Bhagwan - Fragrant Amber

Bhagwan: Fragrant Amber, Pure Amber

I received these two packs as samples from Eugene, the owner of Bhagwan Incense.
The boxes contain 15g for all varieties, but since they come from different sources (currently five) and their design is very different, the quantities contained vary greatly. Fragrant Amber contained 12 incense sticks, Pure Amber had 13. At a price of €4.95, that works out to 41ct or 38ct 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.

Fragrant Amber

The Fragrant Amber incense sticks look very similar to Pure Amber. They are also related in smell, but not so closely that they could actually be confused.
Fragrant Ambers have a more robust, full-bodied scent compared to the slightly more slender Pure Amber. I smell a tart, balsamic-resinous note in them, which sometimes appears slightly acidic. I also noticed this acidity in Saffron Sandalwood by Bhagwan. The tart, darker aspect gives the otherwise classic, balsamic-sweet and slightly vanilla-y amber fragrance profile significantly more density; This makes their scent feel extra heavy and deep.
I’m not sure what could be meant by “amber wood”. Perhaps the sweet-smelling storax bark? The scent has something woody and a very fine, floral note, like a dried flower heavy with pollen.

Pure Amber

For me, Pure Amber has the classic amber scent per se: warm, heavy and captivatingly sweet.
The composition forms a dense bouquet of balsamic notes and vanilla, underlined by a dark, slightly earthy accord, which gives the fragrance some depth. A sumptuous pleasure full of sensuality.

In my opinion, Pure Amber are almost identical to Amber Moon by BERK (Holy Smokes – Blue Line). When I compare them directly, I notice a tiny difference, but it could just as easily be due to age or a batch difference. Taken individually, I don’t think I could tell the two apart.
In terms of price, they are in a very similar segment. BERK – with their 10g packs – tend to be a little more expensive than Bhagwan, although some of the Blue Line incense sticks can be found in significantly cheaper 50g bags (starting at €6-7) – at least in Germany. Outside Germany, the prices for BERK products might be significantly higher, which gives Bhagwan a strong advantage, given their flat-rate shipping.

My personal favourites between these two varieties are Pure Amber, although I actually find Fragrant Amber more interesting, they have more character.
For me, amber in general is primarily a smell to relax and unwind. Fragrant Amber encourages me to actively engage with the smell. 
If you’re missing some depth from Pure Amber (or Amber Moon) or find the sweetness too dominant, you could give Fragrant Amber a try instead.

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