Holy Smokes - Green Line Sortiment

Holy Smokes – Green Line Assortment

I bought this sampler for €3.60 at Arkanum des Lichts, a very cheap online shop with poor service and bad manners.
The sampler contains two sticks of each of the eight varieties, along with a simple ceramic holder that is also included with the boxes of individual varieties. The packs usually cost €6-7 and contain 10g. I found a single incense stick weighs about 1g – Myrrh even weighed 1.3g – so you should get 10 sticks or fewer. This results in a fairly hefty price per stick of about 60-70 cents or more for the 3.5mm thick and only 12cm long sticks.
The Green Line is Dry Dhoop, meaning thicker, dry sticks without a bamboo core. They also come as cones.
According to BERK, they set the highest standards for natural purity in their Green Line. High-quality herbs, resins, and a high proportion of pure essential oils are used.

The individual varieties are packed in labelled paper bags, and the box is a simple slipcase.
It’s easy to notice that the incense sticks seem to contain a lot of charcoal. Especially the floral scents, Clove and Myrrh, are basically black. The lightest hue has Sandalwood and surprisingly Frankincense.
If I’m being nitpicky, I’m a little bothered by a ridge on each of the stick ends (probably caused by cutting the still-malleable dough to length), which prevents the sticks from easily being inserted into the provided holder. You have to squeeze them in a bit, and if you’re not careful, you break them. I have proceeded to burn them lying flat on a bed of ash.

Champa Flowers have a familiar, quite interesting floral scent. Flowery, slightly tart, fruity, maybe a tad sparkling. It’s very pleasant and creates a nice ambiance. Compared to Nag Champa incense sticks in general, this scent is clear and pure but also one-dimensional; it’s a simple, single-note scent.
Myrrh has the most authentic and purest myrrh smell I have encountered in incense sticks so far.
After they have been burning for a while, I get the impression that there is a small amount of another aromatic ingredient (perhaps frankincense or another resin) that brings a slight freshness, but still, the scent is distinctly myrrh-like: balsamic soft, slightly sweet, and it has that specific myrrh note that always reminds me of fresh mushrooms for some reason. The scent is pleasantly mild, and it lacks the often bitter note of myrrh that occurs when burning this gum resin on charcoal.
I had never had Clove incense sticks before, so I have nothing to compare.
The clove scent is clearly recognizable, but not nearly as intense as sticking your sniffer in a jar of cloves. Especially, the sour tone is missing that I usually get from this intense spice. The sharpness is present but doesn’t have the same, piercing quality as the raw spice or the pure essential oil.
What stands out the most in these sticks is the cooling, fresh spiciness. I also smell a slightly sweet, aromatic note that over time appears floral to me.
I find the scent mentally stimulating, focusing, and refreshing. I can imagine it being good for activities like Tai Chi or Yoga.
Sandalwood is pleasant. The scent is quite typical: woody, warm, slightly sweet, and somewhat milky soft. However, there is also a fresh note that I cannot identify. It peps up the scent a bit but also makes it appear less pure.
I wonder if there has been some scent cross-contamination from the other samples, as this note is very similar to the character of the Ylang Ylang variety. Despite seemingly not containing as much charcoal as the others, they are not particularly smoky, neither in scent nor smoke output.
Frankincense – In contrast to the ones out of their Blue Line, with these, BERK has managed to create frankincense sticks that actually smell like what’s on the label.
It’s a very pleasant, resinous fresh, and slightly fruity frankincense scent; delicately sweet, with a spicy undertone. The scent reminds me a bit of Indian Frankincense out of Aromandise’s encens ecologique line, which I also liked a lot.
With Ylang-Ylang as a single note, I haven’t had much experience either. I remember my mother had a Ylang-Ylang oil when I was little, which I adored; it was very intensely sweet.
This scent is more green-floral smelling; there is a sweet note, but it’s not the high-pitched, piercing sweetness I remember. In a brief comparison with Mother’s – Golden – Ylang Ylang, these appear even greener to me, almost like green tea. Aromandise also has a Ylang Ylang scent, which, in contrast, feels more summer-like, warm, and exuberant.
I find this scent very refreshing and invigorating.
Cedar smells a bit deeper than Sandalwood. The scent has more body, but it’s not actually stronger. Apart from the typical warm-woody and slightly fruity-sweet cedarwood scent, I detect a slight, fresh resinousness (similar to that in myrrh), which gives the scent a subtle dimensionality and emphasizes the fruity aspect of the cedar.
The Cinnamon of this line is so much better than the one from the Blue Line!
The cinnamony warm scent is creamy-soft and very pleasant. They are relatively sweet but still feel natural and not overwhelming. Without having compared directly, I would say these are some of the best cinnamon incense sticks I have tried so far.

I find the scents in this line quite good. Some are a bit boring to me, others have managed to excite me, but the perceived quality is consistently decent.
I can’t tell if the promise of natural purity is true (there’s no certificate), but judging by their scents, I’m inclined to believe it.
Those looking for single-note scents who prefer incense sticks without a bamboo core have eight very promising candidates to choose from in the Green Line.

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