Shoyeido Daily Incense Series (Long Boxes, Uncolored Sticks)

[NOTE 2/2/10: These reviews reflect only the long box versions of the Daily incenses. Please note comments below as short rolls are different if slightly similar aromas]

I have this old memory that many years ago I sampled a few of Shoyeido’s Daily incenses, years before I had any strong interest in Japanese incense. While it could be said in the US market that Shoyeido’s Angelic and Jewel series might have a higher profile, the Daily series seems to be the company’s standard line of traditional incenses.

If you add the Premium and Premium Daily Series to the subject at hand, you can see a general arc starting with the high line Premium Sho-kaku and getting more and more inexpensive all the way down to what at first seems like the line’s most inexpensive blend, Daigen-koh. For the most part the whole Daily line includes 35 sticks in a standard package, but Daigen Koh stops at 30 making it per stick the second least expensive incense in the line.

Daigen-koh/Great Origin is basically a standard rosewood incense, a slightly floral sandalwood incense that doesn’t strike me as having much of its own character. This could just be because I’ve never gravitated much to rosewood incenses, but also because in comparison to other Shoyeido incenses this has very little complexity and depth. But given the way Shoyeido potray these series as arcing from the inexpensive to the deluxe, it’s easy to understand why they put it first rather than second.

Hoyei-Koh/Eternal Treasure is also sandalwood dominant. One thing that becomes quickly apparently about the Daily line is how difficult it can be to put the listed ingredients in context with what you’re expecting. With clove and cinnamon involved you’d expect a very spicy sandalwood blend, but with Hoyei-Koh I get more of a slight citrus hint, making the spice back this quality up rather than dominating it. And like Daigen-Koh, this is a very subtle and quiet scent, one that doesn’t really stand out among others.

Nokiba/Moss Garden is a bit spicier and at times reminds me of some of the spicy Indian sandalwoods. It’s the first in the line that doesn’t have me straining to detect a scent, or perhaps it’s some sort of distinctive quality that may be lacking. While it can be difficult lining up the ingredients listed with what you’re experiencing, you really can detect the hints of patchouli and benzoin in the mix, although the benzoin seems to mix with the sandalwood at the base, while the patchouli comes more out in the spice or oil. Strangely enough, Nokiba starts at $3.50 making it more expensive than the next scent in the line.

Kyo-Nishiki/Kyoto Autumn Leaves is the first incense in the Daily series that really raises the game and is a rather unique incense in that it’s very difficult to detect specific ingredients. I do often wonder whether the hint of the fragrance defines the name or if the name just brings out an impression of the incense, as Kyo-Nishiki definitely strikes me as having a very autumnal quality. It also has cinnamon at base, which makes me think that this is what keeps the price lower than Nokiba. Shoyeido claim this as one of their best sellers, and it’s easy to see why as it’s the first incense in this line that has true distinction, I can’t think of another scent by any company that reminds me of this one.

As if the’re just adding a new ingredient to each line, Kin-kaku/Golden Pavilion takes the sandalwood, benzoin, patchouli and cinnamon base of the previous line and adds clove. To my nose, Kin-Kaku is the first incense in the Daily line that is truly impressive. Certain Shoyeido incenses really impress me with what I’d call the oil fragrance, the part of the scent above the wood base (for example, Ai-Shin really excels on this part of the stick) and Kin-kaku is definitely one of them, an elegant blend of various spices and woods with a distinctive top fragrance that is a tad sweet and very “bright” for lack of a better word. It’s not a bad place to start in this series.

Kyo-zakura/Kyoto Cherry Blossom is a particularly interesting incense in that it resembles, if not imitates much more expensive cherry-scented aloeswood incenses such as Kyukyodo’s Shiun or Nippon Kodo’s Zuiun, but with a sandalwood base. This is a very nice and inexpensive stick even at a dollar more expensive (or more) than previous Daily incenses, it’s clean, dry and sweet with a sandalwood base and plenty of cherry fragrance in the oil topnote. The sandalwood base gives it a more immediate feel, if lacking the depth any incense with good aloeswood will have. It may be the most user-friendly incense in the Daily series.

