The Mother’s Golden Amber

Despite being inexpensive The Mother’s Golden Amber is terrific. It’s not a resinous labdanum/rock rose smell (which is what amber normally means in Western perfumery) but rather a sweet, warm, almost creamy smell without any resin at all. Mike over at Olfactory Rescue Service has referred to certain Indian ambers as being “pink ambers” and I can’t think of a better term. Pink amber is the perfect way to describe this sugary, cheerful incense enriched with a touch of soft, creamy musk and a hint of vanilla.

While Golden Amber is not particularly layered or complex, it smells delightful just the same. It’s easy to enjoy this sweet and playful incense and it in many ways exemplifies the best aspects of good Indian incenses: affordable, accessible, and agreeable.

It’s easy for anyone to enjoy– you do not need to be an expert or have an experienced nose to appreciate Golden Amber. It immediately charms with a sweet aroma enriched with a mild, velvety musk. There is a floral undertone that has a faint touch of rose, but it is the rich, smooth musk that is the most dominant, after the the sweet pink amber. There is also a very small suggestion of cool cinnamon, but again the focus is the unique pink amber note accented by creamy musk.

It’s incenses like this that make the $5 a stick and up Japanese stuff seem pretentious and exhausting.

This entry was posted in amber, incense, India, The Mother's and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Mother’s Golden Amber

  1. Terra Renee says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that the several hundred dollar Japanese scents are just not worth it. If you have a ton of income and a sensitive nose, go for it. However, if not, Indian and Tibetan scents are just as good, if not better, and far more accessible. Yes, japanese sticks are low on smoke and use high quality aloeswood, but it really is not that much better than some of the Indian scents or some of the raw aloeswood you can get for much cheaper. I have (stupidly) tried Translucent Path (several hundred dollars for like 40 sticks) and while amazing, it isn’t something I would buy again unless I won the lottery. I plan on sticking to Pure Incense and Primo’s agarwood scents and Scented Earth’s raw agarwood wands/chips if I really must have that pure aloeswood smell.

    I REALLY am dying to try this scent, but somehow each time I buy incense I end up buying Primo or Pure Incense and bypassing these due to my horrible experience with Mother’s Nag Champa selections. I wish Corey at AB would sell this, along with Mother’s other scents so at least I might get a sample to try first in my next order. Is this amber scent the Premium Amber or the regular?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know why this is, but I’m just not into spending thaaaat much on incense… maybe because it’s an every day indulgence for me, maybe because I’m relatively new and still have a lot of exploring to do in the shallow side of the pool…

      At any rate I’m glad to hear that you, someone who has experienced high end incenses, agrees. I’m not familiar with Primo at all (for some weird reason I thought it was a gas station brand like Bic or Hem) so I’m going to explore it some more. We both like Pure Incense but I think I want to try the regular line as the Connoisseur line has been feeling too intense to me lately.

      Golden Amber is part of the Mother’s Golden line which is their premium line. I’ve never tried the the regular line or the Nag Champa line so I’m interested in giving them a whirl. But what happened with you and The Mother’s Nag Champa?


      • Gladmo says:

        One can have their own preferred budget for incense, but to label all Japanese incense in a certain price range as “pretentious” is to ignore the economic principles that result in such a price and to project a moral positionality onto the incense world. The price of kyara isn’t an arbitrary control introduced by force; it’s a demonstration of the reality of human economics.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Those $5+ sticks maybe exquisite (I wouldn’t know tho lol) but after enjoying something like Golden Amber I just can’t work up much enthusiasm. The entire kyara thing seems in some ways tedious to me and yes, pretentious. The parsimonious splinters of wood, the elaborate ash set ups, the absurd number of accoutrements… even in a stick format, there is still the tiresome amount of research, the irritations and limitations of Google translate, exchange rates… at the moment I have no desire to travel down that road. It just does not seem like a good time.

          But whatever. Pretension is a hazard of connoisseurship.


          • gladmo says:

            One can be a connoisseur of anything in this world and then add egotism, pomp, and pretension to any or all of it. Or none of it. My point was that it isn’t an intrinsic quality of connoisseurship. I agree that it is a hazard, but that is a pomposity that can be declined by just taking a different viewpoint.

