Discussions about retailers

on Olfactory Rescue Service are closed until further notice. Thanks!

A few things…

First of all, thanks to everyone who has posted questions for Anna Pach. I’m going to leave the window open a little longer, but over the next couple of weeks I will be coming up with some of my own and then sending all of them to her. Please check the post downstream a bit if you haven’t had a chance to see it, and I encourage everyone to leave a question.

Second, I need to remind of some guidelines here. I’ve mentioned before that I closed the window on criticisms of Essence of the Ages in a previous thread, so this is a reminder that in particular if you’re a new poster and all you’re here for is to shoot off a complaint and then bolt, I’m not inclined to pass it by our filter. I think by this point there are plenty of back and forths on that particular issue in that thread, enough for people to make up their minds on whether to purchase from this company. The best we can do at this point is to note that we allowed the debate to go on for quite a while and that it is now over. It is not ORS’s job to resolve complaints with a company.

Third, if you are a business and you aren’t seeing your post come through on ORS it’s very likely that you’re not following the rules of etiquette here. If you want visibility for your business, the last thing you should be posting is (for example) how you can’t wait to translate ORS and put our articles on your page or creating a response to a reader’s comment that is entirely based on garnering business from it (PARTICULARLY when it sells products that are protected by CITES). Please consider that the best way to introduce yourselves to me is to use the About page and contact me through the information there, as I’m happy to chat with you and get to know you. In many ways this is a simple gauntlet to run because if you haven’t taken the time to go through our information pages, then you can’t really expect us to take the time to feature you here.  As a service to our readers we are careful who we add to the links and like to get some idea that people are happy with your business first before we can recommend them.

Also, if you’re leaving a comment the site is moderated. So if the same post is posted in different threads multiple times, only one will be passed through.

Thanks for reading!

Incense Corner

Hi, I added a new link to the Blog links on the left, an incense review site called Incense Corner.  The site also has a Facebook group. Both destinations review and discuss a lot of incenses that we haven’t reviewed here, so they can both open a whole new area of incense for people to discover.

I also want to remind everyone to catch the previous post on our upcoming article with Anna Pach at Koh Gen. Please don’t forget to drop in a question or two for her in the comments or directly through me via the About page here. Thanks!

A call for questions!

Hello everyone. One of the reasons I started Olfactory Rescue Service many years ago was that there were very few English language-based information sources on incenses from the East. Initially I began writing about incenses to journal my experiences with them, which I figured would help in some way to describe what was being imported in the USA and as a result have made new friends which has helped to open up various parts of the incense world to the community here. But amazingly enough over the years, I have never been contacted by one Japan-based incense seller or company until last weekend. Anna Pach, who works for Koh Gen/Kikuya Seishindo in Japan, got in touch with me and we had a good chat and I thought maybe this could be an opportunity to find out more about Japan and its many lines of incenses by way of an interview-chat. So while I will have my own questions of course, I thought it might be fun to open up questions to the community here. If there’s anything you want to ask Anna, you can either ask questions in the comments on this page or use the About page on the left to contact me and send questions anonymously. I will send her all of the questions in one e-mail that she will be able to answer at her leisure. I will leave up this request for a couple of weeks (or longer depending upon response) and send a reminder or two as well so that hopefully everyone has a chance. After this I will post the final document to ORS for everyone to read.

A quick note…

Looks like my schedule has freed up from earlier this year. Please contact me via the information on the about page if you are looking for product reviews or any other inquiries. Thanks for your patience.

Out for a bit.

My real job workload has increased exponentially this year to the point where I haven’t been able to attend to any outstanding ORS reviews or even keep on social media, or do anything but recuperate on my down time in the last month. This looks to be true probably through June or July at least. I had meant to share my impressions on Mermade’s Sacred Grove, Pan’s Earth, Deep Earth Kyphi and Earth Angel. All I can say at this point is they are excellent as usual and I recommend grabbing them if they are in stock. Anyway for the time being if you would like me to review something first please check with me first by writing me at the About page. I’m glad to see Ross is around doing some new reviews while I’m gone! All the best to everyone and hope to be back after the insanity eases up.

Yamadamatsu Shu-yu series:

The Yamadamatsu Shu-yu series has been around for some time but has never gotten much attention here. This is more in the realm of a heads up rather then full on review, there are no “lesser lights” in this line up. You might think of this set as a sort of “Laboratory Standard” in stick form as to what good wood based incense is supposed to smell like. To a large degree this smells like incense used to. The scents are the deep agarwood scent of high resin content that one might have found in a Rikkoku set from years ago. Each as a slightly different scent to it that is reminiscent of its name.

I think the current batch is pretty close in scent to the ones I have from five years ago but given that my older sticks were not keep air tight it gets hard to tell. It is, to my knowledge, the only series of its kind (at least on a major commercial level, Kyarazen’s single area sets are also along these lines).

Japanincense/Kohshi sells these at a remarkable price, one, which is pretty much at Japanese retail and  makes these a great deal. The Yamadamatsu line is one of the very few that is sold in this country at these prices and this includes their other incenses as well as their pure wood pieces.

The Kyara sticks tend to go out of stock the fastest which is somewhat humorous to me as the others smell just as wonderful but of course we all get stuck on the Kyara hype.

I highly recommend these, the 15 stick sets in the presentation case are a work of art and very affordable, plus you get the case they come in. -Ross

Kyarazen Enterprises: Holy Lotus and Blue Lotus

I have gotten to sample both of these incenses recently; the Holy Lotus is available now at Kyarazen’s Etsy sit.

The listed ingredients are “Himalayan juniper, Mysore sandalwood, borneol, etc” and I am sure after about 10 sticks of each that there are quite a few other ingredients in both of them They are done in such a way that it becomes very hard to discern any individual notes. On occasion one can say “oh yes Juniper or Sandalwood” but it really seems to depend on the state of ones nose at that moment. Neither of these two are “florals” except in an allegorical sense. These are based on original, very old Chinese formulas when floral additives were not too common. These incenses are part of the Hall of the Peaceful Heart series, made by Dr Li Fupeng of Kyarazen Enterprises.

The Holy Lotus is a bit “sweeter” or rounded, while the Blue Lotus a touch dryer or perhaps astringent (but still very softly so). Both of these would lend themselves very well to meditation, as they are great for concentration and centering.

The scent does tell you that as in everything I have had the chance to use from Kyarazen the materials used are truly remarkable as is the amount of effort that goes into the production. His ingredients remind me a lot of the materials on Mandy Aftels perfume organ. Everything on it is sourced through much effort and sometimes years of tracking down, and then used in such a manner as to present a flawless work of scented art. This seems to be true for both of them.

On another note, if given the chance to get a hold of the Cyro Mysore sticks, don’t think, just go for it. There is nothing better in a Sandalwood, really, they are astounding. When I figure out where I managed to store a video clip of the grinding process I will post it. Don’t know of anyone else willing  to use liquid nitrogen in order to not loose any of the sandalwood oils! -Ross

Found the clip….don’t try this at home!!!

KyaraZen, new things in the Etsy shop

KyaraZen has decided to start selling more products on his Etsy page. It would also seem that things tend to move very fast on it so it is something you might want to check frequently. Right now there is Natural Borneol crystals for sale. There was also Sandalwood powder (heartwood) as well as aged Mandarin Peels but these sold out very fast.  Good sight to keep an eye on as the materials he is selling are also what he uses in his own incenses. -Ross

Forthcoming reviews: Yamadamatsu, KyaraZen and Nu Essence

So after making a recovery from about a three week fight with sinus infections and allergies I am about to put up some reviews.

Yamadamatsu’s Shu-ju line has expanded and it seemed like a good time to once again take a look at it. Also KyaraZen sent me two new creations done in a somewhat different style then what has come out so far, plus a number of agarwood blends. Last, but not least, I got a box with the entire incense line up from Nu Essence and will probably break this up into three reviews. Hope to get at least one of these out by the coming weekend. -Ross

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