The last two incenses in the Daily series come with corresponding hikes in the price of a 35 stick box. Go-zan/Five Hills is a very spicy sandalwood with a strong spice hint, the clove and patchouli a bit more dominant than in previous Daily incenses. Unfortunately Go-zan doesn’t strike me as being particularly distinctive, it’s taken me probably a dozen sticks or more just to be able to describe it. It’s definitely a bit richer and denser than, say, the Hoyei-Koh, but like most of the line, it lacks a bit of depth.

The crown jewel of the Daily series is Haku-un/White Cloud, which is twice as expensive as most of the others. It should be noted that a few years ago, Shoyeido changed their ingredients list on many incenses, probably due to changes in CITES aloeswood regulations, the result of which is that some of the incenses with lower quality aloeswood lost that from the ingredients list. Haku-Un is one of those incenses, perhaps the only one in this line where you can detect a possible hint of aloeswood. Haku-un has musky and woody qualities and amazing depth for its price. Years ago I had a woodchip blend by a different company called Buddhist Temple Blend that is almost identical in scent to the Haku-un and had the same ingredients, a strong Benzoin base (which always gives me the impression of something aged), sandalwood, clove and Borneo camphor. Overall Haku-un is a fantastic blend and one of the best incenses per price you’re likely to get from Shoyeido.

While the Daily series certainly doesn’t compare in quality to finer lines even in Shoyeido’s catalog, they do provide a few rather excellent incenses for the price and importantly give one a few affordable options for frequent use. If you’re new to the line, I’d probably give Kin-kaku or Kyo-zakura a try first before moving up the line or if you want to examine the whole lot, Shoyeido provides samplers. Or you could do what I did and grab the whole lot at a slight discount (at the bottom of the page) here.

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60 Comments

  1. Mike said,

    April 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Janet, thanks again for sending the samples over on the short roll and colored versions of the Daily series. I’ve gone through a stick on each and what struck me the most is I think there’s mostly a base difference between the two versions, or at least as I went through the short Dailies, the base seemed the same among all the sticks. I definitely think it’s a much more memorable and full base than the cheap wood used in the long rolls and as such it affects the bouquets of all of them quite seriously. And indeed I’m pretty sure these are the ones found in the Daily sampler packs. I felt that all the short rolls sticks are superior but the higher up in the range I though the difference was more significant. Curious though, what’s your source on the short rolls? I can’t seem to find them at the Shoyeido site.

    • Janet said,

      April 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      Kohshi carries them, and they are on the Shoyeido site, but you have to do a search on each name.

    • Scott said,

      December 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      Mike, thanks for the great reviews! I did want to ask if you or anybody else here knows the source of the wonderful (what seems to me) salty, almost metallic topnote to Kyo-zakura/Kyoto Cherry Blossom? Is it the rhubarb or some other ingredient? I love that quality, but am not familiar enough with all the possible sources for that scent to identify the material used. Thanks for the help!

    • erik said,

      February 8, 2012 at 1:59 am

      Hi, i realy like the dailys, but now i am very curious how the short coloured smell like. For some reason ive never tried kyo-zakura until yesterday… it did put a smile on my face and made me understand the line more… The first next roll i am going to try is the short roll of haku-un, the tan coloured is quite mild to me (also good for some occasions) and i hope the short roll draws my attention more when listening to it.
      its hard to tell wich of the dailys is my favored cause they each fit their own occasion. But for now i keep on burning a stick of my new discovery; kyo zakura, it keeps on surprising me…. i love the feeling of the sensation it gives me in my nostrils, camphor here at work? its the same sensation en-mei gives me.. To me some incenses not only give aroma but also a tingling or openess in the nasal passage, can someone advise me on which ones has that special quality?

