. It is notable to mention this ingredient because the scent profile is definitely a little bit different in this one, but I would go into it expecting it to be multiple ingredient nonetheless. But this ingredient does seem to give the incense a bit of a similarity to the wormwood found in many another Tibetan incense except it doesn’t hint at the funkiness you may often find in incense with this herb in it. Instead the gadan kyenba seems to interact mostly with the more evergreen and woody notes you usually find, which is a nice balance with the usual high-altitude notes. There’s a sort of autumnal leafy scent in this one that I’ve mentioned in some previous reviews like there’s probably a touch of rhododendron in there and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a little sandalwood or agarwood in the mix too. It’s a pleasant stick, somehow both powerful and gentle at the same time and very different from the flagship scent. Maybe the only downside of this one is that the packaging is basically a big bundle of easily breakable sticks wrapped only with a couple of the red strips. I think this is probably too natural-ingredients based to worry about it losing strength any time, but it would have been cooler in a tube. Then again, knowing how often the packaging changes with Tibetan incenses, maybe this is just down the line a bit!

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Dhe-Tsang Monastery Incense

In my virtual tour of Tibetan incenses, I’ve clocked a lot of styles from the deep salty and musky sticks of Holy Land and Nectar, to the green high altitude scents of Quinrun, Huiyou and Spirit of Shambhala on to more autumnal and herbal goodies like Ba’er Qude Si and Feng Ma Bao Highland. Dhe-Tsang Monastery incense feels more like a lateral step from some of these other incenses with a sweetness to it that tends to be a bit more uncommon with monastery incenses. It has a pretty healthy and more obvious mix of sandalwood in the blend. Often with Tibetans the wood is on the list but tends to be subsumed. Here it’s actually part of the top note. In some ways this would make it more reminiscent of a Nepali incense except unsurprisingly there’s still a bit of musk here, it’s just not the at the usual strength you would expect. The box is a bit smaller than comparable monastery boxes while remaining at about a comparable price which I would likely think has something to do with all the sandalwood in the mix. It’s nicely done, user friendly and doesn’t really fit into any other grouping I can think of with other Tibetan styles.