Ispalla - Rue Fortune

Ispalla – Palo Santo & Rue FORTUNE

I got these incense sticks directly from Ispalla Incense out of Peru, you can find the backstory in this article.
My review explicitly refers to this new version, in the new packaging design. I can’t say how they differ from the old ones.
The new version with the revised recipe has now found its way onto the German market; Indiaroma sells it for €3.10.

Palo Santo & Rue FORTUNE is the name of both, the stick version of this fragrance and the “tablets”. It’s the only variety of which the tablet version has not been given its own theme-name.

Ingredients: Bamboo sticks, palo santo powder, palo santo resin, rue leaves, distilled water.

I was very curious to try rue (sometimes called arruda) incense sticks. I have rue in the garden and found the smell of it when burning quite interesting. At first, it smells relatively unattractive, the typical smell of burnt herbs arises, but in the next moment there is a bitter-aromatic and sweet smell that reminds me a little of coconut curry. Not exactly curry spice, but the note of coconut milk in savoury food. It’s not a smell that I instantly like, but I found it interesting enough to want to explore it further.

FORTUNE have a lot of the plant’s bitterness in their scent profile and, in my opinion, this combines very unpleasantly with an often accruing note of palo santo wood, which is reminiscent of burning rubber. The sweetness of both ingredients actually adds to the negative impression. The combination makes me think of spinning car tires.
After a while, a slightly grassy, ​​green note appears and the foody smell that I’m already familiar with from burning the pure herb appears.

FORTUNE is not made for me. I just don’t seem to like rue as an incense, and have scratched off all arruda incense sticks off my curiosity list. But that doesn’t mean that FORTUNE are of poor quality. If you like the smell of rue; If you like bitter, herbaceous smells, these incense sticks might be perfect for you.

Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the smell of the FORTUNE tablets because they extinguish after a short time. It seemed to me as if the foody smell in this version was significantly weaker than with the sticks, but that could really just have been due to the very short burning time. This note only appeared in the sticks after they had burned for a while.
When I noticed the issue of not staying lit, I reported it to my contact at Ispalla, but have not received a response since.
It could have been a problem with just an individual batch, or a problem with the early formula. It seemed to me as if they had contracted more than the others as they dried and even formed cavities inside, which is usually an indication of too much binding agent.
You could still use them on charcoal or an incense heater.

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