  2. Mike said,

    February 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for the comments and references everyone. That doesn’t surprise me about the Shoyeido site, every once in a while I’ll come across something that doesn’t actually sort in their menus. I too remember Haku-Un being much better in its color form. I’m going to change the title on this page to reflect the reviews are the long boxes…

  3. Janet said,

    February 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Julie,
    Have you tried Diamond, Baika-ju, or Shino-nome? I’m a sucker for the sweet Shoyeidos sandalwoods, too, and I love all of them.

    • Julie said,

      February 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

      No, I haven’t tried any of those yet. Yay!! new scents to try 😀 Thanks Janet!

      • Janet said,

        February 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        Julie,
        The Diamond has a nice, strong frankincense aroma, but is sweeter than the Hope….Baika-ju has a similar sandalwood/spice/benzoin base to the abundance, but adds a tiny hint of floral….Shino-nome is a bit more deluxe version of the base formula.
        Let us know what you think!

        • Julie said,

          February 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

          got all the ones you suggested Janet, and am burning Shinonome now as it is the first one out of the box. Good call 😀 and Thank you!! I love it.

          • janet said,

            February 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

            Great! 😀

  4. janet said,

    February 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile, I’ve mentioned here and there about the differences between versions of the Shoyeido Dailies, but really thought I should put my impressions down in one place, as I think the variations are pretty remarkable in some instances, and might make the difference between someone liking them and thinking they aren’t worth the bother.
    The boxed long stick versions are all tan and are the ones you typically find, but the short rolls (and there are actually long roll versions, too) are colored sticks. All run the same, price-wise, as the boxes.
    Anyhow, I’ve found that – without exception – the short roll versions are at the very least denser and stronger than the boxed….in some cases, like Nokiba, there seems to be a variation in recipe as well, although the essential fragrance is the same.
    With Nokiba, there is an herbal component that, to me, is reminiscent of the peppery/spicy note in Kunmeido incenses, among others. It provides a pretty interesting contrast and balance to the thick sweetness of the benzoin/sandalwood base.
    Go-Zan is another I really love. In this one, the patchouli/clove blend is really notched up and is almost hotly dry and spicy. It’s almost like the dark twin of En-Mei, which is much sweeter and smoother but shares a similar topnote with Go-Zan.
    Kin-kaku’s short version is woodier and denser, with the same distinctive sweet-spicy topnote and a bit of a musky undertone….and, to add further confusion, although it is red colored, it is NOT the same as Les Encens du Monde’s Golden Pavilion, which takes the same recipe in a sweeter, ambery direction.
    Really, across the board these are different (there doesn’t seem to be another Daigen-Koh, and Hoyei-Koh – which transforms into a pretty potent floral – is hard to find)…if there is a scent from the Dailies which you like, or might like, you definitely should check out the colored sticks….
    they are still low-end sandalwoods, but they lose the airy indistinctiveness which might appeal to those who don’t like a stronger aroma, but also robs them of their very individual personalities. There are several here that I don’t think are like anything else in this price range, if at all – and are a steal for a few bucks a roll.

    • janet said,

      February 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Well, except for Haku-Un, I should say, which I think is just under ten dollars.

      • Mike said,

        February 2, 2010 at 8:31 am

        Appreciate the contribution Janet. I definitely get the impression the long box/noncolored Dailys were manufactured and definitely agree with your airy indistinctiveness comment. When i first tried the Daily’s it was a sampler and the sticks were colored and I remember being very disappointed when I bought boxes, at the time I couldn’t compare and figure out why they seemed different from what I remembered.

        However, where do you pick up the short rolls? When I click on Daily at the Shoyeido site, all that comes up are the long boxes.

        • Janet said,

          February 2, 2010 at 9:04 am

          Hey, Mike.
          At the Shoyeido site, if you search for the ones you are interested in by name you will get the whole range for that scent. I also think JI sells the rolls, or at least some of them.

