Natural incense reviews, natural perfume reviews, and aromatics

Natural incense reviews, natural perfume reviews, and aromatics


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  • Summer is here….Some Tips for Newbie Scent Nerds

    Posted on by Aer Comment

    It has been too long. I have slacked a bit on the site, and I also got busy learning how to crochet and knit. But I am still just as passionate about aromatics as before, if n0t more now. Firstly, I would like to give some tips to those beginning their adventure into aromatics. Some seasoned and experienced enthusiasts (and professionals)  may not agree on my advice to the novice aromatics seeker, but these are words and thoughts that helped me.

    Advice For A Newbie Scent Lover

    1) Listen, Listen, Listen!!!!- I can not emphasize enough the importance of this repetitive word. What I mean by “listen” is: Seek out those more knowledgeable than yourself , regarding raw aromatics. Advice from a well experienced natural perfumer, incense enthusiast , incense maker, or aromatherapist, can go a very long way. This doesn’t mean you have to directly contact a person, but maybe reading an article or interview of or by a person like these above is helpful. The first helpful tip I ever read was not to use rubbing alcohol ( or isopropyl alcohol) for tincturing or perfumery. Unless your cleaning pipettes or tools. You use an alcohol that is not mixed with unpleasant chemicals, the best for natural perfumery and tincturing, is 190 to 200 proof undenatured grape alcohol (not wine). This may seem like a “duh” tip, but there are so many people who will go to the local drugstore ( not knowing better) and buy rubbing alcohol to mix with essential oils and to tincture aromatics. It is a lot more common of a mistake than a lot of people care to admit. Tincturing with rubbing alcohol leads to a weak, and aromatically inferior tincture. Usually just awful, and if you use that tincture in a burnable incense, you will end up with a room filled with a harsh, chemical smoke. If you use it for perfuming,as the base alcohol, then you will still, in most cases, smell of the chemicals that make it rubbing alcohol. I was saved from wasting good essential oils, resins, and extracts by this simple tip. I do wish I remembered who said it though. Although, it is not considered as effective as undenatured alcohol ( or as nice), I have used 150 proof Everclear in a pinch. It’s not encouraged in most circles though. Although it seems I jumped off the subject slightly, to me I didn’t. Another good source for (usually) credible advice, is a local soap maker. A lot of very talented soap crafters use aromatics  in their creations, and most are very knowledgeable when it comes to mixing, blending and safety of extracts/oils.  Most of them do not mind being questioned a bit about essential oils, or things they add into their soaps. But don’t ask for specific formulas of their soaps, they are not so sharing with that information.  Books about your interests are also very helpful. Just a plain aromatherapy book that has some basic facts about specific aromatics can get you on the right path quickly.

    2) Avoid aromatic blends or co-distillations  when training the nose to recognize single notes- Yes, I said it, and I may get a lot of disagreement on this statement. But just because there is  Bulgarian rose otto in”Mother Love Root Nature Shetland Ram Aphrodisiac Heart Blend”, does not mean your nose will learn to “remember” it. It may be all natural, but the tincture of ram  eyelash and hoof, essential oil of ylang ylang, galbanum, cistus,  and vanilla may confuse your senses. I know that some absolutes, essentials, CO2′s, enfluerages, tinctures and extracts are expensive, but invest in buying a small sample of them if you need to. Co-distillations are great for those who know the aromatics involved well enough, but if you are not familiar with petitgrain  essential oil or neroli  essential oil (called Orange Blossom Absolute when solvent extracted), then I would not suggest purchasing Petitgrain Sur Fleurs , which is petitgrain distilled with a smaller amount of neroli blossoms, although lovely and cheaper than pure neroli essential oil.  However, i have found two exceptions to my own rule; Floracopeia’s co-distillation of orris root and violet leaf, and Eden Botanical”s myrrh/saffron co-distillation. Floracopeia’s product may help someone recognize what a fresh violet note smells like (orris root is from the iris plant, but contains irones, which makes a violet floral scent, especially when mixed with violet leaf absolute or co-distilled). Violet leaf absolute is a perfumer’s specialty oil, and so is orris root butter/distillation/CO2, both are very expensive. Even if your not too familiar with these aromatics, they are cheaper this way (still not cheap though) and it will help with learning violet floral, and green floral. Eden’s myrrh/saffron is good too, because saffron extracts are high dollar products, myrrh not so much. It’s not hard to pick out the saffron in the blend, (think food and spice like), so it’s a good product to experiment with.

    3) Common sense goes a long, long, way. – Always be safe when using raw aromatics, or even not so raw aromatics. Don’t eat the Shoyeido Gourmet line incense sticks, it’s not food. Don’t lather your torso down with undiluted cinnamon and clove essential oil, it most likely will burn or irritate your skin . Don’t bath in a drum of ylang ylang absolute, it may be too much for your system. Don’t brush your teeth with a local artisans natural peppermint body scrub, and and don’t rub your damn eyes with orange and lavender blended essential oil. I promise, it’s not rocket science, it’s common sense. Always use caution when using any cosmetics, perfume or even incense. It’s not fair that a small business owner has to answer legally to something because someone did not think before they acted, like grating a rosemary nettle shampoo bar over their salad because “Hey, he he haw, it says it’s all natural. I like rosemary chicken” and then they wonder why they are glued to the porcelain throne for 48 hours.  If you are not sure about something, like the proper dilution of an extract, the uses of a product, or the safety of it, just ask someone, Send an email, make a phone call, hell, Google it if you have to, but do not assume things, USE COMMON SENSE. It’s okay to seek out answers.

