Nikhil's - Sandal Premium Indense

Nikhil’s – Sandal Premium Incense

I ordered these incense sticks from Ephra World Shop in December 2022. The pack of 15 sticks cost €2.25 (15ct each); they were sold as Masala incense.
Upon closer inspection, the incense sticks I received do not look like the product image at Ephra. (The variety is no longer available and has been delisted from the shop, which is why I can’t provide a link.) Mine look extruded, the ones in Ephra’s photo looked like run-of-the-mill Masala. They give the impression of being dipped in a solution of oils, which is why I classify them as dipped incense.

Nikhil's - Sandal Premium Incense

I suspect that these Sandal Premium Incense sticks are dipped because they have a very strong, solventy smell.
They definitely have a certain sandalwood aroma, that of nature-identical sandalwood oil, which I have nothing against in principle. Unfortunately, when lit, these incense sticks smell like sandalwood scented disinfectant. This volatile alcohol smell with a slightly soapy touch builds up as it burns and nearly overpowers the actual aroma. They seem cheap, not “premium”. The word “Masala” is nowhere mentioned on the packaging, which should have made me suspicious when I bought it. But it’s easy to miss a detail like that. 
Nikhil’s is a brand that I’ve heard good things about before and am still curious about, even if I was a little put off by this experience.

After writing the text above, I decided to take the incense sticks out of the packaging and let them lie open to air out for a few weeks.
Some of the alcohol smell has actually evaporated. After putting them back in their packaging, I noticed that, despite the brief contact, my hands immediately took on the smell, which still had a slightly alcohol-like sharpness and seemed perfumey.
The scent is somewhat better now, but sill far away from good. At least the actual aroma is no longer overpowered by the smell of disinfectant and appears a little more woody. It retains its distinct cosmetic product-like character, which makes them appear cheap.

Of course, I don’t know whether Nikhil’s just changed the way these incense sticks are made or whether they also drastically changed the recipe. (You can dip hand-rolled incense sticks in cheap perfume after drying, just like you can with machine-made ones.) Given the current Sandal Premium Incense, I would definitely advise against buying it.

Small side note: I had a similar experience with Kamini – Silk Road from the same order.

2 thoughts on “Nikhil’s – Sandal Premium Incense

  1. Nikhil’s has 3 sandal incense sticks along with this one- Masala Sandalwood, sandalwood tube which is more premium and natures blessings sandal. Natures blessings sandal is charcoal incense and not pleasant, but the masala sandalwood and sandalwood tube are my favorite. The packaging is same as their dhoop sticks but the dhoop sticks has more like Mysore sandal soap fragrance than a sandalwood disinfectant scent or a sandalwood air freshener you can get from the incense stick version.

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