Bhagwan - Saffron Sandalwood

Bhagwan – Saffron Sandalwood

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. Saffron Sandalwood are rolled rather thinly, the 15g in my pack corresponded to 13 sticks. Back then, the price was €5.95 – that’s €0.43 per stick. It has dropped since then.

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.

Saffron Sandalwood initially appears like a Dry Masala; however, a very faint alcohol note and the sweet overtone of sandalwood reveal the presence of oils.
When lit, Saffron Sandalwood at first presents itself as tart, almost resinous-sour, with a balsamic tone. (Sal resin (Shorea robusta), for example, has a corresponding scent.) But soon these first notes are accompanied by high, sweet sandalwood oil. Spicy, warm hints join in, and after a few minutes, the scent spreads into a silky soft carpet. The sourness fades, and the fragrance settles into a harmonious blend of sandalwood sweetness and dark, tart-spicy-warm notes.
So far, I have not been particularly enthused by saffron incense sticks. Their scent has reminded me of things like the smell of ironed fabric, fabric bolts, toy revolver ammunition, or in extreme cases, even the smell of a veterinarian’s office.
None of that have I found in Saffron Sandalwood. Only after the second or third time did I begin to recognise the saffron, as it presents itself very differently in these sticks. It is subtler, not harsh, rough, or cutting like in others. However, it has the heat I know from saffron. It shines through the relatively prominent sandalwood oil like a cosy glow. It contributes a tart aspect to the fragrance without throwing the composition out of balance or depriving it of its softness. The saffron lends the scent depth, making it interesting.

Saffron Sandalwood is the first saffron incense I like – and I like it A LOT. As a result, I wondered if this could mean that it might not be suitable for true saffron enthusiasts. I asked one of my incense friends who’s a saffron lover for his opinion: He finds that the saffron here is significantly softer than he usually likes it, but the combination still works really well for him. My friend Max is also very fond of it. He senses the floral aspect of the saffron and finds the scent very homely.
We all agree that Saffron Sandalwood, with its characteristic warmth, is excellent for the autumn season. It’s a fragrance for cosy hours, perhaps with a cup of good coffee, which, I think, is a perfect companion for this scent.

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