    Well this has been my thoughts on aromatics today. I will hopefully be doing a review soon, and will periodically give my thoughts here and there. It’s good to be queen…..

     


  • Triloka Premium Incense: Myrrh and Patchouli

    The Triloka brand is no stranger at the Haus of Waft, their sweet
    incense permeates our quarters regularily. Any given night it would
    not be uncommon to smell Triloka products wafting from our
    bedrooms. the site owner’s favorite being Sierra Cedar, mine is about
    to be described. What is lovely about Triloka is the prices, and the
    quality. The prices are not high, the product is natural, and you get
    above average quality for the price. Very attractive. So I am fortunate
    to have a local natural foods store that, although the owners are quite
    unfriendly, they carry the Triloka incense. So that is one of the reasons
    I keep shopping there, that, dry herbs, Oshadi essential oils, (they also
    sell adulterated oils for cheap, and know it! I guess give customers
    what they want right? ) and some tasty dehydrated raspberries. So on
    my last uncomfortable visit there, the site owner and I picked up some
    more Triloka incense, Myrrh & Patchouli.
    To us, Triloka incense has a signature note in most of their premium
    line, sort of a vanilla/benzoin or balsamic pleasant player. So when I
    got Myrrh, I was not sure how the end result of burning it would go.
    I decided to light it and burn while watching Hellraiser Deader (of
    Hellraiser 7, not bad at all for a down the line straight to video
    sequel). Unlit, the signature note I notice, was there, sweet, and
    somewhat sugary, the myrrh not so noticable, and this was what it
    seemed to be like when I first lit it also. But as my sense of smell
    adapted to the scent, I became able to discern the myrrh. And what an
    interesting and unique myrrh! I am guilty of not being a BIG fan of
    myrrh at times, but this was complex and welcoming. The myrrh in
    this still carries the traditional scent that is well known, however, it is
    earthier,deeper and with the signature note I have noticed, bark-sweet.
    While watching our gore fest, we must of burned 3 of these sticks. So
    they burned around 25 minutes? The smoke was white, and it was not
    overly smokey, but if you are very sensitive to smoke than you may
    not like this so much. A product that will be burned in our home
    again and again.
    It was quite nice that I was surprised by the myrrh,and it was still
    interesting when I was taken off guard by their patchouli. Triloka
    Pacthouli is a hunter green stick, of medium thickness. The smell of it
    unburnt, is sweet, with a dash of earth. But I have found that you can
    not judge incense while its not burning. It was the next night, and we
    were about to watch Wes Craven’s Wishmaster, a horror film from 98′
    about an evil djinn. Not such a great movie at all, (neither was the
    second). My first judgement of Triloka’s Patchouli was not so positive,
    I was bored honestly. But since my nose is easily persuaded and
    seduced, and never truly makes up it’s mind, five minutes into burning,
    I began to like it. Patchouli has really changed his face with me over
    the past few years. For longest time, it was just masculine, and earthy-
    dirty scented to me. Now I know his many aspects, even his feminine
    ones. The incense began to take off his mask, showing me this mellow,
    subdued, but polished close mouthed smile. It’s earthy notes not as
    large as the myrrh actuallys, but more like a smoothed green wood. I
    burnt two of these, the only pleasant addition to the movie, and the
    hobo character that cursed the pharmicist in a most colorful way. Like
    Myrrh, Patchouli burned for roughly 25 minutes, and if I recall right,
    the smoke was a bit less rowdy than Myrrh’s.
    Overall, Myrrh was my favorite, and now matches Sierra Cedar as my
    preferred Triloka incense. Patchouli is wonderful too, and I think I will
    pull out this one when I have a patchouli prejudice friend, to show
    them that patchouli can be a laidback gentleman.


  • Blue Ridge Valley Kyphi

    Traditonal Kyphi was a part of the ancient world as a common, mystical perfume and incense, particularly in Egypt. Although scholars and incense/perfume enthuaisist have different theories on what some ingredients were in the original Kyphi recipes, it is known that the ingredients included were somewhat sacred to the people of that time,  some ingredients being frankincense, wines, fruits, resins, woods, etc. However, in our version of Kyphi, we did not follow the tradional recipe. What we did here was included some original ingredients, but at the same time added aromatics that are somewhat special to the people of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In our Blue Ridge Kyphi you will find the ancient blending with the energy of the Blue Ridge people, the smell of resins of a time past, of berries picked in the summer evening by those skipping on the golden road of childhood, the notes of metal from a newly set up still, wafting it’s scent down from the foothills. The smells of fruit fallen from trees, of the shavings of a medley of woods from the wood yards, the very slight hint of apples that hang on the women as they sing traditional ballads from the old mother lands, and of a deeply secretive, but strong people.


