Zuika Koh Revisited

I have had a box of Zuika Koh from Shunkodo for about 5 months. I got it, used a little, and then got caught up in some other incenses and only recently started burning it again. Really, I think I had to grow up into it
Mike reviewed it last November and in recently going back to look at the review( because, yes, he was and is one of my main sources for what is worth getting :0 ) ) I sort of rediscovered it. So I realized that it had gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle and decided to bring it back out to play.
The ingredients list on the websites seemed a little lacking to me so I wrote to Kotaro at Japan Incense/Scents of Japan asking for a little more input. He wrote to Shunkodo and they wrote back:
“Ross, I got mail from Shunkohdo. It is a company secret recipe. However, he mentioned to me that Zuika Koh contains some of following ingredients such as: Aloeswood, Sandalwood, Clove, Cinnamon, Star anis, Spikenard, Patchouli, Benzoine and Boruneol.”
Which are pretty much the standards of the Japanese incense world. Of course there is the “secret” part that makes up the difference and adds that certain something of uniqueness.
One thing that I am now noticing about this incense is the quality of the materials. The Aloeswood is really nice, and given the price of the stuff of late, that can become a deciding factor in scent and cost.
Also Zuika Koh straddles that fine line between spice and floral where neither one is out front and the wood element can still play such a big part. Actually in this incense they all sort of trade places through out the burn. This is a really pleasant and captivating grouping of scents. It is great for the reflective moment or perhaps study. It’s calming, not overpowering, yet at the same time can really get your attention once you start to discover all the subtle nuances it has. As Mike said it’s better to burn this one early on if you are going to be using more then one incense, then you can really enjoy it.

– Ross



  1. April 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    […] 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 today, […]

  2. Mike said,

    July 14, 2008 at 8:58 am

    I had this one out this weekend too. I’m starting to think that Shunkodo’s incenses have Baieido like learning curves to them. There’s not a single incense in their premium lines that doesn’t really continue to grow on me over time. Both Shun Koh Sen and Yae No Hana are huge favorites right now. Thanks for the extra info on this one too, you’d really never guess there were so many ingredients in the Zuika.

    Totally unrelated, I’ve been knocked out by the Baieido Koh En, I think I reached for it about 5 times over the weekend. I was thinking of calling it Gokuhin Syukohkoku if you know what I mean. 😀

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