Aromasutra - Vetiver Wurzeln

Aromasutra (Mereville) – Vetiver

I had almost forgotten about these incense sticks. I bought them in mid-2022 in Pfarrkirchen, in the Weltladen Itiwana, which only sells fair trade products and usually always has a small selection of incense sticks in stock.
They cost €3.95 for 12 sticks, which is 32ct each. They are WFTO certified.

These incense sticks are produced in Auroville, India by the Mereville Trust. The importer Lyfesutra GmbH seems to use its own packaging with a slightly adapted design. In the original they are not called Aromasutra, but instead just have Mereville written on them, and they are listed as “Herbal Incense”. It is therefore quite possible that you will also find them under this name in other stores.

The back of the package states the following:
“A sweet and heavy woody-resinous aroma reminiscent of roots and moist soil.”

The bamboo sticks are quite thick, which, I feel, is particularly impactful because the masala application is very thin in comparison. Unfortunately, this is noticeable in the somewhat pungent nature of the smoke smell. Because of this, I crumbled off the masala from the stick, and ground it in my mortar to burn the powder as a trail on a bed of ash. Surprisingly, the difference was smaller than expected.

I absolutely cannot understand what is supposed to be sweet about this smell. Even after I’ve had a few experiences with Tibetan incense sticks, I don’t find anything sweet about them. The smell is woody, rooty and earthy. It’s a smokey smell, but an aromatic one that you can certainly get something out of. Like aromatic “good” smoke from a campfire mixed with the smell of earth.
I find a special, dry spiciness in it that I know from vetiver (the roots of a certain grass). The scent makes me think of dusty, parched ground, but I definitely find petrichor in it, a special scent that arises when rain falls on parched ground.
With vetiver, I can never really decide whether I find the aroma warm or cooling, dry or fresh. Somehow it is both.
In Ayurveda, however, vetiver is seen as cooling.

In summary, I would say that these incense sticks are for people who appreciate drier smells and are looking for very natural incense sticks that stand out strongly from the intensely scented mass of run-of-the-mill Indian incense sticks.

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