  • The List-The Best of The Best 2010

    Well we talked about having an awards event here, but we just now talked about it, so we will prepare next year for it. But what we are going to do is list of the Haus favorites. Most will be aromatically related, some not. Some listings will have more than one “best” listed. If something or someone is not listed, it does not mean we do not like, or that it is not a good product/person, it just means they did not make the list, maybe for space reasons. Anyway here’s the best of the best at the Haus of Waft 2010.
    Best In Perfume

    • Best New Perfume of 2010-Vagabond by Dabney Rose
    • Best Floral Perfume- Serafina by Arabesque Aromas
    • Best Woody/Earthy Perfume-Pan by Perfume by Nature (This was not technically reviewed here, but was sampled like crazy. Will do a review in the coming new year)
    • Best Gourmand Perfume-Death by Chocolate by Perfume by Nature
    • Best Exotic Perfume-Amberleah by Dabney Rose
    • Best Historically Based Perfume (yes this will be a listing every year)-Verditas by Arabesque Aromas (does not have to be a  recipe from history, but the inspiration has to come from history)
    • Best Mainstream Perfume-Spanish Amber by Pacifica Perfumes
    • Best Sensual Perfume-Ancient Nile by Dabney Rose
    • Best Goth/Dark Perfume -Dead Doll by The Mindful Mushroom

    Best in Incense

    • Best Floral Incense- Joyous Rose by Fred Soll
    • Best Ancient Incense-Kyphi by Arabesque Aromas
    • Best Japanese Incense-Frankincense by Tennendo
    • Best Indian Incense- Rose Masala By Shroff Channabasappa
    • Best American Incense Maker -Fred Soll
    • Best Tibetan or Tibetan Style-Jasmine by Stupa Dhoop
    • Best Incense Seller- Essence of the Ages
    • Best Ebay Incense Seller-Ecclecstacy Arts
    • Best New Incense-Okay you know I have to, Haus of Waft, all of em’

    Best in Suppliers

    • Best Raw Material/Incense Ingredient Supplier- Soma Luna & Ecclecstacy Arts
    • Best Perfumery and Aromatherapy Oils Supplier-Eden Botanicals
    • Best Shipping, (in prices and speed)- Soma Luna and Eden Botanicals
    • Best Herbs,Oils, and Organics Supplier- Mountain Rose Herbs
    • Best Customer Service in Suppliers- Eden Botanicals
    • Best Patchouli Essential Oil- Dark Patchouli by Floracopia
    • Best Hina/Henna Attar- Hina Attar by Floracopia
    • Best Cedarwood Essential Oil- Atlas Cedarwood by Oshadi
    • Best Geranium Bourbon Essential Oil- Eden Botanicals
    • Best Rose Geranium- Oshadi
    • Best Place Sandalwood Powders-Soma Luna
    • Best Sandalwood Essential Oils-(Santalum album/Mysore style) Oshadi, (Australian variety) Eden Botanicals
    • Best Oakmoss Absolute-none known or tested here this year
    • Best Vetiver Essential Oil- Mountain Rose Herbs
    • Best Hydrosols & Flower Waters-Dabney Rose

    Best in Beauty, Household ,Finds & Zombies

    • Best Hair Accessory- Cotton Handmade Bun Cover by Alica Kordish
    • Coolest Clothing Item- Crocheted Slouchy/Tam Hats by Purple Sage Designz
    • Best Dry Hair Shampoo- Rosemary & Green Tea with Silk Shampoo Bar by Sweet Creek Herbs
    • Best Oily Hair Shampoo Bar- Lemon Chamomile for Light Hair, with Seasalt and Honey by Lovin’ the Land
    • Best Room & Linen Spray- AlcheMists Abundant Life by Dabney Rose
    • Best Candles-Frankincense and Myrrh Beeswax Candles by Arabesques Aromas
    • Best Overall Hydrosol-Rose Centifolia Hydrosol by Dabney Rose
    • Best Oily Skin Hydrosol- Green Tea Hydrosol by Dabney Rose
    • Best Winter Skin Saver- Blue Chamomile Day Cream by  EvanHealy
    • Best Natural, Kitchen Skin Care Ingredient-Honey, especially Manuka Honey
    • Most Positive Perfumery News-Outlaw Perfuming
    • Best Foreign Zombie Flick- Dead Snow (may be from 2009)
    • Best Canadian Zombie Flick- PontyPool (may be from 2008)
    • Best American Zombie Flick- Zombieland
    • Best TV Show- The Walking Dead on AMC
    • Scariest Zombie-The Nazi Zombie, Colonel Herzog from Dead Snow
    • The Lamest Zombies-The Badly Acted Zombies from Zombies Strippers
    • Worst Zombie Movie- The Rage- Zombie films that stop being scary and start making you angry at the creators.
    • Worst Creature Feature-The Feast, all three of them, Again, a film that stops being scary because you got pissed at the makers.
    • Best Film out on DVD-The Princess and the Frog, by Disney
    • Best Fiction Book-Life Manufacturing by Cammie Bishop

     


  • Surprise WinterSolstice Review Blowout! Dabney Rose’s AlcheMists(Gift and Abundant Life) and Hydrosol (Rose),A Perfume (Dream Creme Line, Ancient Nile) and Perfume By Nature’s Perfume(Death By Chocolate), Fred Soll’s Joyous Rose , Arabesque Aromas, and More!

