Regenbogen Rauchfahne

Nandita – Royal Attar

Here we have some more samples I got from Steve Pereira. You can find his review here.
Royal Attar can be bought, for example, at the Ephra World Shop for €1.95.

Royal Attar are not my cup of tea at all. The smell is extremely perfumey and heavy, and I also think it seems very old-fashioned. The scent appears to be heavily oil-based.
With a lot of fresh air, as well as in the after-smell, I can find florality in it. It’s very sweet and somewhat powdery. Steve mentions rose, and I have had rose incense sticks that had a comparable character.
As was the case with Tree of Life by Balaji, which I am reminded of with Royal Attar, I find a urine-like note here that makes me think of nutmeg.
I wrote a comment in the review back then that some rose scents can evoke this association in me. An interesting parallel. If I allow the thought, my impression of actually smelling rose increases.

As luck would have it, my friend Silver sent me a sample of these sticks from India (among plenty of others). We discovered that in addition to the “Masala” version that is sold here, there also is a dipped incense version. The packaging design is the same, except that her box does not say “Premium Masala Incense”.
The smell of the two versions is surprisingly similar. However, her version is significantly more potent. I could also immediately recognize the rose scent in the ones she sent me, whereas the masalas smell more like toilet to me. If the dipped ones weren’t just unbearably strong, I would almost like them better.

To me, Royal Attar gives off a smell that I would expect in a busy toilet where a reed diffuser or similar has been set up.

4 thoughts on “Nandita – Royal Attar

  1. I have a bunch of Nandita incense which I plan to review at some point this year. I like Nandita – they make solid incense, good scents, and fairly heady. Though I wasn’t that impressed with this one. Interesting that you find the scent on the non-masala more attractive. I wonder what the difference actually is, as I’m coming across more and more “masala” incense which is clearly powered by a perfume, but the stick has been coated in some melnoorva powder to give the appearance of being a proper job masala.

    My assumption (and conversations with Indian incense houses hasn’t really got me closer than an informed assumption) is that masala incense originally was proper incense – resins, plants, woods, finely ground into a powder which was then blended into a paste with binders, flammables, and fixatives such as halmaddi or vanilla. At some point attars/oils/perfumes were used, and as synthetic scents were developed, so these started to be used as well. So at this point most Indian joss stick incense, regardless of it being termed “masala” or “perfumed”, is powered with liquid scents rather than fine ground traditional fragrant ingredients. I’m not sure how each house distinguishes between their masala and their perfumed, though my assumption is that it would be a little more than just adding a bit of melnoorva powder.

    1. Well, maybe “I hope that it would be a little more than just adding a bit of melnoorva powder” would be a better way of putting it, rather than “my assumption is…”

  2. Hmm, that’s why I’m wondering why does mine does not have any masala in it. But it’s an ok incense. I love strong incense but this is way too strong, I sneezed a lot when I burnt this incense, even after the incense was extinguished, I sneezed.

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