Buddha Eyes - Hari OM

Hand-Made in Nepal (Eyes of Buddha) – Hari OM Incense

These incense sticks raise some questions, especially about the brand. A US-American shop sells them under the name Eyes of Buddha Incense.
I bought them at Spiru.de, where they are simply called “Tibetan incense sticks”, even though the packaging says “Hand-Made in Nepal”.
Most of them do not have the OM symbol on the left side like this one, but a Buddha eye symbol and underneath it says, “Eyes Of The Lord Buddha”.
The packaging is made of handmade Lokta paper, the texture of which reminds me of a soft, felt-like fabric.
Here‘s a Reddit post about their Nag Champa.
I also noticed these incense sticks, which have strikingly similar packaging. They are sold as “Himalayan Premium Incense Sticks” and are as well produced in Nepal. It’s quite possible that they come from the same source, but different exporters want slightly different packaging.

At Spiru.de a pack costs 1.99€ for 15 sticks (13ct per piece), unfortunately the burning time is only 30 minutes.
The raw smell makes me think of my drawer full of herbal teas and also of curry spice blends.
After lighting, they smell very smoky and scratchy at first, but that goes away quickly. I find the aroma very layered and complex. It’s like going to a herb shop, except that the smell isn’t a random combination of a shop’s stock, but rather a harmonious composition.
The main character is herbal-green, it has both tart and fresh aspects. I think I smell camphor. The tart part is a bit rough/musky, almost earthy at times, but also subtly sweet.
Then there seem to be all sorts of spices at play, but not the typical spice notes that I think of with incense sticks (like cinnamon), but rather something from the hearty corner of the spice shelf (which brings us back to curry). Maybe it’s fennel or anise, but that’s just a guess. Although I normally don’t like incense that reminds me of cooking smells, I really like this scent.
They have a mind-clearing effect on me. There’s something “naturally clean” about them, like the air after a thunderstorm. An atmospheric reset that also brings new energy.

I’m very excited about the other varieties, and at the rate at which I’m using up this pack I’ll definitely have a chance to try a few more soon.
Whether the brand as a whole is a hidden gem remains to be seen, but this variety definitely is.
Rating: 3.8

Addendum, 2023-05-11

I am always attracted to this smell during rainy weather.
When I lit a stick today, I smelled frankincense for the first time, but it only lasted for a short while. Maybe there was a lump of resin in the dough that revealed its presence to me.
I’m still very excited about the scent.

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