    Well we thought, “Why not do a giant review-O-ganza?” So we did it on a whim, which is exactly how this site functions. We run a very loose, bumpy ship here at the Haus of Waft. And we were blessed again with our review special! We came across so many cool products, scents, and people, our heads were practically spinning from all the excitement here. So I won’t tire out my fingers typing niceties and intros, hold on tight, here’s the reviews!
    Dabney Rose owns Sweet Water Distillery, is a skin care whiz, and is a high class perfumer, you probably have seen reviews here singling her praises, and it is not stopping there! I received her AlcheMists, special mixes of hydrosols and waters, that are highly aromatic, a dose of aromatherapy, and that are just great. Abundant Life is the first of its kind, I think. (I use these as pillow sprays and room sprays) It’s a decadent and abundant blend distillation of agarwood, benzoin, basil, cacao, jade stone, (Intention too) and cinnamon. Wow, it makes you and your surroundings feel wonderful, Eric raved about this into my ears bled, lol not really, but you get the point, right? It’s remarkable really. But it says on the site that is not for skin, so use it when you feel sort of dumpy around you, like your bedroom, linens, and maybe spray around your bathroom when your about to take a nice luxury bath. Incense and agarwood lovers will love this one, thats for sure!
    Gift is perfect for the season, it is an AlcheMist too, being made of frankincense, sandarac, and myrrh. Based of the three gifts baby Jesus recieved, this is a spicy  and vibrant blend of resins that I find very uplifting, and totally appropiate for helping with holiday stress. I think this is good for those that are interested in blends of the bible, but would also be great for anyone of any religion. The frankincense gives it brightness and clarity, and the sandarac and myrrh give it depth. I sprayed my pillows with this, and laid down while Eric cooked dinner, and just smelled my pillow for awhile. Goblins ran wild, cats climbed curtains, Eric yelled at everything in the kitchen, but I was under a starry night in the desert. I can not decide which AlcheMists I like better, but I can tell you this, no store bought air fresheners will ever grace my bedroom again, because we have experienced the best of the best.
    Dabney what star were you born under that graced you with the ablilties to produce fine scents and the best hydrosols in the world? I’m not exaggerating when I say that her hydrosols can not be beat, I have experienced the many, many rose hydrosols (her green tea hydrosol is lovely and extremely helpful to skin too). I love rose hydrosol, they love skin and nose. But I spritzed some of her Rose Centifoliahydrosol on my skin, and it pratically perked up right there! The smell sets the standards high for roses everywhere, smoothly, but sharply rose. Full, feminine, and enticing. It has truly amped my skin care routine, and I will never buy another rose hydrosol for skin care unless it’s from Dabney Rose, no joking.
    Ahh, and perfume. She has made a perfume, in her Dream Creme line, that is based on the anicent Egyptian Kyphi recipe. She say on her site “your DNA will recognize this one”. It does . The perfume is nicely named Ancient Nile, and the scents in the Dream Creme line are meant to be worn during your sleep, to “inspire your dreaming psyche”. But I can’t help but wear it when I’m awake! It’s a great representive of Kyphi, and again, to incense lovers, you will like this one. Its sweet, and blended so well that the ingredients become one, and this aids to the mystery of it’s botanical origins. However, Dabney Rose only produces natural perfumes, and products. I would take a guess, and say sandalwood is in it. It’s exotic, sweet, and it is a solid perfume, that goes on smoothly. I can’t have enough of this perfume! Dabney is a favorite perfumer here at the Haus of Waft (we have favorite perfumers like some have favorite musicians, they both compose notes). http://www.dabney-rose.com/home.htm

    An Aussie perfumer we like a lot here is Ambrosia Jones, who runs and owns the perfumery, Perfume by Nature. Our Liz Grimly was smart and bought some samples from her awhile back, and I got handed Death by Chocolate, a chocolate gourmand, with a chocolate-y depth. This perfume is for the serious chocolate lover. But don’t think it lays flat on the chocolate! Ambrosia intorduced delightful chocolate to a wise desert wood. And the romance between the two is perfect, the wood letting outrageous chocolate laugh and be loudly naughty, with her friends, honey and spice,while the woody aspects lend support to the whole composition. A very naughty but nice perfume! http://www.perfumebynature.com.au/death_by_choc.htm

    I don’t think anything is prettier than candles lit around the holidays. And beeswax candles are tons better than regular parrafin candles. However add the natural oils offrankincense and myrrh to them, and you have one hell of a holiday candle!Arabesques Aromas has produced a set of votives beeswax candles, with exactly that, frankincense and myrrh. It is lightly scented beauty, and it looks beautiful lit at night, while the natural beeswax melts, setting an etheral atmosphere. Just delighful. Arabesque Aromas produces some of the best beeswax candles and natural perfumes. This is another perfumery house much loved here at the Haus. I would not miss this holiday grab if I were you!http://www.etsy.com/listing/60300716/frankincense-and-myrrh-beeswax-votives

    Liz Grimly’s Review
    When I first started doing work at the Haus, when Aer and I first became friends… one of the first places she recommended to me was EdenBotanicals. This is a great site for anyone like me, just starting out in the world of perfumery, or even someone who’s a bit more experienced. I can not gush enough about this site! I’ve ordered from them twice so far, and each time was very impressed at the quality of the product, and the care with which they are handled and shipped. Each shipment arrives promptly, and the items carefully bubblewrapped to ensure that they arrive at their destination intact. And one of the best parts is the prices! Affordable, and they offer sample sizes, which is great for me- since I am just starting to dabble, and like to do small experimental batches of concoctions. This one site has just about anything you could possibly want… from cocoa absolutes, vanilla bourbon and carrier oils- to empty bottles, vials and pipettes. I LOVE this site! I will definitely make repeat orders here!

