You try to hunt down incense that seems worthwhile. The labels say the sticks were made with sandalwood, maybe even oud, mixed with other naturals. Sounds good.
Of course, what they don’t tell you is that these are made with left-over materials, either post-distillation dust or from shavings and cuts that never made it into the pots to begin with. And at what percentage?
Then even with the better ones, you inevitably run into intrusive glues or binders, to the extent that a refined nose has to smell through them with a sigh of disappointment to reach what you wish would be the main aroma.
Then you’ve got incense like Chiem Po Chai.
100% Cambodian agarwood. No binder, no fillers, makko, nothing. Just oud. No trace of sharp, metallic fumes or off-notes that spoil the opening. Only the sweet, rich aroma of Pursat and Koh Kong.
High-grade Cambodian oud wood—literally incense-grade!—pressed at high-density to ensure a steady, long burn.
Incense doesn’t come cleaner, more straight-up than this.
Chiem Po Chai is easily comparable to most kinam incenses I’ve smelled, both in terms of quality and clarity. Even burning raw oud chips gives you the same pristine wafts of pure oud—minus the heater or charcoal.
For those times when you want to ease into the evening but can’t be bothered to set up a Kodo ceremony, this is the way to go.
~ 25 gr (about 60 sticks).