Superb joss sticks from India
Despite the huge surge of interest in yoga and alternative therapy, good natural incense is surprisingly difficult to find these days. Traditionally, making incense, or agarbatti as it’s called on the Indian subcontinent, was done by collecting flowers, plant materials, tree barks, certain aromatic roots, and even grasses, then drying them under the sun before grinding them into a fine powder. This was then rendered slightly sticky by the presence of a tree sap the Indians call halmaddi, and the end result was rolled on to strips of wood, generally bamboo, then further dried again. This is basically the simplest and most ingenious way of adhering plant botanicals to a wood in a way which makes them combustible.
Traditionally produced incense sticks
These days, however, a lot has changed. The old ways are generally too time consuming, too expensive, and most people don’t know what they’re missing anyway so there’s no point spending all that effort. There is a company, however, who’ve come to our attention who are making such an effort. While most of their competitors take a strip of cheap charcoal dipped wood and spray it with a chemical oil, these guys are doing things the hard way. Their process is incredibly time consuming and, as such, their production levels are low. Get your hands on this stuff if you can, because it’s very different from what you may bed used to.
All their packaging is eco-friendly, that’s another thing we wanted to say about Dhuni. And their scents are just out of this world. From the unearthly delights of Nag Champa, to the smoky grassy tang of Khus or Vetiver, their range is a gourmet incense if ever we’ve smelt it. Their citronella is far more than a mosquito discouraging aroma, it’s a subtle, ethereal citrus waft of heaven.
Other blends we love are called things like Moksha, which means Enlightenment, and Amber, a personal favourite of mine, which is a complex, fragrant bomb of Indian magic, which left my house literally glowing for hours afterwards. These sticks burn slowly and burn for a long time we should add, so don’t be surprised if the Dhuni packets last twice or three times as long as one of the cheap sticks you were burning before. We often light one and then put it out, then come back to it later for another hour or so. It’s so powerful you don’t need to and possibly even won’t be able to burn down a while stick at the same time. These suckers have power I can tell you!A Case–Referent Study of Lung Cancer and Incense Smoke ...
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