Shunkodo / Zuika

Some incenses are like puzzle boxes to me. The first sample stick is lit and a mystery is presented. This is more true when an incense doesn’t have any sort of enhancement to its strength and the blend relies fully on the ingredients. Shunkodo’s Zuika koh is a good example of this sort of mystery stick. It took me maybe ten sticks to realize what a work of art this is.

Zuika (8th item down) is described as an “… elegant scent that comes from a careful blending of Vietname Aloeswood and Chinese medicinal herbs.” It’s an incense that will not stand up to aroma fatigue and is thus best burnt before anything else (and even better near ventilation). Most of the time it’s quite difficult to ascertain the complexity from the mix as it’s such a mellow blend. I rarely notice the slight floral nature that acts as an element of depth to the blend, but when I do it’s very impressive. Maybe a hint of spice and a very subdued aloeswood base makes up its presence. In some ways I find this very “air element,” perfect for mental activity, and it’s becoming a big favorite around here. Like most higher end Shunkodo blends, one must put down a chunk of change for a roll, but it’s well worth it, the more I burn the company’s incense the more I’m glad I have a lot of stock.

Shunkodo is clearly a Japanese incense company with many recommended lines, so it’s nice to see them become more available in the US.

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2 Comments

  1. April 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    […] with experience does one learn how great they are. We’ve covered their high ends, their not so high ends, and some mid to high ends in the past. Like with Baieido, if I was to review some of these […]

  2. March 20, 2008 at 9:06 am

    […] reviewed both Zuika and Ranjatai in the past, which are two of three highest end Shunkodo incenses currently exported […]


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