Prabhuji's Gifts - Lalita Sandalwood Musk

Prabhuji’s Gifts – Lalita

The Prabhuji’s Gifts brand is US-American and owned by a New York-based company of the same name that is part of a Hindu religious community with a mission. The proceeds finance the mission and its social projects. But the incense is produced in India.

Lalita belongs to the Devotion line. I bought it from Ephra World Shop based on a recommendation on Reddit. (The person who recommended them expressed the suspicion in a later comment that the recipe might have been changed in the meantime.) When it comes to Indian incense sticks, Prabhuji’s Gifts
are in the slightly higher price segment: €3.45 for 10 sticks, that is 35ct per stick.

The raw smell is simply fantastic. Opulent, deep, balsamic, spicy, with a sharp sweetness that tickles the nose and reminds me of Persipan (bitter almond marzipan). The musk note is present but unobtrusive.
When lit, they initially smell quite harsh, smoky, but this is soon pushed into the background by the typical sandalwood sweetness. Unfortunately, this unpleasantly pungent note never goes away completely, at least as long as the sticks are burning. It is roughly comparable to the smell of matches or firecrackers.
The sweetness is pungent and varies between sandalwood and marzipan. Sometimes I smell a slightly sour note, located somewhere in between the bitter almond and musk.

My first notes from winter talk about reminding me of the old Royal Line by Holy Smokes (Sandal-Musk maybe) and what my room must have smelled like when I was 15/16 years old. – When I wrote this, I was trying to block out the unpleasant smell because I suspected that the cold winter air wasn’t beneficial to the scent, and it would be better to try it again in the summer. I did that and unfortunately found that they smelled slightly different, though not necessarily better.
The only things that are truly wonderful are the raw smell and the after-smell, which leaves the pure aroma without the firecrackers.
Disappointed, I had put it back in my box and haven’t given it another thought to this day. But now, they’re pretty high up on my review agenda because I’ve had them in my collection for a while and I want to finish with them, so to speak. So here we go again …

What to do with incense sticks that almost smell good?
It feels like sacrilege, but in such cases I take apart the incense sticks, remove the masala from the bamboo stick and put it on an incense heater. This way the scent is gently released without any burnt smells. This works almost always, even with old, over-stored incense sticks. I also like to do this with Japanese sticks that smell too smoky for me. I break them and powder them in a mortar. 
Used like this, Lalita smells fantastic and captivating, just as the raw smell promises. Of course, this is not what the inventor intended, and I wouldn’t like to buy them again to use them in this way.

Rating: 2.3 – with a crying heart because without the firecracker smell they would easily be in the 3.5 range and higher. This disappointment also stopped me from trying more of that brand, even though I was quite curious about it at first.

I would like to mention that Prabhuji’s Gifts used to be called Ramakrishnananda. Please don’t confuse it with the brand Ramakrishna’s from Goa!

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