Good incense versus nag champa

Nag Champa is not good incense, though many good and sincere people are of the impression it is.

I grant you, it smells better than burnt sawdust, perhaps “good” is relative. In much the way that well Gin is better than, say, rubbing alcohol, a delightful romp with a neurotic coke-thin feme picked up at 2:00am, at the Northside Tavern, beats an extended bout of celibacy (or tricking with sketchy sidewalk ladies found at Race & Findlay at 4:00am), and a frisch’s big boy fish sandwich beats fish sticks between wonder bread, hands down.

But Nag Champa is not good incense. It is passable…

Quickly produced by blissed-out, glaze-eyed, brainwashed acolytes of “Satya” Sai Baba in little workshops in rural India. If you want good incense however, allow me to suggest “Metro”.

hello kittyMetro brand Agarbatti Incense sticks, produced in Karachi, possess a subtle aroma, a mix of sandalwood, rose, and hints of jasmine and musk. You can recognize it by its delightful logo, a fey and innocent looking white kitten. Wouldn’t you rather buy incense packaged with a cute kitten on the cover, rather than with a small pic of Sai Baba, and stylishly voluminous Afro?

I thought so.

Madhuban, an Indian import, isn’t too bad either, and has many varieties. But I prefer Metro.

Morning Star, a Japanese variety, is also quite good. Japanese and Chinese Joss Stick style incense has a unique feature, no wood substrate. When you burn it you smell the pure scent of the incense materials, without the scent of the burning wood stick.

Typical of the Japanese, they take the art of incense to heights unreached by other nations. I’m serious, Japanese incense kicks ass. Exquisite scents and exquisite packaging combine for a veritable orgasm for your eyes and nose. Stuff is so pretty that one fears actually burning it..

There is always the traditional standby of Frankincense burned upon charcoal.

Former Catholics might wake up with bad memories of sunday mass with this one, but I love the stuff. There is also the old Arabian “bakhour” standby of Oud – raw agarswood – on burnt charcoal.  Eminently civilized. This is an old favorite in the gulf and Arabia.  Nothing matches the smell of oud and frankincense combined. Trust me on this one.  Oud is worth its weight in gold. Oud is better than sex. Good Oud is the king of perfume and incense, one must experience it once in one’s life.

So there you go, you have choices. Empowering choices. Burning Nag Champa makes your flat smell like a dopehead’s den, burning good incense makes it smell like heaven, or a reasonable simulacrum thereunto.

So don’t burn cheap stuff.

Metro Incense – import inquires may be directed to Messrs.  Amin Yunus & Co., in c/o METRO AGARBATTI CO. F-106, Hub River Road, S.I.T.E., Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Phone: +92 21-2564213

(nb: the neat smoke picture Image taken by Kim van Zyl, for the south african agency for science and technology, used without permission for non commercial reasons…

4 thoughts on “Good incense versus nag champa

  1. Padma Perfumery Works is a leading manufacturer, supplier and exporter of premium quality incense sticks & agarbatti from India. Our product catalog includes Stress Relief Aroma Sticks, Citronella Incense Sticks, Stimulation Incense Sticks, Eucalyptus Incense Sticks (Sino Relief), Incense Agarbatti (Relaxation), Sandal Agarbatti (Peace), etc.

  2. A worst review. I came to check on the actual properties of the product and found biased nonsense iniformation instead.

    “Wouldn’t you rather buy incense packaged with a cute kitten on the cover …”

    …. eh NO! the package has nothing to do with the product.

  3. I’m sorry you feel that way. You misspelled ‘information“. But that’s ok, my whole blog is riddled with typos. Also you didn’t notice that my kitten comment was meant to be humorous. But that’s ok, one person’s humor can simply strike another person as inane, confusing, or just plain silly. Everyone’s tastes differ.

    But what follows isn’t intended as humor, it’s intended to be quite serious. The package has everything to do with the product because the package is an attribute of the product and reflects the intentions and skills of the product’s makers and marketers.

    A product is the sum total of its constituent parts. This includes packaging. For example, people really do buy books based on their covers. This has been proven by data analysis of book purchasing patterns. Poor thought paid to a product’s packaging doesn’t necessarily imply the product itself is inferior, but it is a tell.

    Good packaging indicates a product’s makers want to make a certain impression on its consumers. This actually isn’t superficial, it indicates a deep thinking process that actually truly understands how the vast majority of the world purchases things — whether you agree with them or not.

    Case in point: Nag Champa has massively improved the packaging of some of the more premium lines of incense, particularly those exported to USA markets, the packaging of some of these other product lines appeals to upwardly mobile female cosmopolitan purchasers who are into wellness and mindfulness. Examine some of their more recent products. Someone there understood exactly what I was just saying. A lot of the Metro products’ packaging by comparison now looks a bit amateurish.

    They still have the gorgeous kitten though. Which appeals greatly to me, because I’m fond of fluffy kittens.

    In any case incense is cheap. Buy some various Metro incense,buy some Nag Champa, burn them both at different times, and tell me whether you notice a difference. I do. The fragrances with Metro brand incense is higher quality, has a better and cleaner burning scent than even some of the higher end Nag Champa stuff. I just bought some three weeks ago and was, again, disappointed. These are subjective impressions but reviews are subjective by nature. Even when they pretend not to be, which I do not.

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