Minorien / Fuuin Aloeswood

I had originally wanted to write a little about heating incense and my trials at doing so over the last two weeks, but strange WordPress screw ups have gone and deleted my draft, after, of course, posting it incomplete first (although, who knows, maybe unposted drafts with the right tag show up there as private).

Minorien only seem to import four incenses to the United States: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Aloeswood, and Kyara. Based on the Aloeswood incense, I’m going to end up having to try the rest of the line, as this is very good indeed. The first comparison that leapt to mind was to Shunkodo Ranjatai in that both scents have a very up front, quality aloeswood presence, that type of resinous aroma that seems almost psychoactively rich. Pricewise they’re actually quite similar by stick, except that you’d have to buy 100++ stick rolls of Ranjatai to purchase, while Minorien have both small and large boxes, meaning you only have to pay about $30 to give it a try, which is very good for an incense of this quality (and when they mean 45++ sticks, they definitely mean ++).

Fuuin Aloeswood sticks are very thin, but the aroma is intense. The wood note is subsumed for the resinous note and as Minorien claims, there really is a sort of “wet” vibe to it. Supposedly Indonesian and Thai aloeswoods are used, but the aroma strikes me more as high end Vietnamese aloeswood. If there is more than wood and binder here, it’s difficult to detect and only exists to bring out the wood. Overall I’d say you’re getting both excellent quality and a good price for this incense, and I’m definitely inspired to check out the rest of the company’s line.

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15 Comments

  1. Josh said,

    October 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I like this one a lot – is there camphor or something in the blend though? Is this the “wet” note people write of? To me this has a camphorous type top note and then a nice sort of bitter aloeswood note underneath.. It is very “fresh” smelling..

  2. May 31, 2010 at 10:57 am

    […] Here you can read the review and my (and others’) comments on Minorien Aloeswood.  This recent addition to my collection has quickly risen to the upper ranks of personal […]

  3. Steve said,

    April 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Minorien’s Fuin Kyara Ryugen is in my list of top 5 incenses, if not actually #1. But given it’s luxury price, I am reserved about when I burn it. Having found a very good price for Minorien’s Fuin Aloeswood (asakichi.com), I decided to give it a try. With my brief time with it, I was tempted to call the Aloeswood a “poor man’s” Kyara Ryugen, but I think that’s maybe a stretch (the latter is an ocean abyss of wet, dark and punch). But Aloeswood does retain the Minorien trademark “wet” experience and certainly hints at what lies beyond in the more expensive offering. I am truly enjoying Aloeswood and if you are a fan of stronger, unadulterated woods then I heartily recommend you give this one a try – it is fantastic and a keeper.

    EDIT: Having burned more of the Aloeswood, including leaving the room for a bit, I can’t speak highly enough about the afterglow of this incense. It is one of profundity, darkness and richness. Perhaps its affect is not as far removed from Kyara Ryugen as I thought… And a last thought – my wife, who graciously tolerates incense, but is not overly concerned with my hobby – immediately commented on how nice the Aloeswood was. This is a pretty notable endorsement 😀

  4. Mike said,

    August 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I really like this one too, in fact I’m still considering adding it to the hall of fame. My opinion on the Minorien Kyara has come up quite a bit since I fell in love with their Kyara Ryugen as well.

  5. Beavis Christ said,

    August 18, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    I have recently acquired Minorien’s aloeswood. I have tried aloeswood sticks up to and including Shoyeido’s ultra-expensive Translucent Path, agarwood pieces, and oud oil. Minorien’s Fuuin Aloeswood is my favorite. It doesn’t stink bad of cumin or marijuana like others I’ve experienced. Fuuin Aloeswood has a woody smell that reminds me of high-end newly made wood furniture. Nice. In fact, if I ever buy aloeswood again, this is what I’m getting. Sorry, I just don’t have the nose for most aloeswood (like some people hate cilantro).

  6. February 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

    […] Minorien export four incenses to the United States market. Three of them are in the title, the other I reviewed a little while back. All four incenses have in common a unique earthiness that […]

  7. Mike said,

    November 20, 2007 at 6:51 am

    Hi Paul, glad you like the reviews. As for incense suppliers, I think you’ll be safe with any of my resource links on the right. Essence of the Ages and Incense Warehouse I’ve always had good business with and for a specific company, Shoyeido’s also very fast and efficient.

  8. November 20, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Mike I found your website and am delighted at finding someone who can give indepth incense reviews. Wht is ecclestacy not one of your favorite companies and could you send me those you do find “favorites”. Thanks again for your help. Regards Paul

  9. Mike said,

    October 23, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Hi Bernd, thanks for clearing that up, I’ll have to check it out. Also, the gift set I was talking about is actually on that same page at the bottom left. – Mike

  10. Bernd Sandner said,

    October 23, 2007 at 4:28 am

    Dear Mike

    It is nice to get a quick answer from you!
    I know there are several “Green Tara” incenses, but this one is special. The package is not cardbox style.
    It is plain paper rolled with a real leave from bodhi tree on it. You will find it here: http://www.ecclecstacy.com/Tibetan_incense1.html
    The second row from the top. On the right side. The stick is quite thick. The smell is unusual, not like the common “Green Tara”! Give it a try and tell me what you think!
    Thanks and best to you! Bernd

    • glennjf said,

      July 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      I’ve just tried Bernds link to the Green Tara he wrote about and after almost three years, no surprises, the link is no longer working. Below is another link, to their ebay store ,showing what “I think” might be the same incense.

      Green Tara Goddess Tibetan Incense

      Other results for “Green Tara Goddess Tibetan Incense” do show up when searching online but they seem all to be the boxed versions now and none show any sign of an actual bodhi leaf being included with them.

  11. Mike said,

    October 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Bernd – Great to hear from you and to read all the feedback and recommendations and glad the information here has been useful. I do have moderation on for comments due to all the spam, and as I got this one twice, I’ve kept your other note as a copy in case your posts were not identical. But usually, if the comment is not anonymous, once it’s been through moderation it should be easy to post without a hold up.

    It’s true that some incense companies and brands do not reach US stores, which is a shame, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for the ones you recommend and perhaps make a special order overseas. It does seem like this marriage of Japanese incense and French perfume is starting to become more common, I know I’ve been interested in the Esteban line that’s related to Nippon Kodo. Also, Essence of the Ages, for example, have recently expanded into a number of other Japanese lines, so it may just be a matter of time before others appear.

    I think I have the Green Tara incense, if it’s the one that comes in cardboard boxes. I bought a gift set from that company that had a few others (Kalachakra was one, Mila or Milo was another) and I did like them all. I’m very surprised how much I’ve taken to Tibetan incense, but it seems as soon as you get used to the occasional unfamiliar ingredient, they really get addictive! Lately I find myself burning Japanese incense in the days, Tibetan late night.

    I agree that just a name or package can give you an idea of the incense (and the Minorien boxes are really beautifully presented). I was really surprised how little info was out there for incense on the net, which did inspire me to write about it more, so it’s gratifying that the articles of use.

    I hope those other Minoriens are as impressive as the Aloeswood is!

    Best – Mike

  12. Bernd Sandner said,

    October 22, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Mike

    Since I first discovered your „Prattle“ some time ago, I am quite fond reading your articles concerning incense. Since it is hard to find good information and helpful opinions about incense, I was happy to find you by the way, while traveling the internet. I am just a beginning lover of incense, but already tending towards addiction. Many of the japanese incenses described by you, I have tried too, and the words you use to describe them, I find helpful, easy to read, and matching my incense taste. And, what is more important, I find them a good expression of something that I cannot describe. So thank you for that! Please go on!
    I hope my English is not too much confusing to you, since it is not my native language! The reason I write to you is to tell you about some incense, that I did not find in your prattle. You write about searching for incenses that are good and affordable. So here are my recommendations for you to try:

    – GUIDING LIGHT by „les incense du monde“, a company located in France, working with japanese producers like KUNJUDO. I did not find this incense on any american website. Maybe you have to order it in UK, or France or Germany.

    -GOLDEN WAVES by the same company „les incense du monde“.
    I found an english website, that offers these incenses: http://www.simplyincense.co.uk Maybe this is a help to you.
    These incenses are affordable and exceptionally good. I wonder why you cannot find them in the US.

    Then there is another incense I want to recommend to you. Tibetan.
    -GREEN TARA by „Mandala Art & Incense“. You can find it, for example at
    Ecclecstacy Arts. I know this is not your favorite company.

    From what I have read from you, these incenses should meet your taste.
    Thank you for your patience reading this! I would be very happy to read your opinion about these incenses one day!
    The best to you! Bernd Sandner, Berlin, Germany

    PS I just read your article about MINORIEN and I am happy you liked the incense. I just ordered Minorien Aloeswood, Kyara and Frankincense from Essence of the ages some days ago. Sometimes, just reading the name or seeing the package will give a notion about about the incense. Miraculous.


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