    Fred Soll’s Resin on a Stick (Joyous Rose) : I actually got this locally, although this incense is not local. A very good friend of mine, (Aaron Barco, you know I am talking about you,lol!), got me this as a much suggested gift ( I heavily suggested it to him). I was happy to get Joyous Rose, I had heard somewhere that this incense was a tribute to his wife, Joy. How cool is that? Very. I did not expect it to blow me away, it did however. This a deeply rosey incense, but also strongly piney too. Who knew that resinous stubborn pine, I think Pinon pine, would marry so well to lighthearted rose? It does though, and it burns forever! It is a long stick, and must burn more than two hours. You do need to burn it standing straight, opposed to leaning like most cored stick incense. It feels the room with warmth, and makes me relax. A little more expensive than most stick incense, but worth it, the ingredients are high quality.http://www.fredsoll.com/basket/incensesticks.htm

    Those who follow this site’s ramblings probably know that I have a slight obsession about my hair. And I can’t abide crappy shampoo’s. And that I mainly use natural shampoo bars, which are like natural handcrafted soap but enriched to pamper hair. So I was happy when I stumbled across Lovin’ the Land, on Etsy. They make soaps that get their ingredients from North Carolina, all parts of NC. So, out of curiosity, I bought their Chamomile Lemon Shampoo Bar for light hair (I have dark auburn, but am on a mission to get it to honey blond naturally). I used this on my very dirty hair, to see its cleaning powers, and it does clean, but without frying your hair. It is enriched with sea salt from the NC coast, lemon, honey, and chamomile. I love this shampoo. You may want to condition afterwards if you have dry hair, but if you have normal hair, then you won’t need to. The scent is simple, but quite nice, and the prices are great. The customer service was nice too, and I suggest this bar to those that really love their hair, and to those lovely, long haired beauties on The Long Hair Communityhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/lovintheland

    This has been our big review blowout! Always know that we suggest what we use, so you will not see us just throwing product names and company names at you without prior testing from us. Also check out the our incense at our store, we call these our “Recession Time Incense”. Merry Winter Holidays Everyone!


  • Incense Review: Shroff Channabasappa’s Rose Masala Vs. Rose Natural

    Why compare and compete two similar incenses from the same maker? Cause I can, that’s why. Incense lovers usually know Shroff’s incense, a high grade producer of Indian stick incense. Olfactory Rescue Service, a delightful incense review site also, has reviewed their incense plenty of times, and probably introduced quite a few people to these wonderful incenses. And I have to give credit to Essences of the Ages for carrying a large variety of Shroff products. Awhile back I bought Shroff’s Rose Masala and Rose Natural on a whim, thinking the differences in the two would be subtle. No…..
    Rose Natural is a light brown dry incense, just rosy in scent unlit, no real bright notes jump out. Lit it is nice, but tart, and almost citric sharp. If your familiar with roses or rose natural oils (absolutes,essential oils, extracts,etc) than you know that roses variate in scent from year to year, from origin, extraction method, and quality. Moroccan rose (damask rose type) is sharper (to me it is) , more open and bold. This is the sharpness that I get from Rose Natural, it very much makes me think of Moroccan rose absolute oil. Flashy, almost not as round as others, and in some ways it hints at the earthiness you may find in some lower Egyptian rose essential oils. The earth notes though in this stick are almost too intrusive to me at times, like someone coming on too strong at you. It’s a weird trait for rose to have, like I discovered a rougher raised rose, not knowing how to handle herself. Raw, young, and unashamed. I have never been one to like “normal”, so of course, I like her very much, and burn time was excellent.
    Rose Masala is a darker, smoother stick. Unlit it is sweeter than Rose Natural, and womanly. Lit, it exudes smoothness once more, except in a scent not form this time. This rose is a polished, sophisticated but sultry lady. It is more perfume than incense in some ways, choosing to lure in actions, instead of permeate. It is sweet in some ways, but only grown up sweet, and she carries a drunken charm that you would find in the king of the flowers, Jasmine. This also reminds me of Egyptian rose absolute, but of the highest quality, grown in the best conditions. A dark quality, of night time, and shaded faces in candle light. Shroff already has a Night Rose, or I would of said this should be this incense’s name. I believe the technical differences in the two incenses, Rose Natural and Rose Masala, is,well, one is masala, is more perfumed with oils, and the other is more, hmmm, raw? Either way, they are both outstanding incenses. Both have great burn time, and put out the same amount of smoke that you would find in Indian stick incenses.
    But who wins? I could say both, they tie! However, I know how that would be very annoying and too sugary, so I won’t. Rose Masala wins at the Haus of Waft today, for her maturity and her overall scent that draws you near, not letting go of you till the end. It is a much more polished incense, and although, usually “polished” is not a trait that is generally as appreciated at the Haus as it would be elsewhere, it does in this case. Rose Natural is beautiful also, and I can say, that although she is isn’t as elegant as her sister, she is odd and quirky, and that reserves her a special spot here.


