This is the thrid installment in my search for a reasonably priced sandalwood incense, and probably shows off the difficulty of finding such an incense better than the other two.
First up is Incense From India’s Exquisite Sandalwood. I wasn’t thrilled when I opened the pack to the aroma of what I can only describe as some kind of laundry detergent (and not a sandalwood-esque one either) mixed with men’s body wash. Is this what The Man Your Man Could Smell Like washes his towels with? Maybe, because the scent doesn’t change when the stick is burned. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly want my personal space to smell like the contents of a man’s personal products, so this is a definite pass for me. However, this manages to be doubly aggravating because not only do I not like it, it doesn’t smell anything like sandalwood! Somehow I don’t think I’m expecting too much for something calling itself sandalwood to resemble sandalwood, but that might just be me.
Next comes Shroff’s Sandal (K) Special. Schroff offers a few versions of sandalwood, of which I chose just one to try as a baseline. To be blunt, I hate the packaging. The sticks are pretty secure in their cocoon of string and cellophane, but once you break that open, I hope you have a container in mind for storing them, because otherwise they’ll lose their scent very quickly. The unlit sticks smelled vaguely fruity and a bit fake, but not offensive. Unfortunately when lit, that scent amps up to a sweet plastic smell that I couldn’t keep lit for very long. While it had more of a wood-ish quality than the Exquisite Sandalwood above, this incense doesn’t smell like sandalwood either, and I won’t be keeping it.
If these reviews seem clipped, it’s because of my disappointment. After finding two quite good ones right off the bat, wading into several misses at once is very sobering, especially when you light a stick and really want to like it.
You can find IFI Exquisite Sandalwood here: http://www.incenseguru.com/incense_of_india.html
You can get Shroff sticks here: http://www.essenceoftheages.com/shroff/shroff1.html