Vijayshree - Golden Nag Chandan

Vijayshree – Golden Nag Chandan and Goloka (Premium) Chandan

[Updated on 2024-03-17]

I’ve been trying out a few different sandalwood incense sticks lately, and I’ve noticed that those labelled “Chandan” (the Indian word for sandalwood) always have the typical pungent but creamy sandalwood sweetness, while “sandalwood” named ones are usually a lot more woody and less “oily” and opulent. I don’t know whether this is on purpose or is just random, but my friend Silver shares this observation.

I have known Nag Chandan for a while nowI think I ordered it on a whim from Sonnlicht.de, one of the shops where I usually buy resins.
My best friend (and admin of this blog) bought them after smelling them at my place, and we noticed that they smelled different at his. (Better!)
I still remember when he came into my living room and said: “Mmhh, smells good. Patchouli?” I was taken aback. “What? No, sandalwood!” – But he was right. Up to that moment, I had simply smelled what I expected and nothing more. But after his comment, it also occurred to me: patchouli!
And so these incense sticks are a wonderful example of how subjective our perception of smell is, and my olfactory adventure with them extended even further. But more on that later.

Goloka – Chandan (It’s officially the Premium line, even though I’ve never seen it labelled as such in any shop. Probably because it’s not on the package.) I bought it from Ephra World at the beginning of the year. (€1.45 for 15g approx. 15 pieces, so ~ 10ct per stick. Burning time is 35–45 minutes.)
When I tried them out, I was delighted because they smell much like Nag Chandan do at Max’s home.
They have a pretty classic sandalwood smell to me. Woody-spicy-warm, creamy-sweet, with that special high pitch. Unfortunately, the masala application is a bit thin (perhaps only in this batch) which can make the smell a bit scratchy, but this disappears with increasing dilution and is hidden behind the high-pitched sandalwood top note. I find they smell quite natural.
When I compare them directly (I burn them in separate rooms and walk back and forth) they seem milder, lighter and finer to me than Nag Chandan.

Vijayshree – Golden Nag Chandan smells much darker and less sweet in comparison but still clearly of sandalwood.
Now to my mentioned adventure: I wrote in the article about the two “Buddha’s” that I compared Vijayshree – Golden Buddha to these two sandalwood sticks, and that this greatly put my impression of both into a new perspective.

Compared to Golden Buddha, I find both of them not sweet. In Nag Chandan I found an entirely new aspect that I would describe as musky.

I compared the two Chandans again today, and my perception of Nag Chandan has actually changed permanently.
I now find it even darker, more resinous and actually earthy. The musk note is now abundantly clear and somewhat displaces the patchouli aspect, but does not completely erase it.
The sweet sandalwood top note only appears gradually, but is then quite present.
I also noticed a kind of sour note that I previously only knew from incense sticks, called “sandalwood”.
I, smell this in Goloka – Chandan too, but only in direct comparison with Golden Buddha.

At Max’s, Nag Chandan generally smells sweeter. We have also found that cold winter air is extremely flattering for them. At least, if you like the high-pitched sweetness because it comes out particularly well then. I can hardly smell the patchouli at his place. However, in our last conversation on the subject, he said that he noticed the musky note from the start.

I would give both a rating of 3.8. However, it depends a lot on my mood and which one I like better.

In general, it seems that in Max’s flat, sweet scents tend to be too sweet and lose complexity; also, soapy notes are more prominent than in my home. In return, tart scents seem milder and often more complex at his.
I think it’s like with perfume. A perfume can smell thoroughly different from one person to the next, and that’s how it is with our homes as well. It takes on an individual smell and that interacts in a unique way with a scent.
I even find that there are differences from room to room. The kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom have their own olfactory character and not every scent fits every room.

2024-03-17 Update:
After these two reviews, it has become clear over time that I generally like Vijayshree – Nag Chandan over Chandan of Goloka.

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