Shoyeido / Floral World / Echo (by Nancy)

There are four sets in Shoyeido’s Floral World series. They are available as short sticks or cones and range in price from $20 to $60. Mike has reviewed Star here, which is the most expensive of the four, and Royal here, the second most expensive. Echo is next, with Gold as the least expensive. The sticks are packaged 20 of each variety, in a tray that slides out of the box and includes a biodegradable burner. The cones are available in three packaging configurations, the newest being an affordable box of 8, each wrapped in colored paper folded like petals and arranged beautifully to resemble a crepe paper blossom. A lovely presentation for gift giving and the perfect amount for sampling.

The three scents in the Echo set include Lavender, Violet, and Sandalwood. What’s confusing about the Floral World series is that many of the scents overlap. Three of the sets include Jasmine, three include Violet, and three include Sandalwood. The sticks are colored differently depending on the set, presumably indicating a difference in quality. Furthermore, I am not sure how this grading system applies to the single-scent boxes of cones, with only one version of each scent available in this form.

The Lavender definitely has a floral scent, though I wouldn’t say that it distinctly reminds me of this plant. Lavender is in the lamiaceae (mint) family which includes basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano. Like its cousins, it has a distinct pungency, even bitterness, that I do not detect in this incense. Not to detract from this fine creation, but it seems to focus more on the sweet top notes of the plant. To me is smells less like lavender and more like a combination of rose and fine dusting powder. The Violet, again, has that note of dusting powder and resembles the actual scent of the plant much more accurately. Restrained and elegant, cool like the plant, and with a hint of what I can only describe as green. (Can a smell be a color?)* The final scent in the set is Sandalwood, a perplexing inclusion in a floral set for sure. However, this wood is the base of so many incenses, a testament to its ability to combine so well with a amazing range of other aromatic plants. Here it is combined with a floral scent, bringing out the sweetness of the wood, though the floral note is the predominant one. I would say of the three that this is the most interesting and complex, and the one I am having the most difficulty describing. The aroma is more like a bouquet or a mix of different flowers than like any one specific flower. Either way, the smell is quite enticing and long-lasting, continuing to scent the room hours after it finished burning.

These are certainly some of the best florals I have ever encountered. If you like the dipped charcoal perfume incenses then I guarantee that you will enjoy these! Really just lovely and a totally different experience than most other florals I have tried. Very fine and feminine and obviously of the highest quality.  Kudos to Shoyeido for creating a range of florals that are elegant and well-balanced.

*12/3/08  Well, turns out smells can be green!  Apparently it’s the hexenes that smell like cut grass, referred to as “green notes” in the science of scent.  Thanks to Steve Schaffer for the link to Luca Turin’s TED talk on this and how smell is more about the vibration of the molecule than the shape.  Interesting!

1 Comment

  1. October 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    […] Shoyeido / Floral World / Echo Shoyeido / Floral World / Royal Shoyeido / Floral World / Star […]

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