Kunmeido Kyara Tenpyo (from Ross)

Kunmeido is a very well know and loved, not to mention respected, company who is the maker of such standards of the industry as Reiryo Koh, Heian Koh and the ever stunning Asuka. Japan Incense has now brought in their kyara blend called Kyara Tenpyo. It comes in both a small and large box.

Kotaro at JI gave me a sample that I have been slowly working with for about a week. It has similar scent characteristics to the Asuka as well as Shunkohdo’s Kyara Aioi no Matsu, more towards the Aioi no matsu then the Asuka. It has that sort of herbal “green” note layered on top on a much more predominate woods note then the Asuka. This, I think, is the kyara at play, lending overtones that are chocolate like under the green note and at times slightly ginger in quality. This is all very subtle, produces a  really  very complex and multi layer incense and it has taken me quite awhile to get to even a fraction of what I suspect is in there. Many of the incenses that use the green note( I have no clue as to what herb/spice creates this)do so with almost too much punch. This is not the case here. Every thing about this incense speaks of an extremely masterful hand in its making, exercising a lot of restraint and experience. This is not something to light and walk away from, it is much more suited to study and focus. Really, quite a master piece of the art

I should mention that they do not have a whole lot of this on hand at the moment, but are planning on getting more.



  1. Steve said,

    December 9, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Janet – LOL! No worry – I am still the compulsive incense buyer you know and love 😀

    Oh – and thanks for the additional vetiver links. Will check those out later today!

  2. janet said,

    December 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    PS – here’s a bit of incentive, just in case you haven’t hit that “purchase” button yet – I just got an order from them yesterday, and Jay and Kotaro, lovely people that they are, included a sample of the *new* Seijudo aloeswood, whose name escapes me….
    maybe you’ll get lucky, too! and if not, i might have to offer you a sample nub, just on general principle.

    • janet said,

      December 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

      oops – that was supposed to go under my below comment for Steve…..

    • Mike said,

      December 9, 2009 at 10:22 am

      Was that the Lotus Treasure? I think more Seijudos should be coming eventually. Lotus Treasure strikes me as having a higher wood to oil ratio than they normally have, although I have to say I haven’t tried an incense by them yet that wasn’t truly outstanding.

      • Janet said,

        December 9, 2009 at 10:27 am

        The little card had a Japanese name that started with a “B”, I think – I haven’t tried it yet, because my nose these days is perpetually full of sawdust, so I’m not doing anything “extra special”….and it’s packed away, so I can’t check it. I just know Jay said it was new, and I’m sure it’s wonderful!

  3. Mike said,

    December 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

    It’s absolutely unquestionably a must have in my book. It’s a lot like Asuka if they replaced some of the oils with kyara wood. At times the real resin nature of the wood comes through and it makes the bouquet the most complex in that line. But it is definitely akin to all the incenses you name with that wonderful green note. I fell in love with it instantly. I think it’s probably even better than its price.

    • Steve said,

      December 8, 2009 at 9:55 am

      I gotta say the spicy-green vibe of Heian Koh, Asuka and Aioi No Matsu is a big favorite of mine and another high-quality entry in that list really is impossible for me not to try! I think this will be my first purchase from Japan Incense and I threw in some other items I had never seen before – namely long versions of Reiryo Koh, Heian Koh and Ranjatai (FYI – the Ranjatai long box is on sale for $11, or 10%, off). Can’t wait! 😀

      • Mike said,

        December 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

        I got a long box of the Heian Koh a while back so I knew what you mean. Honestly though this Tenpyo is the best of the lot, there’s a real quality wood going on in the background. Ross was dead on when he said, “Every thing about this incense speaks of an extremely masterful hand in its making, exercising a lot of restraint and experience.” It’s one of those that’s bound to keep opening up more and more.

  4. Steve said,

    December 7, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up on a new (N. America) offering, Ross! Not to put you on the spot, but if one has the Heian Koh, Asuka, Aioi No Matsu lineup already, does Kyara Tenpyo present a must-have dynamic? It’s already in my cart at Japan Incense – just waiting to hear your thoughts on if it’s unique or redundant with the aforementioned classics. Of course, I’ll probably hit “purchase” anyway! 😀

    • clairsight said,

      December 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

      If you have the others it is going to take some pretty serious sniffing to pick out the differences(to me. It comes down to the money and curiosity factor…just like always.

    • janet said,

      December 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

      Good thing you inserted that disclaimer at the end, Steve, or I was *totally* going to have to stop taking you seriously!
      You know you gotta have it! 😉

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