Monday, 16 October 2017

Hari Om Divine Incense Gulab

A fairly floral and attractive everyday perfume-dipped rose incense. Gulab means rose, and this has the essence of roses scent that the older generation like. It is a little old fashioned and stuffy, but not offensive. I'm ot hugely attracted to floral scents, rose in particular, but this works well enough. There's nothing off or offensive about it - indeed, it seems a clean scent. It is, though, a litttle too neutral, bringing no divine joy, and not creating any sort of mood. It perfumes the air though, and does it well.

It put me in mind of Swarna Gulab by Moksh, so I burned a stick of each and invited my family to compare them. They found them very similar, with the Moksh being the more subtle and interesting, and the Hari Om being the more direct. It's each to their own, and opinions will vary, but I also found them very similar.

Score: 29

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Hari Om Divine Incense Butmogra

I like this. It's a perfume-dipped charcoal stick, jasmine scented - one of the most common (or popular) incense sticks. I think there is a reason why jasmine scent works as an everyday scent - it's clean, crisp, and reminiscent of fresh linen sheets. Jasmine incense rarely creates transcendental moments, but also is rarely foul, so it makes an ideal everyday incense.  This is a particularly fine everyday perfume-dipped jasmine incense.  The scent is clean and refined. It is both refreshing and relaxing, like slipping into freshly laundered sheets.

The box is part of Hari Om's Divine Incense series The box designs are similar to Moksh incense - not direct copies, but there is a similarity about them. And the incense quality is about the same.

Score: 32

Best jasmine incense

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Hari Om 12/- Mangala Jyothi 3 in 1 Flora Sticks

This is part of the 12 Rupee series, but unlike the others this is not perfume dipped, but proper job masala incense. There are three fragrances - all of them marked as "Flora" and then a colour: Purple, Green, and Red. But the packets inside are coloured green, yellow and white. The sticks are colour dyed: green, orange, and the yellow pack is undyed, apart from the tips which are orange. Ha! What fun!

The green pack has a lot of volatile scent on the stick - quite tickly! There's orange peel and beech wood - very interesting and promising! It burns well - nice and slowly with a decent enough woody scent. I'm not picking up much in the way of floral notes, and the wood scent feels a little cheap and crude - think beech chips rather than cedarwood or agarwood, but is certainly quite acceptable.

Score; 29

The white pack (orange dyed sticks) appear to be machine made from a masala type paste which had dried hard. The scent on this is not volatile, and is quite  restrained compared to the other two. It has a faint, but pleasant perfume which is a little old fashioned, like Yardley. It's OK.

Score: 26

The yellow pack like the green has a volatile aroma, quite woody, perfumed, but also slightly fruity. The scent when burned is slightly smoky, and reasonably pleasant, with musky and sandalwood notes. This is an OK everyday room freshener; it's not special, but it's OK, and I'll be happy to burn it to clean up a room and give it some warmth. .

Score: 29

There is a similarity between this pack and Mahendra Sai Jyoti, which is also a 3 in 1 pack of floral incense, and uses the same name - Jyothi or Jyoti (which means "divine light"). This Hari Om, however, is a better quality pack than the Mahendra.

Overall score: 28

Best floral incense

Hari Om Black Current

This is sold with the "from the makers of Sai Bhajan" mark on the box, but is not marked as being part of the Premium 12 Rupee series. It is, as with the other 12 Rupee scents, perfume-dipped charcoal, proving an acceptable everyday incense.  I didn't like it at first, finding the scent a little too much like ready rubbed tobacco - a little crude and serious. Trying it again now I am finding it a little more likable. I can pick up the fruit notes, which I can be persuaded are reminiscent of blackcurrant (if that is the intention - there is an image of currants or other fruit on the pack, but the spelling is for a an energy force such as a tidal current or electric current) , but on the whole this is not a scent that excites or lifts me.

Score: 20

Hari Om 12/- Lovely

Fairly average. These perfume dipped charcoal sticks in the Premium 12 Rupee range are OK. As with the others they "have a from the makers of Sai Bhajan" mark on the box. Some of the 12 Rupee scents really work for me, and given the price, they offer excellent value for money everyday scents - even the least attractive 12/- scents are no worse than the average everyday perfume dipped incense, so would be worse trying out. This one didn't do anything for me - I didn't, a-hem, find it "lovely", but it works fine as a general room freshener.

Score: 25

Hari Om 12/- Sandalrol

Part of Hari Om's Premium 12 Rupee range with a "from the makers of Sai Bhajan" mark on the box, this is perfume dipped charcoal stick. The scent is quite floral and feels quite chemical, hinting a bit at toilet cleaners. It's a fairly average everyday stick of no particular interest. It works well enough - it's not offensive, and it provides a perfume (which some will like more than me - it's all a matter of taste), but it's not scent that gets my interest. I'll be quite happy, though to burn this as an everyday scent or room freshener.

