Fig

Have you ever smelt a fig?  I have, and I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think it really smells of anything.  So why Kuumba decided to release a Fig scent, well, that was beyond me.

I first tried Fig after a trip to London.  Whilst having a browse in Goodhood,  my girlfriend threw a pack in my basket and said that it smelt nice.  I pouted my lips, squinted my eyes and mumbled a confused ‘OK, but it’ll probably be a waste of money because Fig doesn’t really smell of anything’. 

An hour later, I was eating my words.  And a soft fig roll. 

As soon as the stick was lit and I caught the first hit, I knew this was going to be an interesting scent.  You’d expect, with fig being a fruit, that it’d be a lot sweeter, more ‘fruit’ like, but it wasn’t.  Not in the slightest.  The scent is sharp, zesty and fresh.  It’s a very cool scent that is almost borderline minty, but it has a nice bitterness to it.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever smelt before and is without a doubt, one of the most interesting scents I’ve ever smelt. 

I could imagine this being perfect on a bright spring morning, with the window open and the cool breeze of the outdoors creeping through. 

If your curious – take the plunge.  You won’t regret it.   

Score: 9/10

Scent: Sharp, zesty, bitter, fresh

Cali Girl

One thing that I love about incense is its ability to take you on a journey.  What I mean by that is with a lot of scents, it’s not just about how it smells, but also about how it makes you feel.  A lot of my favourite incense remind be of places I’ve visited, or experiences that I’ve had.  I love that.  I love that lighting a certain stick can bring back so many good memories of a particular time of my life.

I recently returned from an amazing trip to California, but like a lot of people, I had massive holiday blues and spent the week or so after I returned clutching at anything that would remind me of my time there.  So when I saw that Kuumba have a scent called ‘Cali Girl’, well, I knew what I had to do. 

I’m not sure what I expected from it, but what I did imagine when I thought about ‘Cali Girl’ was something quite floral.  Fresh flowers laid on the bed of a converted camper van parked on the beach of a small coastal surf town.  Yeah, that’s what I was imagining. 

With my SoCal Spotify Playlist ready, I lit up, laid back and let my mind go. 

The scent hit me straight away.  I got the floral notes that I expected (I’m getting quite good at this).  It was fresh yet mellow and had just the right level of sweetness to it.  I sat there, wafting the smoke towards me in an encouraging manner, hoping to pick up a few more notes so that I could write a really long review and after a few minutes, the scents evolved a little.  The floral notes started to fade a little and the sweetness really picked up as I caught a hit of something.  I bolted upright.  I recognised the scent but couldn’t put my finger on it.  Was it caramel?  No.  Chocolate?  And then it hit me.  MARZIPAN.  I took a deep breath to allow me to appreciate the scent.  It was delightful.  I’ve never burnt an incense that smelt of marzipan, this was a first for me and I was thoroughly enjoying it. 

As the stick burnt the flavours continued to change.  One minute the marzipan really crept through and then it’d die down and the floral notes would return.  I also caught tiny hints of vanilla from time to time.  This was definitely one of the most complex scents I’ve burnt. 

I’m really happy with this and can see myself burning a lot of it.

Score: 8/10

Scent: Sweet, Marzipan, Vanilla      

Cinnamon

Cinnamon.  You either love it, or hate it.  Me, I fall somewhere in between the two.  Whilst I’m never quick to sprinkle it on top of my latte, or add it to my apple pie - I wouldn’t turn down a sticky cinnamon roll if it was presented to me on a plate.  So now that we’ve got that completely useless opinion of mine out of the window, let us move on.

I love cinnamon incense.  It’s deep, spicy and straight to the point.  There’s no secrets or hidden messages when it comes to cinnamon incense - you get what you pay for.

I own a few different brands of cinnamon, but I hadn’t really burnt any for quite some time, so I decided to order a pack of Kuumba Cinnamon and see what there take on such a common scent was.  I was not disappointed. 

The first thing I noticed is that these sticks smoke like a hippy 4:20.  I had to move the stick further away from me on 2 occasions.  Whilst I personally love a stick that produces a nice, thick smoke, it may not be for everyone, so bear this in mind if you’re planning on purchasing a pack.   

The scent hit me immediately with no time needed for it to develop.  It was cinnamon, that’s for sure, but it felt a bit more sophisticated that other brands I’ve burnt.  It seemed a little warmer, a little spicier and at times, a little sweeter.  It was by no means a complex, but it definitely had a bit more about it.  One thing that I particularly enjoyed, was its consistency.  Some scents can take a little while to open up and then can change a little during the burn, and whilst I do enjoy that, sometimes you just want something that stays on course.  Cinnamon provided me with a steady ride throughout. 

Kummba hit the nail on the head with this.  They took a classic and instead of trying to overcomplicate it by adding all sorts of hocus pocus, they made sure that the characteristics which make cinnamon such a popular scent, remained the core focus.

I would recommend this to anyone who is a lover of cinnamon.  You won’t be disappointed. 

On a side note – I recently found out that cinnamon is actually used as a base not in a lot of common incense.  Always good to find out little snippets of info like this.     

Score: 8/10

Scent: Warm, Spicy