ORKAY - aqua fresh

ORKAY – Vedika – Aqua Fresh / Chandan

Welcome to rock bottom.

Sheer, morbid curiosity led me to purchase Aqua Fresh. (Ephra World, €1.65 a pack of 15g – 14 pieces, so around 11ct per stick.) That was as part of my first large order after I got interested in incense sticks again – after many years of focussing solely on loose incense.
“Aquatic” is still a concept that just doesn’t fit incense sticks for me, and now and then, I have the urge to try things that I can’t wrap my head around. I expected them to be artificial and not particularly good, but I didn’t expect this magnitude.

Out of the box, Vedika – aqua fresh smells like a rubber seal. Though, there is also a note of men’s perfume that is quite aquatic, in a very artificial way.
When lit, the first impression is shower-gel, which is fine for a few seconds, then the rubber seal from the raw smell comes along and becomes the dominant “note” (please read this as “megaphone siren”).
My friend Max was unfortunate enough to be present for this test. He said the smell reminded him of sealing grease, new plastic sewer pipes and plastic fumes in general. The smoke started scratching our throats quickly.
The worst thing was how incredibly persistent the smell was in the room, even though we only burnt about 5cm and had the windows open. After half an hour of airing out the room, the only thing that helped was burning some other potent sticks to cover it up.
These are the only incense sticks so far that I refuse to try a second time.
Rating 0.0 It’s scary that they also have 2 five-star reviews in the shop. But in the words of the Grinch: “One man’s toxic waste is another man’s potpourri.”

I only recently bought Vedika – Chandan (at Spiru.de, just because it was on offer for around 80ct), as a last chance for this brand. How can you go wrong with sandalwood – right?
Even raw, they give off this really disgusting smell: I would like to describe it as “faecal”, but it is too artificial for that. Decomposing plastic, perhaps. They also smell like sandalwood, but there’s that smell underneath, and it’s not much different when burned.
They are quite potent. This note is rather subtle, but still very intrusive. It has something of a child’s toy, baking in the blazing sun. As the smoke gets diluted in the air, it actually gets worse, making the note more prominent. If you manage to ignore it, they have a very milky, creamy sandalwood aroma. How can you screw this up like that?
Rating: 0.8

Vedika – Nag Champa seems to have its fans and I originally had it on my list, but after these two I crossed it off.

A remark about Spiru.de:
I ordered there for the first time because of the sales, where some things on my list were heavily discounted. Low enough to make up for the steep shipping costs. What really rubs me the wrong way about this dealer is this spiritual fuss. Nothing against spirituality or spiritual people (of which I also count myself to some degree), but I find what is being done here to be the esoteric version of greenwashing. The shipping confirmation comes in the form of a long-winded text explaining that their Feng Shui master personally inspected the delivery truck. Is this humour? Well, I do not know. If you’re going to exploit cultural assets commercially, you should at least show a little respect for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *