The Story Behind our Incense
Not all incenses are created equal. Many may have added chemicals, dyes or other “hidden ingredients.” In keeping with our tradition of carefully selecting ecologically & spiritually conscious business partners, our incense comes from a small family-run company called UtamaSpice, in Ubud, Bali. Their incense is carefully handrolled, using natural gums, herbs, resinous leaves, flowers, nuts, and essential oils—absolutely no synthetic ingredients or endangered plants. In Utama Spice’s own words: “ Utama Spice operates by a strong commitment to keeping the tradition of Balinese Herbal Medicine alive. Information about Balinese healing Herbs has been mostly an oral tradition. For hundreds of years, healers and herbalists passed down the information by word of the mouth to their children and students. But in the last couple of generations there have been fewer and fewer young people interested in mastering this traditional body of knowledge. Most of our teachers were very old. Understanding of traditional plants is dying out, as the plants themselves are quickly vanishing from Bali in the face of uncontrolled development. There is a real danger that this wisdom will disappear if it is not recorded. Utama Spice is a small sustainable trading company, established in 1997. We started as a micro family affair and have now grown to small limited company employing around 16 people. We adhere to the famous Balinese cultural concept of TRI HITA KARANA, which commits us to respecting and working harmoniously with humanity, nature and the Divine. As a business, we have found a balance between generating an income from the herbs without damaging the environment in which they grow. No trees are cut in creating our products, which contain no harmful chemical additives. We have done extensive research to support the local natural resource base and to enhance local farming skills in such areas as organic farming, bee farming and seaweed farming. These farming communities produce the raw materials for our company’s products.”
As a business we try to work using the principles of US/US rather than US/THEM consciousness —
This means: Living & working together harmoniously by caring for each other, our planet & its resources. Actions always speak louder than words, so we are putting these principles into action :
• By giving fair wages and providing good working conditions.
• By using raw materials that not involve the cutting down of any living trees ( a most precious resource at this time).
• By using packaging made from recycled and/or recyclable materials.
• By creating small scale village crafts producing natural products such as hand rolled incense, incense holders, massage oils, bath products, body scrub aromatherapy jewellery, ceramic products and much, much more.
Ylang-ylang: ylang-ylang, infused with cananga odorata (sensual, romantic aroma)
Spirit Spice: infused spices, flowers, leaves, and vetivert root (aromatic holy temple blend)
Tropical Cinnamon: pure cinnamon bark (natural anti-depressant)
Moonflower: flowers & vetivert incense scent (tropical, earthy)
Temple spice: cananga , patchouli, & vetivert scent (spicy, charismatic, spiritual, grounded) Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Clove: special blend of the individual spices applied as they are hand rolled
Begone bug: spices & citronella, used as a cleansing fragrance for garden or home, and also keeps away insects such as mosquitoes
Each morning, Balinese villagers perform the household ritual of giving offerings to the Divine. In this ritual they lay down burning incense and woven banana leaf and flower offerings, or cenang, throughout the home & workspace while blessing them in a silent meditation. The generations of meditating people have created a true serenity in the Balinese people. The Balinese are living proof that meditation can create balance and clarity in one’s life.
Essential oils are botanical extracts obtained from living plant and fruit material such as leaves, berries, flowers, seeds, wood, bark, peel and roots.
An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They are also known as volatile or ethereal oils, or simply as the “oil of” the plant material from which they were extracted. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. The Balinese also believe that it carries the energy or spirit of the plant and of those who handle it– which is why it is important to always know where and from whom you buy the things that you do…
TRI HITA KARANA…*
*three part harmony:
harmonious relationship between humans & divine, between humans with one another, and between humans & the natural world.