Baieido / Syukohkoku

Late last year I wrote about Baieido’s Tokusen Syukohkoku, a premier incense if there ever was one and one I would almost see as more comfortable in the Baieido aloeswood ranges. Included in this same general category at the Baieido website is Kai Un Koh. Syukohkoku completes this fine trio, one that could be considered aloeswood spice blends, except that in this case Baieido’s Ogurayama aloeswood is being used.

Given that Syukohkoku is the lower priced incense compared to the Tokusen (excellent) version, the biggest surprise might be just how high quality the blend is and how close it really is to the Tokusen version. In fact while it’s difficult to say anything definitive about Baieido aloeswood incenses due to their wonderfully long learning curves, the regular Syukohkoku really does smell like the same incense with a sweeter aloeswood. I would guess that there have been some adjustments in the spice to compliment, but like in some Tibetan monastery blends it’s not difficult to see these two as A and B blends. Someone might prefer the sweet aloeswood (Ogurayama) over the spicy (Hakusui) and thus choose one of the two to preference. Where the Tokusen has some slightly wild notes due to the Hakusui aloeswood, the regular Syukohkoku seems a tad more restrained, but overall both are very high quality and if you’re like me you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised going from the Tokusen to the vanilla. Syukohkoku still has quite the spice content and the richness of any good aloeswood incense.

And of course the thread running through this august company’s fine incense line is just how quality these blends are and how much the natural ingredients truly do the talking. While Baieido incense may seem reserved and contemplative at first in compared to louder and more oil-based incenses, regular users still continue to find more and more aspects of the scents, subtle, ineffable as if one has to wait for each new mnemonic revelation.



  1. Luke said,

    March 19, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Anyone else notice a faint note of burning styrofoam or plastic in the regular shukohkoku? Not nearly as overwhelming as in the tobiume.. but still quite distracting. Perhaps the jarring shock helps stave off fatigue. Like hitting the reset button, the discordant note forces the journey to begin anew and helps to highlight the spiraling interplay between the sweet aloeswood and spice mix.

  2. kimbola said,

    December 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

    i just ordered a box from a german company but the box is different than the normal box of it looks more like the boxes of the premium series its a brown box with silver writings on it.

    the company says it have 220 short sticks in it, i can find it anywhere else on the net.

    have anybody here seen it before and is it a real baieido product maby a older version?

    hope some knows i paid 50 euro for a box.

    happy incense hunting


    • clairsight said,

      December 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Hey Kim
      If you get a chance could you send me a picture?

      • kimbola said,

        December 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        hi Clair shure it would be great if you could. i can send you a pic.

        how do i sent it to you ?


      • kimbola said,

        December 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        hi clair you can send me a mail here and i will send the picture to you.

  3. clairsight said,

    December 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Hello Koinu7
    Sho Ran Koh is pretty hard to beat and it does not hurt that there are so many sticks in the box(although i just realized i am close to running out…bummer).
    I find my tastes in aloes changing all the time lately, which is good as it lets me enjoy different woods and kind of evens out what I burn so i don’t run out as fast 🙂


  4. koinu7 said,

    December 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I have to agree that I like the regular Shukohkoku more than the Tokusen. I just like the sweeter aloes. It has a nice cherry-tartness to it that is very pleasing. Tokusen is really spicy, so I kind of have to be in the mood for it. BTW, Sho Ran Koh is wonderful incense (my favourite!).

  5. Mike said,

    August 11, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Hi Nikkou, thanks for dropping by. Indeed the Sho-Ran-Ko is beautiful from packaging to the fresh stick to the actual burn. 🙂

    As for the sweet vs spicy aloeswood thing, depending on the particular incense range you’ll tend to find one or the other at the top, it does indeed tend to be one aspect that isn’t necessarily aligned with price. I know with Shoyeido premiums, I probably like the #4 over the #1-3, just because I prefer the dry sort of aloeswood to the sweeter. I suspect that will save some money through the years. 🙂

  6. nikkou said,

    August 10, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Hello! 🙂
    I occasionally come by to read your thoughts on the incense you’ve come across. There is so much I don’t know about, it has been very educational for me. Today I am glad to see you discussing Tokusen Syukohkodu and Syukohkudo – which I’ve just bought, and am relieved to find you saying that some may prefer the sweeter Syukohkudo to the Tokusen. (So it’s not just me being plebian, hee!)

    I also want to thank you for introducing me to Kyukyodo’s Sho Ran Ko. It is a great pleasure to even just hold the box with the scent wafting out from it. 🙂

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