Bhagwan - Woody Champa

Bhagwan – Woody Champa

I purchased this pack of incense sticks directly from Bhagwan Incense, in September 2023. The boxes of all varieties contain 15g, but since they come from different sources (currently five) and their styles are quite different, the quantities contained vary greatly. Woody Champa are rolled rather thinly, the 15g in my pack corresponded to 14 sticks. The current price is €4.95 – that’s €0.35 per stick.

Disclosure: Due to my history and friendly relationship with Eugene, the owner of Bhagwan Incense, I would like to point out that I cannot write reviews of this brand with complete impartiality. I write a lot of the Bhagwan reviews based on samples that were given to me – these are labelled accordingly.
All reviews are unpaid and reflect my honest opinion, but you are welcome to consider them as advertising.

I had the luck of being able to try Woody Champa before buying it, as Steve was kind enough to send me two sticks from his samples that he had received from Eugene. As a result, they quickly made it to the top of my Bhagwan shopping list.
Woody Champa has a wonderfully round, warm scent. I find it incredibly comfy and inviting.

Nag Champa is a genre that I associate rather with summer and warm weather, but Woody Champa has the potential to be a ‘winter Nag Champa’; a warm-hearted, cosy scent to sweeten dull weather.
The sweetness in Woody Champa is characteristically different from other Nag Champas. I think this primarily comes from its distinct, but not overwhelming, vanilla note. It’s creamy, but not heavy and rich like cake cream, rather like a well-made vanilla milk pudding garnished with a few spices.
Nonetheless, the Champaca note is clear and distinct, it just doesn’t take centre stage. The composition feels more like a trio, consisting of the floral aspect, the vanilla-sweet aspect, and the woody base, which are perfectly balanced and harmonious with each other.
Every now and then, a hint of a waxy smell appears, which could come from Champaca, but possibly also from Halmaddi. The tart-fruity aspect of the Champaca Magnolia is picked up by the cosy warmth of the composition and blends with a couple of delicate spicy notes that I perceive in the background. The woodiness is most noticeable at the beginning, but for me, it is actually the most subtle component of this scent.

Compared to my ‘baseline’ Nag Champa (Goloka), Woody Champa smells exceptionally rounded, sweet, and friendly. It makes Goloka – Nagchampa almost appear a bit soapy and emphasizes its tart aspect. Comparing it to my current favourite Nag Champa from Elbenzauber, my experience is surprisingly similar: Woody Champa‘s warmth stands out again, and in contrast, Elbenzauber – Nag Champa smells tarter, greener, and fresher in a fruity way.

There are Nag Champas that are significantly more complex than Woody Champa, more layered, more varied; nevertheless, Woody Champa quickly won a permanent place in my collection. Its warmth and friendly, inviting character feels utterly captivating and is simply beautiful.

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