Regenbogen Rauchfahne

Shroff – Dry Masala Sampler: Paneer, Sandal Flora

The Dry Masala Sampler, compiled by Padma Store, currently sold out, costs €15.95 (in March 2022) for 2 incense sticks of each of the 12 varieties available at the time. Now there are 17.

Paneer immediately reminded me of Kesar (saffron) incense sticks. Kesar Sandal or Kesar Rose are quite common scents, and all that I have tried so far had a common characteristic: they reminded me of the smell that occurs during ironing, or that of new fabrics. My grandmother was a master tailor, and that is the smell of her workshop.
New fabrics often still have the slightly chemical smell of dyes, which is somewhat similar to the sharp smell of toy ammunition or firecrackers.
This smell is very dominant in Paneer. Behind that lies a floral aspect, and near the window, I perceive a warm vanilla sweetness after a while, but it always remains in the background.

Incidentally, “Paneer” is also the name of a North Indian cheese, which occasionally causes confusion. My friend Silver informed me that these incense sticks are probably named after the South Indian word for rose water. This aligns with the floral note that I smell.

If you like Kesar incense sticks, you might want to try this variety. For me, Paneer is more of a curiosity, somehow interesting but not really good.
Rating: 2.0

Sandal Flora also has a hint of that special saffron? note, which I only smell right after lighting; it dilutes into the room to create a dry, warm sensation of oppressive midsummer air. In combination with the woodiness, it brings a spicy aspect to the otherwise sweet and floral scent. Initially, I would never have thought of rose (which is mentioned in Padma Store’s description), but due to the olfactory parallel to Paneer, I am starting to recognize the rose scent in it.
Some of the sweetness may also come from the rose, but I mainly attribute it to sandalwood, due to the softness, which almost feels milky. Ir’s an interesting contrast to the dry “heat” of this composition, and much more accessible for me than Paneer.
In the after-smell, the floral aspect comes to the fore.
Rating: 2.8

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