Natural Incense Company - Angels - Raphael

Natural Incense Company – Angels – Raphael

Mid-2022, I bought a bunch of packs from the Angels line on kleinanzeigen.de. The regular price is between €4-6 per pack. They are also sold in a slightly different packaging design by Fiore d’Oriente (who own the Natural Incense Company), which are more expensive. A pack contains 20g/10 sticks of 23cm/9″ length. The burning time is stated as 60–80 minutes, but in my experience, they burn even longer.

Raphael misled me for a long time with its green packaging, and it seems I’m not alone in this. The description at Ephra World Shop mentions herbs, which probably led me to search for something herbaceous and green in the scent, even though I smelled sandalwood from the beginning. For months, I tried to make sense of what I was smelling. I found Raphael to be the least sweet of the line and, besides an assumed herbaceous freshness, even caught a resinous-tart note reminiscent of dammar.
It was only when I bought Mysore Chandan out of the Pooja line and started comparing that I gradually stopped expecting to find something green in the scent; the power of suggestion slowly has worn off.
Now, I find Raphael has a balsamic sweet scent that almost seamlessly blends with the similarly sweet character of sandalwood; milky-soft and creamy.
In direct comparison with Mysore Chandan, I still find Raphael somewhat fresher and a tad bit more tart, but the scents of the two are remarkably similar. The tart note, which I initially interpreted as resinous, I now attribute rather to the wood scent itself.
Compared to Om (Benzoine Wood) out of the Yoga line, the base scent in Raphael fades completely, and the full sandalwood character emerges, with its tart-woody aspect further emphasized.

Raphael are very good, pleasant sandalwood incense sticks. However, compared to Mysore Sandal, they fall slightly short for me. Mysore Chandan seems a bit purer, with the sweetness and creaminess generally associated with Mysore sandalwood strongly emphasized, making their scent more attractive to me.

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