Ross wrote about Shoyeido’s Premium Daily En-Mei yesterday, and in one of those weird coincidences, I had notes written up for En-Mei’s partner Sei-Fu. There are only two Shoyeido Premium Daily incenses and rather than being the overlap between the Premium and Daily series, both of these incenses are more akin to the low-end premiums in price, Matsu-No-Tomo and Ohyja-Koh. However, both En-Mei and Sei-Fu strike me as possibly being modern/traditional hybrids and actually go for aromas that are more striking than their prices suggest.
Sei-Fu is slightly the most expensive of the two Premium Dailys. Despite the change in ingredients lists, leaving Sei-Fu seemingly bereft of the aloeswood ingredient, it’s still the incense’s most dominant scent and Sei-Fu is in fact surprising in that it emits quite the quality aloeswood aroma. I suspect there’s probably more aloeswood oil than wood in this case and that it scents the background of sandalwood, cinnamon, and clove. Overall it may be a bit thin in the aroma, probably due to price, but considering it’s aiming for an incense at two or three times the price, it’s quite successful. It’s also a bit on the sultry side, which reminds me of the 12 Months November a little. Overall it’s a great and addictive incense that’s also quite affordable.
Overall, both En-Mei and Sei-Fu are great introductions to that no-mans land between overtly sandalwood and overtly aloeswood blends, blurring the line between both. They’re both among the best value for money in incense and perhaps a counter to the generalization that Shoyeido incense is too highly priced.