Seijudo has been involved with incense since the mid 1800s. Much of it, apparently, as suppliers of raw materials. Judging from the quality of these three incenses they must have saved up some pretty deep stock piles of materials to use in making their own sticks.
Quite simply put these are amazing, two of them, the Kyara Enju and the Kyara Seiran are heavily Kyara based with that oh so wonderful smell in great abundance. The third, Shiragiku, I would have bet was also Kyara, but Kotaro at Kohshi has said this is not the case. It is however a great Aloeswood. I have seen incense shops write ups from Japan that wildly praise this line, with good reason. As one of my motorcycle friends says ” Man, these just RIP!”
Kyara Enju (Long Life) This has the classic Kyara scent in huge quantity as well as quality. Rich, deep and multi-leveled, not something for the casual moment, rather something to focus on and just let it take you away( why yes, there are aspects of the way of incense that are quite similar to the way of the stoner :o ) Really this is superb. It is pretty much what most of use have been taught to be the “real” or “best” Kyara scent. A little goes a long way, very potent. Not to be missed.
There are a lot of comparisons that can be made with Shoyeido’s Sho-kaku (Translucent Path). To my nose they seem very much alike. But since I do not have a stick of Sho-kaku handy I will have to rely on memory. In Japan this seems to win out, but I do not think my nose is so well trained or sensitive to be able to tell which might be “better”, which is most likely a personal preferences call.
Kyara Seiran (Heavenly Orchard) Perhaps a bit lighter in scent ( but not much ) with tons of that Kyara/musk perfume mixed together with a huge wood presence. Somewhat easier to deal with in that it is not quite as dominating as the Enju. Still captivating though, something to be savored for a special moment. There is mention of different kinds of Kyara in this mix, purples and yellows besides the green. Having never knowingly smelled any of them (in other words, that were labled as such) I can not say for sure. But whatever, it is a really beautiful mix and borders on being psychoactive.
Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum) This is, in some ways, the most interesting to me. When I first smelled this I assumed it was Kyara based. Kotaro at Kohshi says its aloeswood ( and since he is and can read Japanese I am going with his call ). That being said, there is a very distinct resemblance to the two Kyaras mentioned above, for a lot less money. It is a little less smooth, not as strong yet still really good and very lovely. A great buy and a really classic scent. I highly recommend this one, especially as a place to start your journey into high end Japanese incenses.
I read a review from a store in Japan that said basically this company had decided to make these with the best materials they could get for as long as the supply held out. These are all really wonderful and priced so one can actually afford them, especially the Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum). Thank you Kohshi for bring this into the US!