Happy Hari: Queen of Roses, Queen of Lotus

These incense sticks were part of a sampler set that I bought from Padmastore.de in March. The set only contains one stick of each variety and cost €14.95 at the time. (The price has now increased by €1. It seems as if Padma Store has had to raise prices overall for some brands, especially Happy Hari‘s Oudh Masala. Increased shipping costs and raw material prices, I suspect.)
Also included: Nag Champa GoldOudh MasalaMeena SupremeDharana SutraDhyana SutraNiyama SurtraKing of AmberKing of Saffron and King of Vrindavan.

Sample sets are great, not just because you can try out a lot for relatively little money; it also makes you try things that you wouldn’t have chosen on your own. Queen of Roses is such a case. I like the smell of roses in general, but it’s not something I usually reach for as an incense stick. Far too often they are perfumey/artificial, intrusive or too sweet.

Happy Hari - Queen of Roses

Queen of Roses smell quite natural, but also peculiar. In my first impression, I noted an ozone-like note and “ironing smell”. This association with ironed fabric remained until the end. The smell is stronger the closer you are to the burning stick. In the next room it disappears almost completely, and I only smell a very soft, sweet, but not oversaturating rose scent. Kind of like dried rosebuds, with a hint of the sweetness of rose water. This is also the smell that remains in the room after burning.
What really annoyed me was that this (quite thin) stick simply wouldn’t stay lit. I don’t know how many times I had to relight it, but probably a good dozen times, even after hanging it upside down. In addition, it shows a decently sooty flame. First it burns too much, then too little. 🙁
I divided the 20.5 cm long stick into 3 sessions and over the course of the time I got increasingly used to the peculiar note that has something warm, comforting and homely about it. Maybe because it brings back images of my grandma in her tailor’s shop?
Despite the nostalgia, I only want to give this a rating of 1.9.

Happy Hari - Queen of Lotus

Queen of Lotus are thicker than Queen of Roses and also compared to most regular masala sticks. They appear extruded and the bare end of the stick measures 7cm, with a total length of 23cm. I’m wondering if it’s a minor manufacturing defect, or actually standard.
Relative to its thickness, I don’t find it very smoky. What also surprised me was how mild its overall scent is.
The smell is powdery, also creamy and very soft and floral, just as I would expect from a lotus scent. Every now and then a faint ethereal note flashes through, but it mostly remains hidden.
The second time I lit it, I noticed a “cosmetic” smell, not soapy, but like creams or lotions often smell. This smell brings a certain freshness, but it’s not exactly my thing.
I really have to say: This incense is not just mild, it is weak. Downright underwhelming. If only they smelled like the raw stick does, that would be enchanting.
It also seems to me that their after-smell is more pronounced than the smell while it burns.
I still have a little bit left and will use it to see if giving the scent a lot of room to develop makes a difference.
It’s also possible that these sticks have a bit of a learning curve, and would require more sessions than a 1-stick sample to really get to know it.
Rating: 2.5

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