Nice as incense sticks are, there’s something rugged about holding a solid slab of sinking Mysore in your hand. Instead of lighting up a stick, using a chisel or knife to shave off slivers to heat adds something extra to the overall satisfaction you feel.
Incense sticks are flimsy and you’re always careful not to snap one. Not just that, with a solid chunk of sandal you get a better sense for the tree, and this rawness enriches your enjoyment: You feel the wood under your thumb (and smell it on your palm for a while after), see the grain and color, the cracks and cuts that remind you that this piece was once one with a tree that stood rooted in Mysore’s humidity for decades. These very chunks alone have been stowed away since the 1970s!
It’s small things like these that scent lovers savor most. Like heating oud chips lets you enjoy the scent of oud oil all the more, or smelling rose petals alongside the essential oil. It doesn’t just give you a deeper appreciation, but refines your olfactory skill.
Try something new with these Mysore chunks: Instead of only heating strips you shaved off, you sip whiffs of the ambient aroma as you hold the sinking Mysore in your hand like a cup of tea. Actually, exactly like you do in a tea ceremony, where the first thing you do with a freshly poured brew is to bring it up to your nose and, not drink, but smell it. This opens up a whole new way to relish your olfactory journey.
You know how in meditation or Chi Kung you find a focus point (the feeling of the air hitting the top of your nose, the movement of your chest, or thinking of a rock, etc.) Well, not only does the scent of sandalwood make a fantastic point of focus, it even aids the meditation directly because of the anti-stress compounds and the softly sedative effect that makes it the go-to-aroma for monks who need to clear the mind.
I don’t know any incense company who would press this caliber sandalwood even for their premium incense sticks. You need loads of sandalwood to make incense, and precious sinking Mysore from five decades ago is… rare.
And you can’t do such a scent-sipping ceremony or active meditation with just any sandalwood — the lower grades that flood the market are just not fragrant enough. These give off their savory butter-cream-and-spice aroma to the point of making your mouth water. Fifty years later and they smell like you got them fresh only yesterday. So, shave off slivers to heat, to tincture, or to keep the whole piece next to your zafu and smell for yourself why sandalwood is among the most soul-stirring aromas on Earth.
It looks simple. Nothing more than a fragrant piece of sandalwood. But these sinking Mysore chunks offer you the most sandalicious experience possible.
To give you an idea of the size: