Even More Nippon Kodo Incense

Went back to Zanzibal Tribal Arts to pick up a few more incense packages. I should probably mention at this point that the Yume-No-Yume and Fragrance Memories lines possibly border that area between the natural and the organic or synthetic. I looked around on line a little to see what I could find out and came up empty handed. But suffice it to say, the YNY line is heavily fragranced, perhaps too much so for a purely natural line and seems quite perfumy at times. If you’d have asked me before checking the line out, I probably wouldn’t have been too enthused, but in a way I’m glad I did check them out as they’re pretty neat incenses, perfect for the occasional change.

Anyway I walked out with four packages of the line, without realizing one of them was actually the Bamboo Leaf blend I talked about earlier, but given it’s such a nice incense, having a second package wasn’t totally unwelcome. Anyway, all these lines can be found here at the website. Apparently they’re giving away a box of the Fragrance Memories line if you purchase $30 or more, at least if you’re one of the first so many customers, so if you bump that up to $50 for the free shipping, it ought to make a nice deal.

Anyway, the first of the new packages I brought home was the Japanese Morning Glory, scented by green banana, vetivert and bergamot. These all blend quite well together, without any too obvious notes in any direction, the vetivert obviously being high quality and almost musky in the background. I started realizing at this point that a lot of this line have similar bases, as it reminded me a lot of the Bamboo Leaf, except more exotic. As for the unburned stick, it might have been the most fragrant, almost making my eyes water.

Goldfish (I can’t believe there’s actually an incense called Goldfish, but there you have it) consists of mint, watermelon and jasmine and like the Morning Glory, the three are blended well, with the mint on the edges and the watermelon like part of a base. It’s actually not all that far from some of the others in the line in terms of the base, so it didn’t strike me as being particularly distinctive its own right.

The one that was, Maple Leaf, was basically an amber of sorts, maybe a spicy amber. The notes are persimmon, tonka bean and ambergris, although I noticed the latter of the two much more given the overall amber-like blend. This, obviously, was less “green” than some of the other blends and was quite nice overall, the vanilla-ish tonka bean giving it all some depth.

Based on one of the employee’s suggestions, I picked up the Ka-Fuh Aqua which is one of the smokeless incenses. I’d tried their Hinoki which didn’t do much for me (I don’t think I really get much out of Japanese cypress incense I guess), but this one is better and very subtle with water, cyclamen and primrose. It is indeed pretty “wet” but very subtle, like a back note, floral but not overwhelming.

And two more Fragrance Memories. The first of which, Silk Road Dream, I liked a lot, but with jinkoh (aloeswood) in it, I was bound to. The olibanum and fennel spice it up quite a bit for a really nice blend, although to be honest the jinkoh is just a touch, kind of the woody fade out. But of the line, it’s one of the more closely traditional, which I prefer.  Green Oasis, on the other hand, is unusual with a mangrove, star fruit and palm tree blend. I’ve been in South Florida enough to know you can barely get more than 20 feet from a mangrove tree, yet the incense didn’t bring back memories of that at all, and I got the impression of a more blended type of “green.”


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