If you haven't heard about the popular Indian incense manufacturer, Shrinivas Sugandhalaya splitting into 2 separate companies some years back, then you are probably wondering why this is even a question. Well there is a very good reason for this question and any Satya incense enthusiast will want to know the answer as well as how to tell the difference between the real deal and the fake.
The incense company Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (Bengaluru/Bangalore (BNG) LLP) was founded in 1964 by Shri Satyam Setti. They have been making hand rolled incense using natural ingredients from the beginning and continue to use the same methods and ingredients today. In 1999 Shri Satyam Setti passed and his 2 sons, Balkrishna Setty and Nagaraj Setty took over the family business.
Over the years since Shri Satyam Setti's passing, the brothers had many disagreements about whether or not there was a need for the manufacturing process to move into the modern era. Nagaraj, the eldest of the 2 and the one who saw a modern future for Shrinivas Sugandhalaya eventually decided to split off and form a new and separate company.
They ended up in court because Nagaraj wanted to trade under the name Shrinivas Sugandhalaya. The judge decided that they were both entitled to trade under the same name as well as make and sell the same products. And so in 2014 Shrinivas Sugandhalaya Mumbai was born. And while they were trading under the same name as the original company and making the same products, they weren't exactly the same, and many long time Satya enthusiasts noticed...
So what's different about the new Shrinivas Sugandhalaya company? Well firstly, they are based in Mumbai. The original Shrinivas Sugandhalaya company is based in Bengaluru/Bangalore. The 2nd difference is that their product is machine rolled. The 3r difference is only speculation at this point as I have not been able to confirm whether or not they use the original ingredients, but many long time Satya enthusiasts claim that the aroma is quite different as in more intense as well as having a synthetic floral scent.
Whether or not the recipe and ingredients have changed in the new Shrinivas Sugandhalaya company is still up for debate, but one thing is for sure, their incense is definitely machine rolled which could be the one and only culprit in the change of aroma. COULD be... again, we don't know for sure. All we can do is speculate until the Shrinivas Sugandhalaya Mumbai people make an official statement on the matter, or someone who works for them leaks the info!
Luckily, for those who want to stick with the original Shrinivas Sugandhalaya Bengaluru/Bangalore company, there is a simple way to tell whether or not your incense comes from the original or the new company. You used to be able to tell from the stickers they use, however the Mumbai company started using the same stickers as the original on some of their products, so that is no longer reliable.
Another way that we were able to differentiate between the 2 were by the company names. The original is Shrinivas Sugandhalaya (BNG) LLP and the new one is Shrinivas Sugandhalaya LLP Mumbai. However, because most people prefer hand rolled incense over machine rolled, the original remains the most popular to this day.
Because the new company wasn't doing as well as the original, Nagaraj tried to steal away some of the original companies clients by changing the company name and address on his product packaging to mislead people into believing it was the original product from the original company. So now, even if you see the words "Bengaluru/Bangalore (BNG) on the packaging, that doesn't mean its the original product.
The only way to know for sure that you have an original product from the original company, hand rolled Satya incense is if the word "Mumbai" is nowhere to be found on the product packaging. If you do find "Mumbai" on your Shrinivas Sugandhalaya product, your incense comes from the new company, not the original.
But just because the new company machine rolls their incense doesn't necessarily mean its not a good product. In fact most people, even many long time Satya incense enthusiasts can't tell the difference between a stick of original and a stick of new burning Satya Nag Champa incense. Those who say they can are probably much more sensitive odorant receptors and so are able to pick up on subtle differences. It's just a matter of preference for most people and many don't care which company it comes from because they can't smell a difference.
We at The Holistic Sage prefer hand rolled and natural ingredients so we usually stock incense from the original company in Bengaluru, however we will on the rare occasion carry stock from the new company in Mumbai only when our suppliers have run out of stock from the original company.
Anyway, that's how you can tell the difference between the real and the fake Satya Shrinivas Sugandhalaya Nag Champa incense!
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Love, light and blessings.