After lunch at Sri Lankan restaurant Janani in Homebush (mmmm… and not a whiff of coriander, aka poison parsley, as far as I tasted) yesterday, we bought some Nag Champa in the Sri Lankan grocery store next door (treasure trove for all that ground this and parboiled that and yellow and red coloured this that and the other). Here is the box I got not long ago from our local Leung Wai Kee Buddhist Craft and Joss Stick Shop, shown with the new one underneath.
Which is the fake that’s pretending to be the other one? If you look closely (you might have to click the pictures to get a large enough version to read properly) you’ll see even the warning messages have the same wrong grammar – and even wrong spellings!
All I can say for definite is that the upper one, with the hologram, has the familiar, heady, heavy perfume I expect from that kind of incense. The other one has similarities, but with overtones of the savage tobacco my old Uncle Len – may he rest in peace – used to put into his aluminium-stemmed pipe and smoke on a Sunday afternoon in the living room of that house not far from the Hagley Road.