Hari Darshan - Tales of India - Monsoon Magic

Karmaroma (Hari Darshan) – Tales Of India – Monsoon Magic, Maharani Dream, Mystic Temple

To clarify: These incense sticks are produced by Hari Darshan Sevashram Pvt. Ltd. in India. “Karmaroma” appears to be an in-house brand name. Tales of India is the name of the line.

You usually pay between €2 and €3 for a pack, which I think is too much. Although there is an icon saying “Hand Rolled Incense Sticks” on the back, they are clearly machine-made (extruded) mass-produced goods like the “Noor” line is as well and, in my opinion, are only just above the quality level of sawdust sticks dipped in aroma oils. (Sometimes wood flour is used as a carrier material instead of the common charcoal base.) I see them offered on Amazon for over €5 – what madness!
I bought these three during a special sale at Spiru.de to satisfy my curiosity and as a last chance for Hari Darshan. They only cost me a little more than a single box at regular price, so not a big loss.

Silver sent me this link a while ago. It says: “Tales of India are 100% natural Indian Incense made from herbs, spices, gums, barks with essential oils and perfumes. Made of natural forest products and more than 90% natural oil.”
“Perfumes” or terms like “aroma oil” have nothing to do with natural ingredients. They are synthetic fragrances.
“…more than 90% natural oil.” The question is, what are the other 10%. Is it the “natural forest products”? Regardless of whether you use a volume or weight-based unit of measurement, the result would probably be a liquid to mushy mass that would have nothing in common with an incense stick. So, what’s likely meant is that 90% of the oils processed are natural oil – whatever that means, it could theoretically also be rapeseed oil, for example. So here we have 100% natural incense sticks with about 10% non-natural whatever. Fantastic.
It amazes me all the more that they don’t have a sooty flame when they are lit. No matter what Hari Darshan may use to dilute the mentioned oils, at least it appears to burn cleanly.

By the way: ₹599 is currently the equivalent of €7.49 for a large pack with 12 individual 15g packs, that’s around €0.62 per individual pack. These incense sticks are meant to be exclusively for export. This online store is the only one in India that Silver has found that sells Tales of India.
But enough meta information.

Hari Darshan - Tales of India - Monsoon Magic

Monsoon Magic are one more in my growing line of “too-much-oakmoss incense sticks”. They smell like cheap, overpowering men’s perfume. Quite dry and woody. Aftershave-like. Burnt outdoors, I smell a hint of some fresher and green notes, they even become a little softer and slightly balsamic.
They are less sweet than Goloka – Tree of Live, but those smell more natural and less perfumey. Wood Spice by Nandita is a little less perfumey but rounder.
Burning them indoors was unbearable for me, but still better than the Noor line. Outside, they slip over the .5 rating edge, but overall, they receive a rating of 1.3.

Maharani Dream smells like a very flowery-soft, sweet-floral perfume. Something that perhaps a very young, particularly feminine woman would wear. The moment I smelled it, I felt as if I had smelled this scent before as a perfume. A sample from Eves Rocher perhaps? I have the image of a teardrop or egg-shaped, soft pink bottle in my head.
In addition to the sweet, floral character, this composition also has a strange, niffy undertone. I want to call it “old sweat,” but maybe that’s just an association of perfume with body odour.
I smell that especially when burning it inside the house, or outside when I’m very close to the smoke.
Like Monsoon Magic, they are unbearable indoors. On the balcony, I like them better than Monsoon Magic, but only because the oak moss gets on my nerves so much. Rating: 1.6

Hari Darshan - Tales of India - Mystic Temple

Mystic Temple is the best of the three (and probably the best Hari Darshan has to offer), but it smells perfumey just like the others. If it were a perfume, you might find it among the unisex fragrances.
It’s a little darker and has a green tinge, but at the same time it also has a very sweet and floral side. Sometimes I think I smell vetiver. It’s all very undifferentiated; rarely I smell something vaguely resinous-spicy, then something woody-fruity-sweet that could be cedarwood (oil). In general, my head continues to swing back and forth between perfume and sugary sweets like Turkish Delight – which is available in flavours like rose.
Not annoying, but not actually good either. The only one in the line that I would voluntarily light indoors. Rating: 2.4

The fourth one in the line wasn’t (and won’t) be tried: Masala Chai.

In summary, all the incense sticks have a perfume-like character, and they don’t seem very natural to me.

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