Incense can be very polarizing — there are people who just hate it and then there are those who burn it all the time. Like so many things, the key word is moderation. Nag Champa is my perennial favorite. I also will always associate with my late friend Fred down in Joshua Tree.
I grew up with incense. Mom even sold it in her hippie shop back in Buffalo. Of course, I didn’t quite understand that the main purpose of incense, back then, was to cover the smell of marijuana. But I was pretty young when I got the clue. We had tenants on the third floor who burned loads of incense. They made a big show of saying they burned the incense because my great grandmother cooked too much turnip. It was ridiculous. My great grandmother came over every Monday because my mom worked late. She would always be waiting for us when we got home from school and she also cooked dinner. After the incense incident, we had a lot of things like turnip and cabbage on Mondays. Grandma N wasn’t going to be told that her cooking was stinky.
As for nag champa — Last year, a friend had to go do some work at the studio of famous, local musician. I asked him, “What was it like?” He said, “The place “smelled like nag champa.”