Fred, like a fine chef, has perfected the art of blending and preparing his incense. The incense making process is an intricate one that can take up to four weeks or longer for each batch. Fred’s incense is dipped many times into the resins and oils. It is then sprinkled with the herbs and/or powders and then dried. The manual labor is intensive but worth it. Designed to be burned in a horizontal, rather than vertical position, each stick of Fred Soll’s® will burn from 1 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the scent. Fred refuses to compromise his standards, buying only the highest quality pure resins, herbs, powders, and oils.
The first turning point of Fred’s life occurred one day in 1972 when his old friend Jerry, whom he hadn’t seen in several years, looked him up and asked him to meet at a fancy hotel in New York City. Jerry shared with Fred that he had joined the Hara Krishnas and offered Fred a job selling the Hara Krishnas incense in New York State. Fred took the job and after a few years of doing nicely, in the incense sales business, Fred moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Fred gives credit to his friend, Genoa, who inspired him to make resin incense. Genoa approached him one day with a handful of sticky pinon resin harvested from the New Mexico pinon trees and asked “Fred, you know all about incense; why don’t you try to make incense out of this pure resin?” And thus, the beginning of Fred Soll’s® pure resin incense.
Fred Soll was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 27, 1945. In 1968 Fred graduated from Pace University with a degree in Marketing and Business Administration as well as a degree in Nutrition.
Fred’s luck changed again when he met his wife, Joy, in October 1996. Joy worked at Sandia National Laboratories and had since 1982. It was love at first sight for Fred, but not for Joy. She made him wait 3 years before she would marry him. Joy soon quit her job and started working for Fred in the business. She started up the web site and Fred was skeptical. He told everyone that it was for Joy’s amusement and the web site would not amount to anything. Well, years later, the web site has remained strong and steady. It saved the Soll’s from going under when the recession hit. The wholesale orders were very bleak but the sales on the web site remained steady. Customers said that they had to have Fred Soll’s® incense in order to feel better about themselves and about life.
Because of Joy, Fred says, the business started to succeed. As Joy will say “I work like a dog, I have no vacation, little money, but I’m having fun!” In 2003, the business moved east of Albuquerque, 10 miles, to Tijeras.
Fred & Joy enjoy the friendship and royal treatment from “Rock Stars” and famous people, including Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top and Rick Allen of Def Leppard. Rick Allen mentioned Fred Soll in his “Mirror Ball” CD insert.
Fred Soll’s incense has been mentioned in magazines such as: In Style, Domino, New Age Retailer, Traditional Home, Shop Etc. and the New Mexico Magazine. Fred and Joy have been spotlighted, on TV, in a segment called “Made in New Mexico.” They have also been written about in Newspapers and books.
Joy manages and runs everything in the business.
Fred makes the incense, by hand, with one assistant, Matthew.
Three local families pick up the freshly made incense and take it home to pack up in the bags.
Joy has 3 employees who help with the wholesale, web orders, and retail store.
Our pinon is picked by Rose. She climbs up the pinon trees and will gather hundreds of pounds of the resin for us to use in our incense.