“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived” Helen Keller
First thing in the morning I mindfully light an incense stick, almost like a meditative practice. It’s my way of blessing the energy in my home and sending lots of good vibes out ahead into my day.
The wonderful smell from the floating smoke instantly triggers joyful memories held in every cell of my body. I feel happy – as I’m transported gently back to the nourishing and smiling energies of Bali.
Yes, my favourite incense at the moment happens to be “Temple Spice” which I always buy in Bali.
Some incenses gives people headaches which I’m guessing is because they are mostly synthetic.
The Temple Spice incense however, is far from artificial. It’s the “real thing” of the incense world and hand made with Balinese fingers.
The label reads “This incense (dupa) is a blend of flowers, barks, herbs, oils, nuts and spaces, using no synthetics or endangered plants. Hand made with fair trading and internature principles”.
Introducing Kim purveyor of great incense:
The universe works in wonderful ways and therefore I firstly must give a huge thanks to Christine a facebook friend who found Kim for me.
Kim in her search for the best Japanese incense in the world – not only found it with a 12th generation incense maker – but also started an incense shop in Greville Street, Melbourne (Australia) and along the way discovered other ancient and traditional incense makers around the world.
And yes, Kim does sell the “Temple Spice” incense from Ubud. The great news for you (if you’re an incense lover) Kim is offering a whopping 25% discount to all Rejuvenation Lounge readers. Yeah Kim, but more on that later.
So, if you are like me and interested in finding good quality incense then I’m sure you’ll love the following interview I had with Kim recently. I was super keen to understand and learn more about incense, particularly the story behind some top of the range incense that sells for around $40.00. I can only dream and imagine what beautiful energy – top of the range incense would bring into my home. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to experience this wonderful Japanese incense.
Five interesting facts about incense:
Question: Kim, please share some lesser known facts about incense:
Question: Aren’t all incense basically the same?
Essentially, incense is aromatic, naturally derived material that is burned to release its aroma. Incense is used throughout the world in traditional health care, for religious ceremonies and rituals, for purification, meditation and other spiritual purposes … and also for pure enjoyment. The composition and form of incense varies considerably – just as with coffee, wine and perfume, the quality of the incense depends on the quality of its ingredients and the manufacturing process. Think of the difference between instant coffee and a great single origin prepared by your favourite barista … or the difference between cheap cask wine and a top quality aged shiraz … a market stall ‘just like Chanel’ perfume and the genuine article …
Many of the inexpensive varieties of incense commonly available are made with artificial fillers, chemical binders, and synthetic fragrances. These ingredients may cause irritation and headaches, and the fragrance they produce … well, it’s not always pleasant. Natural incense gives an entirely different experience – less smoke, less likelihood of irritation and a pure fragrance that’s not overpowering.
Question: Apart from a wonderful smell are there any other benefits to burning incense?
Good quality incense has many benefits, apart from the obvious one of not inhaling chemical irritants! Different types of incense are used for different purposes – for example, sandalwood is often used to aid meditation and spiritual connection, frankincense is used for its calming and relaxing qualities, and white sage is used for clearing or cleansing spaces, particularly when people move to a new home. Green tea incense (with a charcoal base) is excellent for eliminating cooking smells, and incense made from lemongrass and citronella (both grasses of the Cymbopogon family) is an excellent insect repellent!
Question: Kym, could you briefly take us through the process of hand rolled/made incense?
The ingredients – usually sandalwood or other aromatic woods, leaves and flowers – are ground to a fine powder then mixed with binding agents to form a dough. Natural incense is bound with oils, tree gums and bark, and sometimes honey. This dough is rolled around bamboo sticks, then laid out to dry before packaging. There are many variations on this process depending on the country, and region and style of incense, resulting in sticks having different appearances and scent characteristics. For example, in Japan, no bamboo stick is used. The aromatic dough is rolled out or extruded (much like pasta making), then laid on trays to dry for a few weeks. Then of course, there are the other types of incense, including cones, pellets and granulated incense – there are many styles of incense!
Questions: What is the most expensive incense in your shop and why?
My favourite incense – Temple Spice from Ubud:
Click here for my favourite Balinese incense Temple Spice.
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