        • Pinjie said,

          February 2, 2010 at 9:18 am

          I couldn’t agree with you more, Janet! The short sticks are so different that they should be considered different incenses. I was shocked when I tried the short Go-zan and Haku-un. Go-zan, as you described, is actually close to Enmei, without the sweetness and the aloeswood tone. Sometimes I even prefer Go-zan for it’s straight, potent spice blend. The short Haku-un is also made with better quality ingredients than the long version; it’s smoother and stronger, with a lot more aloeswood in the blend. The long Haku-un by comparison is pale and rough. The same with Nokiba. I didn’t like Nokiba at first, but then I tried the short green Nokiba. Now I’m happy to report that I agree with the rest of you, that Nokiba is a great product at its price.

          It’s a shame that most people know the Dailies through the long brown sticks; they don’t do justice to it at all. You are in for a big surprise when you do a comparison. Now I’m even more impressed by Shoyeido. What wonderful incenses they make at these low, low prices!

          Mike – Japan Incense has the short rolls. If you do a search using the product names, you will find all the short sticks on Shoyeido site, too.

          • Steve said,

            February 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

            I also agree with the indistinctiveness of the line and just checked my stock – I got the long boxes and all the varieties are the same blah tan color. I got the freakin’ loser versions! 😥

            • Janet said,

              February 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

              Awww…
              Well, if there are any you think you might like, I’ve got all of the shorties and would happily send some your way so you can at least try ’em.

              • Steve said,

                February 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

                Thanks, J! I have a billion samplers in my incense cabinet – I’m gonna see if I have the Shoyeido Daily sampler in there…

              • Steve said,

                February 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

                @ Janet – OK – I don’t have the Daily Sampler. Could you spare a stick of Haku-un and Gozan? I wanna see if Pinjie is right about them!

                “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” – J. Wellington Wimpy

                • Pinjie said,

                  February 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

                  Uh-oh, I’m in trouble! 🙂

                • Janet said,

                  February 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

                  Gosh, Esteban, you don’t ask for much, do you???
                  Sheesh!
                  Well, I *guess* since it’s you I can probably manage a stick of those tow, although you are really pushing it….
                  ;-D

                  • Janet said,

                    February 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

                    Two

                    • Steve said,

                      February 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm

                      wot
                      owt
                      otw
                      wto
                      😀

            • Pinjie said,

              February 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

              Hi, Steve,

              I thought of you when I commented on the short Go-zan and Haku-un this morning. They could very well be your next Reiryo-koh-like deals!

              • Steve said,

                February 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

                Ooooooooooh Aaaaaaaaaah 😀

        • Julie said,

          February 2, 2010 at 10:12 am

          Mike, I get mine from ebay. Nokiba sells there for $12.75 for a box of 150 or $16.85 for a box of 250 with free shipping. I’ve bought from Tom’s Incense and just recently purchased from PricklyPath.

    • tacololo said,

      October 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Well I have most of the long rolls and I like them all but I find haku un disappointing. In the long roll it is grey. Smells a bit salty and does not linger long.

      I found the short rolls on a dutch website reiki-articles.com

      I had the cherry blossom short and long and I certainly prefer the short roll although the long one is ok too.
      The short one is denser and a bit sweeter.
      I am going to buy the other short rolls too in due time.
      Strangely the nokiba in this shop is by far the most expensive.
      It is described as clear blue and sells at 14,5 euro for 45 short sticks while the others vary from 11 (haku un) to 3,25 (kinkaku)

      Yeah, I know it is more expensive then in the US

  5. Julie said,

    August 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Moss Garden is my favorite incense of the group (currently my favorite incense period) followed by Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Autumn Leaves. White Cloud smelled heavy and almost overpowering musky to me- cloying. Moss Garden smells soft and sweet and the benzoin just shines through.
    Thanks for this site, I have found so many difference scents to try by reading you.