            One point I could make about expensive kyara sticks vs other Japanese aloeswood incense sticks is that of total utility. For example, Seikado’s Gokujo Kyara is very excellent kyara materials and rare in that it its presentation and scent is different than all other high-end Japanese kyara incense sticks. It is also about $10 per 6.5 inch stick! However, it is so potent and long-lasting that lighting only a half-inch in a small room is almost too much! With this type of usage, each stick contains around 8-10 uses… and they are pleasurable uses. That’s about $1 per use. How many people spend upwards of $10-$20+ on drinks for a night out and nobody calls it “pretentious?” They are after the experience and they are willing to pay for it.

            When a substance is rare and people are willing to pay for it, the price goes up. Egotism is optional! Humility dispenses with all the posturing, posing, and claims to be better. 🙂

            Thanks for reigniting your reviews on this site, Lesley. I’m enjoying them!

            Liked by 1 person

            • But those sticks are rarely available to buy by the piece… many people cannot afford to sink money into a $300 pack of 30 sticks, no matter how economical the per a use price is. Be that as it may, my main point is not the cost, but the feeling. After enjoying my cheap-o Indian incense, I do wonder, having never experienced kyara, if the exquisiteness is overrated. As an outsider, I am skeptical about the whole business… that is where my comment about the more expensive Japanese stuff seeming “pretentious and exhausting” is coming from. I’m not trying to insult* people who have the desire and means to enjoy kyara. I’m just saying it is not appealing to me right now and I’m pretty dubious about the whole thing. Hope I am explaining myself a little better here!

              And thank you for the welcome back, I’m glad you like my reviews 🙂

              *ha ha I’m taking out of both sides of my mouth here as “pretentious” is clearly an insult. But I can’t find a better term for the feeling I have :/


              • Terra Renee says:

                I’ve experienced the “pretentious” incense (the $300 a box kind) and I also do not understand the fuss. It might be my sinus problems, which I cannot get fixed without losing my sense of smell all together, but it might just be that I don’t like it. We all have different tastes, and maybe kyara just isn’t for me. No matter how much something costs, it isn’t a guarantee that it’s good for everyone. Computers, for instance. My father bought my daughter a $2500 gaming computer. SHE HATED IT and wanted my $400 Wal-Mart touch screen computer. I gladly took the gaming computer (because I like to game) and she is still very happy with mine. She loves that it’s touch screen instead of keyboard (she is terrible at typing).

                People all have different tastes. I DO think it’s a bit snotty of someone to say that ONLY the expensive stuff is worth buying, though, but luckily that wasn’t said here. I’ve seen it on ORS a few times, however, and wanted to smack them! My favorite incense ever is Primo Agarwood and Kunjudo Karin Select, both of which sell for under $10. 60+ sticks of Karin Select for $9 and 12 sticks of Primo Agarwood for $5, or 40 sticks for $5 if you buy from Dr. Seth’s site, which I recently discovered is amazing. Kyara in itself is not worth the trouble.

                I have some raw Kyara slices (only about a gram) that cost rather a lot, and I do NOT like them. Kyara isn’t to my taste, and this is a pretty good (at least it’s supposed to be) Baieido Kyara. I bought it from Scents of Earth for around $500 or so. It was supposed to be amazing. It was a let down. I wanted to return it, but I’ve been using incense long enough to know that you can’t really return anything unless it’s badly damaged. This wasn’t exactly INCENSE, but pure kyara is supposed to be superb. I just can’t get into kyara personally. I guess living in India for years made my nose far more receptive to Indian incense and Indian style agarwood!

                Basically, my opinion is that we all have our own opinion (wow, that sounds like a run-around). Pretentious…depends on how that person is describing their incense of choice. If they say “OMG only the expensive stuff is worth getting because im rich and its gud!!!1” or something, then yes, internet slap to them. If they say they prefer the expensive stuff simply because they enjoy it more…well, fine for them. It’s their choice. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t agree with a lot of stuff. Like when a damn tree fell on my house last year and the insurance wouldn’t pay for half of it. That was unfair! XD


                • Ha ha, glad you and I are of the same mind. I’m not opposed to people spending money on what they want (even if it is a $1200 wood chip)… I just don’t get it… yet 😉

                  And I don’t mean to say that that those expensive sticks ARE pretentious– only that they can feel that way to me at times.

                  So basically I’m not saying much of anything at all LOL


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