Regenbogen Rauchfahne

Aargee: Maharaja Patchouli, Maharani Heena, Bharat Mata Flora

These are three samples (one stick each) that I received from Steve Pereira during our incense swap. Here is his overview of the Aargee brand with some additional information. In short: Aargee seems to no longer exist, but you can still find remaining stock in some shops.
In Germany, Ephra is one of them, but some varieties are already sold out there; additionally, the relatively new shop indiaroma.de recently managed to source some of the varieties.
Next to the varieties described here, there are also Kashmir Sandal, Raja Rani Lavender, and Pashmina Rose.


Maharaja Patchouli

An unusual patchouli scent. It contains an earthy note that, for me, has little of the typical musty geosmin smell of patchouli. The scent is also hardly sweet. Instead, I find a kind of varnish note, which I know from some resins but have never smelled in incense sticks before.
Over time, a balsamic note emerges, with its sweet aspect that is only occasionally noticeable. Above the heavy, dark, mysterious body of the composition hovers a fresh breath: mentholated, which could come straight from the patchouli, but I think there’s also some camphor involved. Additionally, I smell this special, wintergreen-like freshness that I know from sticks like Elbenzauber – Tallisin-Kräuter or Cycle – Woods, only here it is very mild and also just occasionally comes to the fore.
The first time, I smelled a slightly alcohol-like note like bourbon vanilla can have, but today (with significantly higher air humidity) I can’t find it.

Maharaja Patchouli is complex and special. Patchouli lovers should definitely try it while it’s still available.


Maharani Henna

These incense sticks are not for everyday use.
Heena is the name used in the context of incense sticks for henna (Lawsonia inermis). I have smelled the scent in incense sticks only once before, and there I identified it as a peculiar, green, and slightly pungent note. Maharani Henna doesn’t smell green to me, but perhaps this tone is buried under the overall force of this composition. They are really intense, and thus at the upper limit of what I can still enjoy indoors.
The scent is strong, spicy; it has a pronounced animalic musk aspect and a distinct floral component. Somewhere in between, a pungent but interesting note forms.
Two incenses come to mind when smelling it: Auroshikha – Musk Flora [discontinued] and Sai Sri Flora Fluxo. However, both are clearly distinguishable from Maharani Henna in direct comparison. Sai Sri also has a pungent note and is very animalic, but they are easily 4x as potent (and also about twice as thick as these not exactly penurious rolled masalas), and with Musk Flora, while the musk aspect is similar, they are sweeter and slimmer in scent. The after-smell reveals more of the complexity, and even the next day, there is still a light, spicy musk scent in the air.

What I can say after trying this single sample is that they are extremely characterful; heavy, dense, and lush. Like an olfactory orgy.


Bharat Mata

Again, not your ordinary scent.
The first time, I found Bharat Mata very fresh, airy, bright, and floral; I also found the scent to be pure but without a trace of soapiness. Today, my nose seems to be starting to discover the resinous part of the composition. It reminds me of the smell of old churches, where a lot of wood was used, which it absorbed the smell of frankincense for decades.
I still smell a dry note, which I also noticed the first time, but this time it is complemented by a slightly waxy tone. There is also a slightly scratchy spice, which, in combination with the waxy note, I start to associate with halmaddi.

Bharat Mata combines some aspects that seem conflicting to me.
One incense stick is definitely not enough to get to know this scent properly.


Based on these three samples, I think incense enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to try these incense sticks while they are still available on the market.

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