Padmini - Sai Kasturi

Padmini – Sai Kasturi

One pack contains 15g / approx. 12 sticks and costs €1.45 – that’s 12ct per stick; Burning time approx. 30–40 minutes. The sticks are noticeably moist.

Kasturi (also spelled Kastoori) is usually translated as musk. However, the probability that it is real, i.e. animal musk, is minuscule.
Although the Wiki article on musk mellow lists “Gasturi” as one of its names, I doubt that it’s the substance that is used here. There are a number of plants with surprisingly animalic aromas. Costus root, for example, whose smell reminds me of that of sheep. Unfortunately, I don’t know all of them in their raw form (yet). Musk mellow seeds are comparatively mild, balsamic-sweet, more amber-like and slightly fresh smelling, sometimes a bit musty.

When I smell the raw sticks, I notice two very different aspects: One is a dense, heavy, balsamic-sweet bee-smell, like pollen or propolis; the other is a dry, tart, animal-like smell that is a bit harsh.

When lit, they retain some of this duality, but the dry, animalic smell becomes predominant. From the other aspect, only the balsamic and likewise tart propolis association remains. Combined with the dry aroma, I can totally understand the comparison to walnut in Ephra World Shop‘s description.
I noticed that the scent goes along quite well with cold winter air, I think they are even a little milder then. Unfortunately, they are quite smoky.
The aftersmell fades surprisingly quickly to a subtle but clear “walnut” note that lasts for about 2–3 hours.
The only other incense sticks that I find comparable in their animalistic potency are Musk Flora Masala from Auroshikha (which, however, have a very different character). Unfortunately, I suspect that these are no longer produced.

I think Sai Kasturi are quite unique musk incense sticks, and I suspect that opinions will differ on them. Anyone who finds many musk incenses too mild or too sweet might like this, but those who find animalic smells to be rather challenging won’t be happy with Sai Kasturi.
Rating: 3.7

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