Incense Name: Yamuna 
Manufacturer: Ramakrishnanda Vedic Church
City: New York
Country: United States
Description on Package: Vanilla, Copal & Amber

Type: Masala Stick
Scent Family: Blend
Strength: Medium-Strong
Burn Time: 1 hour
Afterburn Linger: 1 hour
Smoke: Medium
Good For: Meditation, relaxation, making love, listening to heavily-produced electronica.

Review: Where the heck did this stuff come from? New York? Not the first place that comes to mind when I think of fine-quality incense. But the Ramakrishnanda Vedic Church is obviously in it to win it. And they’ve won me. By a Big Apple mile, this is my favorite personal incense discovery of 2008. My many years of roaming American streets in search of good incense (including New York) never yielded a glimpse of this stuff. Then suddenly…blamo! Quality incense recipes don't happen overnight, you know. It’s a craft that can take years and years of refinement and patience to get just right. These methods are sometimes passed down several generations and still only yield mediocre results.
So how did these New Yorkers pull it off? I like to imagine Ramakrishnanda’s incensuers traveling though India and stumbling upon an ancient and carefully guarded masala recipe. So yeah, I'm hard-pressed to imagine a stick this good really being born in the USA. But origins aside—trust me—you'll be seeing and smelling their incenses everywhere in five years.
Yamuna lays out a solid and extremely balanced warmth that—no kidding—tingles through your body almost immediately after light-up. The mix of ingredients (vanilla, copal, & amber) play off of each other so perfectly that it is hard to isolate the individual parts. Blended together in convincing unity, the scent is surprisingly earthy and blissful, unimposing yet magnetic. But the superior blending doesn't obscure the vibrational affects possessed by these high quality ingredients: the vanilla provides warmth, the copal gives potency, and the amber is the grounding.    
Because Yamuna is so body-centric, I highly recommend it for meditation or casual relaxation. With a single stick, stress relief is a reflex. It indeed may be impossible to fight back the pleasantly mellowing affects of this stuff, and why would you? It's the sober man's after-work beer. A misleading comparison perhaps. It would be a mistake to imply this stick propagates a "manly" odor. Indeed, I'm certain Yamuna would have permeated the Lillith Fairs if it were on the market a decade ago. And what did we smell instead during the reign of Lillith? Usually Auroshika, whose incenses I too often confuse with a blast of liberally discharged "Rain" perfume. 
But hey, for no good reason I've taken an all-star incense and degenerated into gender-scent political yappin'. So let me say it this way instead—I'm a dude, this stuff is named Yamuna for chrissakes, and I still think it’s the shit. Or as my inner-goddess buried beneath an obviously well-crafted and macho veneer is gently sighing—every breath of Yamuna is simply a gift! Go USA! Go goddess!

Reviewed by Incense Nose

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