Book / David Pybus – Kodo The Way of Incense

Given that so much incense culture belongs to the east, it’s difficult to find good information on it, not only for the language barrier, but also due to the secrecy surrounding incense formulas and kodo. A lot of what can be found in David Pybus’ book is available on the internet, however not much of it comes in such an easy to use format as this. It basically introduces incense, then kodo and ends with a mini encyclopedia of incense ingredients. With so many illustrations it’s a quick read and what pulled me along were various anecdotes I didn’t know about, as well as the history of incense and the Asian trade routes. It’s likely this would be a good introduction to the new incense appreciator and some versions of this book also come in a box set with two incense holders and two small bundles of incense, neither of which really adds much to the experience (it really felt like one of the bundles had totally lost its aromatic efficacy). I can’t wait for the day a solid book on the subject from Japan, translated into English shows up, otherwise it’s unlikely a book like this will be superseded.

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