The Mother's - Regular Line Sampler

The Mother’s Fragrances Incense – Regular Line – Mini Sticks Box with 21 Fragrances | Part 1: Floral

I bought this sample pack from Padma Store, a one-man business that specializes in high-quality, handmade incense sticks that are rarely or impossible to find elsewhere in Germany.

This is a set with 21 small envelopes, each containing 4 mini incense sticks per variety. The burning time is approx. 10 minutes. The set costs €14.25 at Padma Store, but you can also occasionally find it on eBay.
Theoretically, you could buy the incense sticks as minis and in normal length – but Padma Store only has the normal ones.

Attention: This sampler set appears to be available in different versions. It’s possible that the one Padma Store sells is an older edition, I’m not sure. Anyway, I’ve found that other sets differ from this one by 3–4 varieties.
At Padma Store it is only called “Regular Sample Pack”, at the official USA site the line is called “Floral & Woody Fragrances”.
There are several lines from The Mother’s and also different sample sets for the individual lines, but as I recently noticed, they don’t contain all the varieties of a line. Apparently, because new fragrances have been added later on. Furthermore, I’m thinking some varieties might have been discontinued.
Additionally, Mother’s seems to have a bit of trouble keeping their pages up to date and the information consistent between them, which can be very frustrating. But this shouldn’t stop you from trying this brand, they are pretty good.
I plan to create a table to make the chaos a little clearer.
Besides the webshop in the USA, which is more informative, there is also an official site/shop in the Netherlands and Greater Goods in the UK.

This part of the set consists of charcoal-based incense sticks. However, Mother’s emphasizes that their products are not dipped incense. So these are basically “charcoal masalas”, I guess. They don’t use regular charcoal, but charred coconut shells, which supposedly smells more neutral and, above all, is more environmentally friendly.
Originally, I wanted to use my usual rating on them, i.e. with decimal places. But I noticed that this wasn’t quite possible for me with samples like these, so here’s a rating range.
(When I buy some of these varieties, which will definitely happen, there will probably be more detailed reviews with specific ratings.)

NameScoring RangeDescription
Evening Roseupper
I’m not sure which flower is meant here. Someone on Reddit said quite confidently that it’s a type of hibiscus.
The smell is very sweet and creamy – almost reminds me of something like cake cream, but also has a fruity, tangy note that balances the whole thing out. Without that, the scent would definitely be too sweet and oversaturating for me. But I like it a lot.
I have honeysuckle in the garden and the smell of these sticks is really close to it.
It is a slightly tangy, sweet, fruity-floral scent. It also has a certain powdery note, with an aspect that reminds me of the aroma of a vanilla bean.
I remembered the smell of jasmine as very sweet, but apparently that’s not necessarily the basic characteristic of jasmine. Or I only knew a certain, different type.
In any case, this scent reminds me rather of jasmine rice, jasmine tea or the dried flowers, characteristically jasmine-floral, but not sweet, rather dry and almost green.
I’m not a jasmine fan, though I’m positively surprised by these.
A typical lavender scent. Rather dark, tart, almost herbaceous. Calming and unobtrusive, but also insignificant.
I’m not a lavender fan either.
A bit charcoal-smoky and rather weak, although I have noticed that I quickly become nose-blind to these sticks, so it could just be my perception.
The smell is in the general ballpark of what I know as “lotus”, but I’ve definitely had better ones.
I would describe it as initially sugary-sweet, then creamier, almost smeary. It smells better near the window. I can smell a hint of the ethereal sparkling I associate with Lotus.
Orange Blossomlower
For me, the biggest surprise in this set. I don’t like “neroli” and that’s the same thing, right? – No!
Orange blossom and neroli both come from the same raw material, the bitter orange blossom, but the extraction process is different. Neroli is steam distilled, orange blossom is obtained through enfleurage, resulting in different scents.
Orange Blossom smells rather like smelling citrus blossoms, nectar-sweet and citrusy-fresh towards orange.
A really wonderful summer scent!
Passion Flower3
Passionflower has an idiosyncratic floral scent, it smells rather like a composition than a single note.  
More full-bodied than heady; spicy and floral, slightly sweet, and surprisingly, it reminds me of men’s perfume because there is also kind of a tart freshness.
I’m not sure yet whether I like the scent in my flat, but I find it very interesting.
The first time they smelled like piss to me and I wanted to give them a 0-rating.
Luckily, the next time I tried them, the impression was different. Now, I think they smell a bit like putting your nose into a jar of dried rosebuds. A fairly natural rose scent, with a hint of the slightly bitter/astringent note, if you brew a “tea” from it. Only towards the end the smell does become more unpleasant, and I can at least understand my first impression again.
Not unpleasant per se, but a generic floral scent that is not my taste at all. Floral-sweet, a little powdery, but also smeary. Oversaturating after a short while and therefore intrusive.
These were initially among the three that I didn’t like at all. At first, I found them rather “artificial” (like the flavouring of some cheap supermarket cakes) but with each additional stick, I found them a little better.
The smell now reminds me of the vanilla note of some pipe tobaccos. It still has a bit of the sweet note that I find artificial, but also a bit of the deep, tart, aromatic bourbon vanilla note. In combination with the slightly smoky smell, this probably creates this association.
Not unpleasant, but vanilla as a single note is too boring for me personally.

Part 2: Wood and Spices

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