  • Incense Review-Bhim Lama Juhi Flowers/Notes:A Sale At Sweet Creek Herbs

    Lately my incense interests have leaned toward Japanese and Tibetan/Bhutanese/Nepalese types, (although I still love the personality of a good Indian stick here and there). I have been snatching up various senkos, ropes, and dhoop in the past month, and the other day I obtained a roll of dhoop by Bhim Lama.
    The sticks I purchased in the Bhim Lama line are the Juhi Flowers. Juhi Flowers, in case you are wondering, are a type of white jasmine, specifically Jasminum Auriculatum, native to India. It’s really only been recently that the flower’s oil and scent (in the western part of the earth) has been utilized in the world of aromatherapy,perfumes, incense etc. It does not smell exactly like the other two common jasmines, Sambac and Grandiflorum, but it is similar, however there is odd sweetness to it.
    “Juhi have a sweet and perfumed fragrance with a pleasant exotic floral aroma, but is more fruity and is believed to be stimulant for its ability to revitalize circulation in both the body and spirit. Juhi incense naturally promotes deep relaxation and helps to keep harmony between mental, emotional and spiritual states of existence.”- This is what it reads on the label of the roll. I did pick up sweetness, but it reminded me more of the type of sweetness you detect in licorice or anise extract. It wasn’t strongly sweet, only very mildly. And at times I swear I could catch the sweetness almost changing to that of sweet birch, but before I could make up my mind, it was back to the original sweetness. And yes, there was floral, and since I knew it’s a jasmine, I expected jasmine, but that’s not what I ended up getting as far as floral. The jasmine was there, but it was like jasmine trying to disguise itself as lotus. This wasn’t a bad thing, in fact it blended well with the sweet aspect. And I even was reminded of gardenias at one point.
    It burned faster than some in the same style, and its a long stick, thats really my only gripe , that and I have never really liked the sticks that are just packaged  plastic, because once opened, you need to find a container to protect the rest of the sticks.
    I enjoyed this incense, and I believe that it is friendly to western noses. I did notice, and this may have been just me, but it wasn’t as woody as other Tibetans, which is fine, and it does set it apart in a sense from others in the same group.This a decent in
    cense, at a decent price, I will probably burn through this one soon.To buy this, go tohttp://www.essenceoftheages.com/tdhf/bhim1.html(If you think you have seen this entry elsewhere, you have, I sometimes write for a consumer based review site about incense, under the pen name, CollaredAer)

    There is also a sale at Sweet Creek Herbs. If you love their wonderful soaps,lotions,body powder, and my favorite, their shampoo bars, then you would like to know that you can get a 25% off coupon for Jan 2011 to July 2011. To get this coupon or on how, go to the Sweet Creek Herbs Blog,http://sweetcreekherbs.blogspot.com/2010/11/continuing-holiday-cheer.html#comment-form


  • Notes- The Poll Results and Incense Sale at Essence of The Ages and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Launches The Last Unicorn Line

    Well, some readers voted and it seems that choices 1 & 2 tied each other and won. Choice five came in second. The poll was created to see what scents readers prefer, here I list the results:
    The two that came in first:

    1. Floral: Rose, Geranium, Jasmine, Tuberose,Rosewood
    2. Jasmine, Juhi, Neroli,Ghee, Champa Flower, Kewda,

    and in second place
    5. Earth/Forest-Patchouli, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Nagarmotha, Fir, Pine, Evergreen
    Thanks to all that voted!And if you didn’t get a chance to, I’ll redo the poll again in the future at some point.
    Incense News. Every month Essence of the Ages has a great sale or two that not only saves money, but its possible to buy even more goodies there. This month, the store is carrying Les Encens Du Monde, fine Japanese style incense, with a 25% percent off discount! Also, The Dhoop Factory incense they carry, which is of very high quality, will have a 20% off discount, on any size, any scent. A rare sale. And the body powder they have, Scent of Samadhi, instead of $33.75, will be $27.00! The body powder is very nice, I had a sample of it awhile back, it is all natural exotic goodness! To check it out, go here: http://www.essenceoftheages.com/
    Oh, and if I have not mentioned it before, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has launched their line,’ The Last Unicorn”. Based on the Last Unicorn novels by Peter S. Beagle. When I last checked, you could by the sample sizes or “Imp’s Ears”, but as a set. So BPAL fans go check it out:http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/lastunicorn.html
    On The Words Drenched in Scent Page, Liz Grimly has posted a pretty spell picture that is tummy tinglin’ magickal!

     


  • Samhain/Halloween Special Poll: What Smells Intrigue You Most?

    Since you, the reader, are whom I am actually reviewing for, I want to know what smells or aroma types you like best. As part of the Haus’s Samhain/Halloween Special here,  we are doing a sort of poll, and we really want your feedback! I am going to list different types/groups of fragrance, not really based on any typing system, and each listed group will be numbered. In the comments area, post what number you are more fond of, you can post up to  four choices. Your answers are appreciated. I will tally up the votes in about four or five days, and then post the most liked aroma type here on the review page. Here are our scent contestants:

    1. Floral: Rose, Geranium, Jasmine, Tuberose,Rosewood
    2. Exotic: Jasmine, Juhi, Neroli,Ghee, Champa Flower, Kewda,
    3. Amber:Ambergris,Amber Accords
    4. Animal:Leather notes, Civet, Musks, Ambergris
    5. Earth/Forest-Patchouli, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Nagarmotha, Fir, Pine, Evergreen
    6. Woody: Sandalwood, Cedar, Ho Wood
    7. Resinous or Balsamic: (these will share a category) Vanilla, Frankincense, Elemi, Myrrh, Benzoin, Dragons Blood
    8. Plain Sweet: Sugar, Honey, Benzoin, Beeswax, Vanilla
    9. Citrus: Orange, Petitgrain, Grapefruit, Lime, Lemon, Bergamot
    10. Spices: Cloves, Curry, Saffron, Cinnamon,Cumin,Tarragon,Pepper,
    11. Herbal: Lavender, Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon,Oregano,
    12. Food/Gourmand/Fruit: Mango, Peach, Cocoa, Vanilla, Oranges, Raspberry,Cream,Tomato Leaf,
    13. Booze:Cognac, Gin, Whiskey, Wine,
    14. Fresh&Clean: Cotton, Linen, Soapy, Light Citrus,
    15. Green: Violet Leaf, Spinach, Tomato Leaf, Galbanum

    Please know that I did not base this on an actual list that is used to type aromas for perfumer, natural perfumery, aromatherapy, or incense. This is actually a list that I go by for reviewing, so it basically is the Haus of Waft scent grouping list that is changed sometimes, but I will post it on a page one day once I get it a bit more organized. Also, I am aware that some botanicals are listed more than once in different categories, so scents are versatile,try to pick the ones that you feel are closer to your taste. If you like vanilla, but you like or feel it as more of a Gourmand than a Plain Sweet or Resin, than vote for number 12. Thanks again to all who might vote, you input will greatly help the Haus of Waft’s understanding of our readers!
    ****Update****
    Alright , it has been brought to my attention, by the lovely Sophia, the writer of  one of my favorite blogs-African Aromatics-that it may be hard to only pick four types, especially for the more versatile fragrance lovers. So now you can pick up to seven choices on the vote. So vote away!

     


  • Samhain/Halloween Review Special-Eden Botanicals Essential Oils and Absolute Plus Oshadi Rose Geranium Essential Oil~A Review on Botanical Suppliers and Oils

    Since I’m doing a sort of themed series or special, I thought I would do something a little different than what this site usually does. Maybe it may not be so unusual in the future, I don’t know…Anyway, my “perfumer’s organ” was sort of low, so I got Eric, the site owner, to buy me some more, lol. So I decided to start restocking on some floral and herbaceous oils. I am in the process of concocting some fragrant oils, and I needed a good, true lavender absolute and geranium was also nominated in mind for a certain imagined project. I know which suppliers are authentic and trustworthy, I know this through trial and error, and the Links for Perfumes/Incense shows which ones I know as thus.
    I already liked Eden Botanicals. I like that they make a big effort to describe each oil or extract, in their online store. They tell you the country or origin, in which the oil or extract came from, the grade, the extraction method in their description of the product. They are very honest too, and for that, I applaud them. They may carry two oils that the same in botanical name, extraction,  but it may be different, in let’s say, origin. Even though they are selling them both, they will write a short explanation, stating that in their opinion that such & such extract/oil is better than the other one, and they may say why. I like that a lot, and I also know that even the other one that they don’t say is the superior is still going to be an authentic and quality product. So even if you chose that one, you can be sure you are still getting a great extract, even if it’s not quite the same as the other.  They also explain, that while they may favor, for example, the Bulgarian rose absolute, that the Moroccan rose is sometimes more loved by some consumers.
    Eden Botanicals also specializes in amber oils and products, which is pretty neat too. But I did not go there for amber essences, I went to get essential and absolute oils. So I ordered a lavender absolute and a geranium Bourbon essential oil. Well, I was amazed at how fast they got to my mailbox all the way from California. Oh, and they mesmerizing samples! But even more enthralled from the oils. My lavender absolute was full bodied, true in scent, it was like smelling a freshly plucked stalk, with the buds just in their fragrant peak. I think this may be one the best lavender absolutes I have had in awhile, it almost had a herbaceous zest, stating not only was it extracted nicely, but that must of been one beautifully healthy lavender in its solid form. And the color was gorgeous, it wasn’t the flat, almost colorless essential oil you normally find, but a bluish that would take a skilled hand to recreate with paints. I have the spirit of lavender in a little brown amber bottle…
    My geranium Bourbon was out of this world! Some geraniums are really nice, but this one was angelic. It was soft, but it stood out, quiet but not unnoticeable. It had a brilliance to the aroma, that showed itself in unfolding layers. It could be compared to the action of carefully, gently unfolding a silky bed sheet, feeling each square, in awe of the fibers. Instead of this geranium being a part of a cottage garden, there to compliment the landscape in a sort of supporting role, it came through as if it was auditioning for the lead position of the layout. I was impressed with this geranium Bourbon.
    I can not forget the samples. I got a cocoa absolute, which is perfect for this time of year, with all the excitement that will be expressed in candy bars at the end of this month. This absolute is incredibly like how it sounds. It is chocolate pure and simple. It makes me think of hot chocolate syrup, perfect for gourmand blends, and I mean perfect. It made me want to eat it (you never should eat this).
    I got a fir balsam essential oil, that I believe was wild crafted in Canada. I sniffed this and thought of the upcoming winter. I thought of a Christmas tree, freshly brought into my living room. Evergreen, pine-y, but not floor cleaner evergreen, just real fir balsam. I could imagine all the wonderful things that this extract could be put in. Men’s fragrances, incense, and maybe even in a candle recipe. It was homey too, and I think it conjures some of my happiest childhood moments….this fir balsam is comforting and is of excellent depth.

