Kunmeido / Byakudankoh

Kunmeido look to be one of the more interesting Japanese incense companies. Their Reiryo Koh is considered an affordable and distinguished classic, their Shoryu Koh is a fantastic spicy blend and one I’m still absorbing, and they also do fine aloeswood blends like their high end Heian Koh and Azusa sticks.

Unlike many Japanese incense companies, Kunmeido’s low end “every day” incense is not a green sandalwood, but is instead pink/red and appears to be more of a floral blend. I found the stick initially intriguing, but the more I burned the more the aroma started reminding me of rather offputting Indian rose masalas, with a bit of a soapy smell. This element became more and more noticeable and I realized after a while I wasn’t finding it very pleasant, particularly when it’s a long stick. While it’s not really comparable to lower end green sandalwoods, being more of a rosewood (with most of the wood subsumed by the oil), I’d still find it hard to recommend, unless you don’t mind the sort of bittter note imparted by dry Indian rose masalas. On the other hand it’s a very inexpensive stick and not much of a risk to try.

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