    • Janet said,

      November 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm

      Nokiba is also a favorite of mine, for the very reasons you mentioned!
      I think the short stick (green) version is even better, it is a bit more intense and not quite as sweet….

      • Julie said,

        February 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

        I’ve tried mostly short sticks so far. Which I’m grateful for after reading there’s a difference 🙂 My other current favorites are Kyoto Moon- Abundance (benzoin, sandalwood, cinnamon) and The Angelic Series Hope (sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, ginger lily). Both of those have that dark sweetness, even though Hope doesn’t have any Benzoin in it.

    • Bradley said,

      March 15, 2010 at 1:39 am

      Julie,

      I’m in 100% agreement with everything you said except for the Kyoto Autumn Leaves (haven’t tried it yet 🙂 ). The White Cloud was much too intense and I found the Golden Pavilion to be a much nicer, more mellow version. But so far, the Moss Garden is my favorite.

      • Julie said,

        March 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

        Hey Bradly, check out the ones Janet recommend. They are fast becoming my favorites. Especially First Light (Shino-nome). I burn that one every night before I sleep. 🙂 it’s like an incense tuck-in.

        • Bradley said,

          March 17, 2010 at 3:37 am

          Julie,

          Thanks for the heads up. I missed Janet’s recommendations. They all sound great especially Shino-nome. I might have to pick some up as the price can’t be beat. I like the idea of finding something to burn as I fall asleep.

          • Julie said,

            March 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

            Yay, shared happiness all around 🙂
            (ya done good Janet)

            • Janet said,

              March 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm

              Awwww……thanks!

  6. Mike said,

    June 13, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Nice idea Nick. I do something similar with my tibetan stubs, sometimes just roll them around on the sand until everything is burned.

  7. Nick said,

    June 13, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Hello all. When I have a stub of a premium or other good incense left, I light it and roll and bounce it around in a large metal cooking sieve until all is fully used. It’s not exactly gracious, but it serves the purpose (and looks great if done in total darkness!)

  8. Mike said,

    April 14, 2008 at 9:03 am

    I’ve read somewhere that people do heat those fragments, but when it comes to Japanese sticks and as long as it isn’t very high end, I usually just don’t worry about em. With some of the thick sticks like the Horins, you often can set the stub flat on your tray and burn it right to the end. I do tend to burn the Tibetans to the end sometimes combining the stubs at once, which is more a quirk that a recommendation. 🙂

  9. Steve said,

    April 14, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Will try to give the Haku-Un another go today, Mike – unfortunately, my sampler pack included a single Haku-Un stick which was broken into a number of inch or less fragments, so kinda tough to get a good representative burn 😦

    A bit off topic, but what do folks do with those 1/2 to 3/4 inch stubs of unburnt stick you inevitably end up with? I’ve yet to find a burn method that fully depletes a stick. Would an electric wood chip heater serve to utilize these bits?

    Steve

    • Scott said,

      December 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

      Hi! I go to zambala.com (actually, they have a store down the street where I live) and pick up their incense clips. Basically, these are an alligator clip mounted upright on a metal base. There are three designs for the base – a lotus, double-dorje, and a bagua. I have used these on all my incense without wooden sticks (Japanese, Tibetan), and they really hold the stick with virtually no waste – I lose maybe 1/16″ of the incense. Really handy! I paid about $3 each; they are in the incense burner/other category. Here’s the link:

      http://www.zambala.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_289&products_id=912

      • janet said,

        February 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        Thanks for the link! I’ll have to pick one of those up 🙂

        • glennjf said,

          February 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

          Hiya Janet! Hi Scott.

          The clips are especially good for holding indian sticks and also for holding coils.
          Alert… I’ve also used my clip to hold japanese incenses however as the clip (I have) involves the alligator clip component it has the very strong grip potential that alligator clips have. As a japanese stick burns down to the jaws there is a point reached when they get to exert their full potential and silently snap shut. The result, a still burning stub has flown from the clip, bounced off the hard surface below and gone wherever it chooses. End result, burn hole on tabletop.

