Just above Govinda's Natural Food Buffet, adjacent to the Bhagavad-gita Museum in Culver City, Govinda's International Imports is the retail arm of the L.A. center for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Among the vegan cookbooks and imported clothing and accessories, you'll find exotic soaps and other sundries, including lots and lots of incense. These days, it seems nearly every Catholic saint has a form of incense, along with scents from things like “coconut” and “rain.” But Govinda's has the go-to fragrance that's a staple among canyon-dwelling hippies and indie-shop owners alike. In Bangalore, India, Shrinivas Sugandhalaya manufactures an incense named after the Indian guru and mystic who first brought it to the United States in the 1960s: ri Sathya Sai Baba. While the spiritual leader “left his earthly body” on April 24, 2011, his spirit remains in the form of Satya Sai Baba's Nag Champa incense, which you'll find in bulk at Govinda's. 3764 Watseka Ave, Culver City. (310) 204-3263, lalive.info/gimports.
—Tanja M. Laden