Score: 25

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Hari Om 12/- Tez

I absolutely love this. When I got the box of samples from Hari Om Fragrances, it was the masala incenses that I was really interested in, especially the fat fluxo type as they are proper job masala; but as I'm working my way through the sample box and trying the sticks, it's the machine made perfume dipped charcoal sticks that are really blowing me away. I adore this Tez. The scent is really quite divine. I am not sure what Tez means, or even if that is what the name is (the last letter is a graphic that could be a V) - in Hindi Tez means something like sharp or keen. And I'm not sure what the scent is supposed to be - there are tulip looking flowers on the box design, but what I am getting is musk and vanilla and honey. On the stick there is a pungent chemical note which resembles lemon and Earl Grey tea - it smells like a typical perfume-dipped stick. Pungent, floral, citric, and largely artificial, though not harsh, and with no plastic or alcohol volatiles.  Indeed, quite pleasant, though not divine. But then on burning (and I'm on my fifth stick now, as I just keep burning them one after the other), the aroma is very warm and sensual, with hints of chocolate mixed with the musk. The scent is mildly sharp, and mildly pungent - pleasantly so. It's not aggressive at all. It is a gentle scent that doesn't overpower a room, but does assuredly inform it. You are aware of the scent gently enveloping the room, infusing it with warmth and sensuality. Now and then musk wafts past, and then maybe something floral. There's a surprising amount going on, so the mind is engaged as well as the senses, and this is a scent that teases and encourages further investigation. This is really quite divine, and I really want more of it. It is part of Hari Om's 12 Rupee series (all with a "from the makers of Sai Bhajan" mark on the box), which costs the equivalent of 14p in the UK. A packet of HEM or Tulasi costs on average £1 here, and I'm sure someone could sell this in the UK for around £1 or more, and have some very happy customers.

Score: 40

Best floral incense

Top Ten 
Perfume-Dipped Incense

Monday, 11 September 2017

Hari Om 12/- Pankudi

This is from Hari Om's 12 Rupee (12/-) series (with a "from the makers of Sai Bhajan" mark on the box). 12 Rupees equals about 14p (UK) or 18 cents (USA). It is a machine made perfume-dipped charcoal incense. with an attractive floral scent which is like a cross between gentle red roses and sweet peaches. The aroma is quite jammy and very acceptable. This is a very decent everyday incense offering excellent value for money.  These could be burned at any time of day, and in any room. They lift, invigorate, and gently charm a room. The aroma is clean, lively, light, and pleasant. It is a jolly, happy scent, that lifts the senses, creating a happy and playful mood.Yeah, damn good - I'd be very happy to buy a box of 12 sticks for 14p .

Score: 31

Best floral incense

Best rose incense

Hari Om Vishwa Sai (Fluxo Incense)

This is in a glossy packet a bit like Sri Sai Flora, which appears to be the original Fluxo; so - like Hari Om's  Fluxo Incense, this seems to be in the tradition started by Sri Sai Flora, but is less of a direct copy, and more of Hari Om's own thing (unless there is a fluxo incense with this sort of packaging and imagery that I'm not aware of yet). I like the styling, and the way the packet is sewn closed.

It is a fat masala incense, quite damp and heavy. It burns slowly, but not too heavily, so the scent informs more than overpowers. There is honey, halmaddi and sandalwood aromas. It is quite pleasantly woody and mildly sweet with gentle pricks of warm, damp wool. This is a proper job masala, and I like it.

Hari Om Fragrances were set up in 1990, and they are based in Bangalore.

Score: 35

Monday, 4 September 2017

Darshan Patchouli cones

Bought from Closet Krishna, a charity shop in Rochester, when we were back there visiting friends for a few days. There is a video about the shop on YouTube. There were some incenses around the counter, so I bought a few, including this box of Darshan cones. The box must have been a donation - the cones inside are a little damaged, and there's not many. A couple of other incense items I bought at the same time were also damaged, and the prices are not cheap - I paid £1.60 for these cones when they are normally only £1 (or less). But I wanted to support the shop. When I lived in Rochester I would buy my incense from Little Dorrit - I had intended to drop in, but we were very busy over the weekend catching up with friends, and also visiting the new micropubs!

Anyway. This is an acceptable charcoal based perfume-dipped incense cone. The aroma is pretty standard everyday quality - perhaps a little under average, as the charcoal is noticeable. Quite smoky (which I tend to like - I love watching smoke swirling, and I like cones for that reason, because you get more smoke, and so more swirls!)  As it gets nearer the base so the charcoal becomes even more noticeable.  The scent is faintly musky, though not really what I would call patchouli.

Score: 23

Darshan Incense

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Spiritual Sky Frankincense

A Spiritual Sky incense from the (apparently defunked) Balarama company in Thailand. As with the Frankincense & Myrrh, this  is foiled wrapped. It is less sweet than the Frankincense & Myrrh, and the aroma is a little cruder, revealing a little too much of the base wood powder.  I quite liked the Frankincense & Myrrh, but I'm somewhat less keen on this one. Initially they smelled very similar, but the weaknesses in this one are showing up rather more profoundly than on the Frankincense & Myrrh.

Score: 25

Spiritual Sky Frankincense & Myrrh

Spiritual Sky was THE incense of the Seventies, and every aging hippy will remember it with great fondness.  It was originally made by the Krishna Temple in California, but after financial troubles the brand was sold. It has had over 14 owners, and there are many versions available, as I wrote about in this post from 2013.  None of them are very good, and none are anywhere near the original. This is a new version to me. It was made by Balarama, a Thailand company, who - according to this article, took over Spiritual Sky, but went bankrupt in the 1990s.  The Balarama website is no longer working, though from this archive page on The Wayback Machine,  they did sell Spiritual Sky and a range of other brands as well, including Divine Spirit, which may or not be the same as the Divine Spirit I reviewed in 2013.  There seem to be links between Balarama, Ancient Wisdom, and Emporium.

Anyway, I bought these from Just Aromatherapy, and some of the scents I ordered were not available and were substituted, so it may be that when supplies are gone, they will be gone.  They are foil wrapped. They are a paste applied to a bamboo, which is then rolled in a brown masala powder.  They are quite pleasant, and are indeed, the most pleasant of the non-original Spiritual Sky incense I have tried - they are quite sweet and yummy, like the originals. This Frankincense & Myrrh however doesn't smell anything like frankincense or myrrh. It smells like the foil wrapped Mystic Incense Pink Sugar.  It's nice, whatever its original.

Score: 35

Top Ten 
Perfume-Dipped Incense