Somehow September is about to end and here is what I have been burning this month. This list is NOT arranged in any kind of order of wonderfulness as I have come to the conclusion that my favorite incense is the one burning at the moment.
As the Fall season moves in, it seems more in line to shift towards woodier and deeper scents. In fact, after attending a Koh Doh demonstration earlier in the month I have decided to save up for a Six Countries Set and go for “Maximum Aloeswood” 🙂 ! Getting a chance to try pure, high quality Aloeswood can change your outlook on incense.
Seikado: Solitude / Hitori-Shizuka – Sandalwood A really beautiful, Sandalwood based incense stick with Essential Oil notes that just works. Not overwhelming, fades from the room within an hour, truly pleasant and very elegant aroma. Very nice late at night or while going to sleep. A real winner.
Yamada Matsu: Genmyo Kneaded Incense There are three of these and you can see my review here. To me, this one is the most refined with so many levels going at once, kind of makes you work to get it. These run around two dollars a pellet, which seems like a deal to me as each one can last hours. Deep, penetrating and with those sublime Kyara tones that just call out to you.
You will need to contact Japan Incense/Kohshi for prices. Made for heaters or Charcoals.
Mermade Magickal Arts: Deep Earth Premium Perfect for the season, deep, thoughtful, loads of wonderful aroma from many different resins and woods. The ageing process involved in the Kyphi style really lets all the different aspects conjoin into a wonderful harmony. Made for heaters or Charcoals.
Tenendo: Enkuu This continues to be one of my favorites. It is a tremendous mix of very high grade Aloeswoods and spices, resins and herbs done in a very strong, almost bitter style. It might take you a number of sticks to get it but when it suddenly clicks it’s like heaven.
The quality is very high and for what one is getting the price is very fair. You can get this in a sampler from Essence of the Ages and try out a bunch of Tennendo’s high end line at the same time. Not to be missed and a true master piece of the art.
Baieido: Horyu koh Baieido’s Jinkoya Sakube line, of which this is a part of, is a commemorative tribute to their founder and has three different incenses. This is the middle one and is a wonderful Vietnamese Aloeswood blend. It is very “old Japan” in its style, just woods, a little resin and some spices and herbs. Very elegant and mellow with a touch of a sweet note, as compared to the other side of Vietnamese Aloeswoods which can get spicy/bitter. There are quite a few sticks in the box so it can last a long time.
Baieido: KoKonoe This is one of Baieido’s Premium Aloeswoods, the wood comes from Indonesia and has a very different quality to it then the Vietnamese or Cambodians. I burn a lot of this as I find the scent to be very easy to deal with and mellow. It took me awhile to get this one, it is not as well thought of as some of the others in this line but it has its own unique character and presentation. A bit less dry then some of the others, yet not sweet, “Approachable” one might say. It doesn’t hurt that the price is very good for a quality Aloeswood from a maker who is at the very top of their game.
Seijudo Kyara Seiran – Heavenly Orchardl Simply awesome. Kyara, Aloeswood and musk: with a soul deep quality all its own, this incense has it all. Not something you are going to be burning all the time, but for those times when you want something really special, it’s perfect. The scent will hang in the room for over an hour, as good quality Aloes are known to do, and really burning a full stick is almost too much. Not inexpensive but worth every penny. Not to be missed. Plus you got to love the name!
Pure_Incense: Connoisseur Agarwood This does not necessarily smell anything like a Japanese Aloeswood. OK, it’s not even close, yet it is a really, really wonderful stick of incense. A bit woodier and dryer then many of the Indian’s that I have encountered with a real live touch of Aloeswood in there dancing around all the other spices and oils. The quality and the way all the different scents work together is first class all the way. The Sandalwood in this line is also a favorite of mine. Probably the best oil based Sandalwood on the market.
Shoyeido: Kyoto Autumn Leaves In the under $10.00 level of Japanese incense Shoyeido has a lot of winners. Many of them are templates for their more expensive Premium line. The Kyoto Autumn Leaves is Sandalwood based with a spice mix that stops just short of becoming an Amber(like, say, Golden Pavilion, another winner). It is a bit dryer, less sweet yet still strong and something of a classic Japanese scent. Very nicely done and at a really great price. A whole lot of people around the world buy this incense and for good reason, it is a really good deal.
Mermade Magickal Arts: Sacred Grove This contains an amazingly huge grouping for resins and woods, blended in such a way that they all get to come out and make and appearance. It is very deep, yet clean and centering with a long lasting scent that tends to ground the environment. I have found that it also appeals to people who do not normally notice incense. Wonderfully well made with the best of ingredients and great skill that does such a great job of getting you to that wooded calm space within. The name pretty much describes the scent.