          Usually I use a ceramic plate to catch any incense ashes but with the clip I use instead a deep bowl or something with high sides to help contain any errant stubs, lessen the chances of one going astray. I always sit with burning incense, I was a little surprised when the I found that particular stub had gone astray.

          • Scott said,

            February 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

            Hi Janet! Thanks! I have tried all three of the zambala clips,; the lotus shape is a bit rounded on the bottom so it works better sitting on sand, while the bagua and double-dorje are flatter on the bottom and will sit on anything.

            Hi Glenn! Thanks for the heads-up! Did you get you clip from zambala? Maybe their alligators are weaker than other brands, and exert a bit less pressure? I did have happen what you describe one time, but that was when I took a partly burned stick and accidentally put the conical blackened end in the jaws – the incense was weaker there and thinner, and darned if the lit stub didn’t fly out (and right into the open collar of my shirt! Yes, it was both painful, and suitable for filming). But out of say over a hundred sticks using three or four clips, that’s the only time it has happened to me. I really like your idea of using a deep bowl; I found a nice Chinese bronze bowl with about a six-inch opening and say 2.5 inches or so tall on ebay – perfect for catching strays!

            • glennjf said,

              February 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

              Not from Zambala no though I’m assuming as Zambala are located in Taiwan and my clip also came from there that there’s a small company making them on the island, I have the Double-Dorjee base version.

              I’ve burned myself a few times when lighting sticks, never have had a lit stick try to to snuggle up to me though!

              My bowl is unadorned bronze but it’s deeper, about 15cms (6″) with a diameter about 11cms (approx 4.5″), has a heavy foot/base, sides sweep out and up and are quite thin. It’s not a singing bowl but when struck it produces a warm and low mellow note.

              • Scott said,

                February 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm

                Thanks for the information about Zambala – I didn’t know they were from Taiwan! And yes, there’s nothing quite so funny (long afterwards) as the sight of a person slapping themselves trying to catch a burning cinder as it bounces around inside their shirt!

                I think that since then I have inserted about 1/8″ of the incense inside the clip and have not had any problems at all. That’s probably why I love this method so much, there’s so little of the incense lost, and no need to collect up the tiny bits. The only other holder I like is some of the Shoyeido ceramics, generally about 1/4″ of incense ends up left over; the problem there is the variety of sizes and shapes of sticks cannot all fit; so far, I have used the zambala clip for thicker square sticks like Kai Un Koh, the standard Japanese incense sticks, and the thicker round Tibetans and been really happy with it.

                It’s so frustrating that pictures can’t be posted on wordpress! Think how helpful communication would be if some new incense (or a packaging variant) could be displayed directly on the site for readers to view/comment upon! Your bowl sounds really beautiful, I’d love to see it! Mine doesn’t ring, nor is it so tall, but it has elephant-head handles (and I collect elephants) so it’s perfect for me.

                • glennjf said,

                  February 14, 2012 at 2:48 am

                  Photos can be displayed using links. Since my camera is presently out of order here is instead a link to a photograph I’ve just uploaded to my account with a photo sharing website. It’s an image of a ceramic bowl that is very similar in shape and appearance to the bronze bowl I have. I will store the photo in the permanently so that anyone visiting the link anytime hereafter should be able to see it.

                  • Scott said,

                    February 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

                    Thanks Glenn! I didn’t know I could link in the comments; I don’t have a host/account to display pictures of my incense burners, but that’s good to know for adding here in the future. I really like the shape of the ceramic version of your bowl! If you don’t mind my asking, where did you get it? There are some lovely singing-type bowls and other items on this site from Australia:

                    http://www.abearsoldwares.com/Singing.bowls.htm

                    • glennjf said,

                      February 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

                      My bowl I found in a second hand shop 🙂

          • Scott said,

            February 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

            Or maybe just a little bit more held in the clip, say 1/8″?

