Feng Ma Bao Pharmaceutical Company / Highland ‘Long Stick’ Incense

I should probably mention straight off that this Highland Incense is not the old school Highland incense of many years back, nor the reformulated version of it that was discussed on that page’s comments section, it’s made by a completely different company. Strangely enough, however, it does remind me a little bit of my long off memories of the reformulation, which was an incense that I initially had trouble with due to the shift but then grew to like on its own.

Feng Ma Bao’s (very) long stick Highland tends towards a richer and full Tibetan bouquet with quite a bit of presence, which seems very common for this sort of “therapeutic” class of scents made outside of monasteries, although I’m sure with some traditional ties to those recipes. This incense has a lot of the same markers, there’s a bit of musk, some saffron, that sort of autumnal harvest sort of leafy scent where I’d agree with one other reviewer on the page is probably rhododendron, a bit of what I think of as a “corn” sort of scent, which I have picked up in other Tibetans, maybe some inexpensive sandalwood and agarwood in the mix, not to mention the usual juniper. I generally like the way a lot of these notes balance, one with the other, it adds up to a lot of real complexity. There’s some real presence to the stick and it feels like it has multiple layers that interact with the environment you’re burning. All in all I think this one tends towards the upper echelon of Tibetan sticks. If you’re new I might start with the Holy Lands or Nectar and get your feet wet, but if you’re stretching out this is not a bad choice at all.