    And then there was a orange essence oil. This isn’t orange essential oil expressed from the peel. No, this is far more interesting. What this is, is where (this is in Brazil), they take sweet orange
    juice, and distill it. The result is a oil that is so much like orange juice, it’s unbelievable. You can almost taste it when you smell it. I can’t help but think of breakfast at my grandmother’s home, and how she always had real orange juice. I can say, that in my opinion, that this could end up being a very important and useful oil for perfumers and incense makers. It is so close to identical to the juice that you drink, that it, like the cocoa absolute, would be very handy to have around for whipping up gourmand fragrances. I will be buying more soon.
    So as if I wasn’t in a olfactory heaven already, I have a Vanuatu sandalwood. It isn’t the traditional sandalwood, what you may call Mysore or the scientific name, Santalum album. It’s a different type, Santalum austrocaledonicum, and is grown in a sustainable way on the island of Vanuatu, near Fiji and New Caledonia. Yes, it is not quite the same as the S. album variety, but it is just as woody and rich. In some ways I like it more, not because a new crop is planted every year and harvested only when it is around 25 years old, but because I find it more masculine in some ways. It could be in any gender’s perfume as an ingredient, but there is something more assertive amd powerful in this sandalwood. Traditional sandalwood is an older monarch with notoriety in many lands, but this sandalwood is like an eager new war king, with his forces rising quickly. It is a remarkable oil, and it brings an exciting energy to formulations that would call for the older sandalwood. To read a better description and to purchase it go here.
    Now, I should have went ahead and bought some more rose geranium, not because I was out, but the last bottle was of horrible quality and I bought from a bad supplier, who is not on my list. However, I am easily distracted and forgetful, and when I should have been about to purchase it, on my television I saw that 1000 ways to Die was coming on, and so I did not remember to click and add to the shopping cart the geranium rose oil I had been eyeballing on Eden Botanicals site. So about two days after I got my shipment I realized that I needed some. I needed it now and then, and I was charging my laptop. So I dragged Eric to a local store and got a rose geranium oil, which for those that don’t know is different than geranium Bourbon. Geranium Bourbon is Pelargonium graveolens and rose geranium is Pelargonium roseum. Rose geranium is not a replacement for roses. It is rosey, but not too similar to roses; it can be used to sort of increase the effect of real rose in blends. I don’t particularly care for the shopkeepers of the store I went too, I’m just being honest, but they carry Oshadi oils, and they have a patchouli  I really like. Of course I smelled the rose geranium before it was bought, and I liked it. I did not like the price though. When I was able to get home, I checked Oshadi’s website to see if the price of the geranium they sold was similar as the local store I bought from. It was. I totally understand that botanical extracts are not cheap to make, and demanding low prices is probably what encouraged some suppliers in the past and present to adulterate their own oils by diluting them so they don’t lose money. (This oil was not in any way adulterated, just to let you know that’s not where I am going with this). The oil is actually a really good quality oil. It is one of the nicer rose geranium oils I have owned. It is very floral, it has  a glow, not quite as much shine to it as geranium Bourbon, and a compelling tart note. However….I can’t help but feel that maybe I should not of gotten distracted by a television show, and would of stayed on track, and gotten the rose geranium over at Eden Botanicals. I have not tried their rose geranium, but if it’s as good as their others, than I’m sure I would not be disappointed in it. Oshadi’s products are very good, in fact they are terrific, but as far a suppliers I am much more fond of Eden Botanicals for overall experience and quality.
    Eden Botanicals also has great customer service, the prices are extremely fair, the oils are of high quality, and the shipping prices are some of the best in my opinion. If you’re interested in checking out their site, you can see them on the Links for Perfume/Incense page or you can go here-http://www.edenbotanicals.com/

    * I also want to drop a note here about comments. I welcome comments, in fact I happily invent any readers to post comments. Even if it is something small, like “Oh, I tried so & so perfume, I liked it alright..”, or a question, or just to share a thought. Have you tried Eden Botanicals? Or Oshadi? I would like to know about it and what you thought. They only comments I probably would not invite, are ones attacking someone, obscenities. or spamming. You are more than welcome to disagree or have a different opinion than I, you can even post it, just do it politely and sanely. What I mean by spamming is when you someone comes in to comment and rights something that is not really close enough to subjects contents and drops a link for a store that sales athletic shoes. However, people are welcome to post a link that pertains to the site theme and subjects, like perfumes or incense, as long as they make a sensible comment along with  it.


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