    • glennjf said,

      February 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Stubs? At times I’ve simply crushed them to make a powder and used the powder with my electric heater. Ross posted heater settings some time ago, link I’ve also sprinkled the powder over lit charcoal.

    • Kevin said,

      March 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      This is certainly late coming, but if you’re looking to burn the whole stick in one go, if you burn them horizontally on ash (preferrably miyako hai), they will burn completely. Of course there is the risk of some (very subtle) ash smell; it is also said that burning them horizontally results in a different fragrance experience (I don’t have a developed enough nose to know if this is true). Tibetan box burners are the way to go for this style, as they’re long enough to accomodate a whole stick. You have to lay a layer of ash in them before you burn the first stick though.

      • glennjf said,

        March 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        Thank you Kevin, since my feb 2012 post I’ve progressed on to burning sticks much as you describe 🙂

        Especially I’ll burn higher end sticks down towards their end then transfer the still burning remnant on to some White Rice Chaff Ash, a big fan of tweezers I am 🙂

        If anyone is concerned about a fire risk, slim possibility of wooden box burner catching alight simply line with some aluminium foil or look at using something made completely of metal or ceramic, a baking pan perhaps. There’s special boxes the Japanese use, usually they have a removable inner tray for the ash that’s made of metal, likely aluminium I think.

  10. Mike said,

    April 14, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for your input Steve. I still like the top end Haku-Un the most from this batch (burned one yesterday even). It’s been since I had the sampler that I tried Sei-Fu and En-mei, so I don’t remember them except that neither really struck me all that strongly. Sei-Fu is actually more expensive per stick than the lowest premium (Matsu-no-tomo).

  11. Steve said,

    April 13, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I worked through Shoyeido’s Daily Incense 10 stick assortment today, which includes the 8 sticks in this blog entry as well as 2 premium daily scents (En-mei and Sei-fu).

    After making my notes, I found I was (as usual!) in complete agreement with Mike’s assessment of these 8. None were showstoppers, and a couple I had to struggle to even detect a scent. The first notable one was, as Mike points out, Kin-kaku. It may have even been my favorite. It’s quite possible I’ve been spoiled by the Hall of Fame selections from this blog. You’ll certainly appreciate the second half of this group of 8 versus the undistinguished first half.

    En-mei is a sweet sandalwood and clove. It is pleasant, though I thought ultimately forgettable. Sei-fu is quite similar, though it had a slight more punch or zing – I guess this is the addition of cinnamon. I also pick up a green tea somewhere in there(?) Enjoyable, if not revolutionary.

    I’ve only burned 1/2 stick of all of these in fairly rapid succession. It’s quite possible I haven’t given them all a fair shake, and I do suspect at this point I have some fragrance fatigue – perhaps this is why none are striking me as having a lot of scent or fullness this afternoon…

    Steve

  12. Mike said,

    November 5, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for the feedback Melanie!

  13. Melanie said,

    November 4, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Mike – Thanks! I enjoy the “Joy” from the Angelic Series. I more recently purchased the “Inspiration,” but found that it does not diversify itself as the “Joy” does with each burn…still grounding, though. I really enjoy your reviews. I found fragrance memories by nippon kodo (fragrance memories) prior to shoyeido, and agree with your impressions of both!

  14. Mike said,

    November 3, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Melanie! It has been a while since I sampled the Angelic series incenses, although I do plan on reviewing them in detail at some point in the future (for the most part I try to live with the scents a while before writing about them). My notes tell me that of the five incenses in that series, I liked the one called Hope the most, and also liked Joy quite a bit. That they’re very affordable makes them easily worth sampling, and I found them comparable to Shoyeido’s other main US line, the Jewel series. Of those I liked Diamond and Ruby the most.

  15. Melanie said,

    November 3, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Hi! Just curious about your impressions of shoyeido’s angelic series incense.


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