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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

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Incense or Burning Wood

One of the nicer things we’ve discovered when over here in Spain is Incense – that is burning incense. Nothing special about it being in Spain of course – it used to be on sale when I was a kid in the Kard Bar in Newcastle – but I didn’t take that much notice for some reason.

Bloody rubbishIt has been a long learning curve since our friendly neighbours introduced us to the stunningly nice “Precious Yatra” which we all use constantly at get-togethers and even when having a casual drink inside or outside.

The only problem with the former is… it isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy to get.

And so it was that I started to look around to see what I may have been missing all of these years. First stop, the Chinese store.  Typical Chinese stores in Baza and Huescar sell MANY different kinds of incense sticks, cinnamon, Patchouli, ocean, lemon – you name it… and all cheap at under 1 Euro for a pack.

More RubbishThey look great and there is just so much choice. There is only one slight catch… they all absolutely smell of little more than… burning wood. Even the Patchouli, hardly a subtle odour, they smelled like burning wood with some added mint – yes, MINT. Considering the fact that they are always on sale I can only surmise that most of their customers have broken noses. I’m not kidding they just smell as if you’d taken the basic wooden base and burned it all on it’s own!

And so last week, off we went to the coast to spend time with friends and while we were there we popped into Nijar. Lots of stores with incense and even some cones and other variations. I noted that these were all Indian rather than Chinese – maybe THAT was the reason all the ones I’d tried so far were utterly duff.

Lailat el UmorI lit up some Taj Mahal NAG CHAMPA – and…. well, that featured the strong smell of burning wood!!!  I bought some little pink cones supposed to smell of ocean…   nope… burning wood. Even a box of assorted smells – all smelled like burning WOOD. I put the whole lot the bin after taking pictures.

Vijayshree Nag Champa and Patchouli - goodBut two of the purchases shone out – Vijayshree, who sell various incense sticks including “GOLDEN NAG CHAMPA” and another – “GOLDEN NAG PATCHOULI” – both of which we bought while down south and these were something like 2 Euros a pack.  I lit them up and…. wait for it – marvellous.

Precious YatraHorses for courses – even now, the winners IMHO remain Precious Yatra and Swiss Arabia but then they are much more expensive and harder to get (the stuff we have came from Dubai).  But at least now we may have more options for general use – the smell of Nag Champa quickly grows on you and you want more – good job it is cheap.

Note 07/07/2017: Having just returned from Malaga and having bought some of the cone versions of the Vijayshree Nag Champa – I can confirm they are really good for the price (£2.50 in Malaga)

Ok, comments welcome via here or Facebook – got any favourites that DON’T smell of burning wood?

We’d love to hear from you.

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