Awaji Koh-shi / Seasonal Yuzu, Water Lily, India Ink, Japanese Musk, Coffee, Green Tea

Scents of Japan has some pretty deep ties to the Awaji Island incense makers and has had these scents custom made for them for their Awaji Koh-shi line. There was a lot of R&D involved as they wanted incense’s that could hold their own in the market as well as be unique. This is Part 1 with Part 2 to follow shortly.

Seasonal Yuzu (Awaji Baikundo): This particular incense is not like anything else I have sampled. There is a great citrus note combined with an almost pink pepper top note and way under it all a slight wood scent. This is really surprising and delightful in its delivery, excellent for an overall refreshing room scent. Very uplifting, light, and the pink pepper  really brings it up into another level.

Water Lily (Less Smoke) (Keigado): This is a very subtle and almost etheric scent. I think the name aims more at a concept rather then a true scent as I am not too sure that water lilies have a scent( well maybe blue lotus). All that being said this is a very pleasant light floral note that is very much a back round rather then in your face incense. Not particularly sweet, and it does invoke the feel of the name. A lot of people who would like to try incense but do not want something too strong will find this just right.

India Ink (Less Smoke) (Seikado): India Ink is famous for( well one of the things) its scent, which is a mix of many materials as well as Patchouli oil and camphor. This incense is a wonderful combination of materials that has a very soothing and grounding quality to it, much more going on here the just the Patchouli oil and camphor. A great back round scent that to me invokes far away places and times. Somewhat stronger then many less smoke type sticks. It is defiantly a distinctive scent and something that could fit in many different enviroments.

Japanese Musk (Daihatsu): Whoever figured this scent out is really good. The musk is right up front with a light floral/spice and cream back round. Its surprisingly strong but not over powering and every time I burn some I think of the colors magenta and violet, which sort of describe the scent characteristics to me. Very elegant and almost hypnotic at the same time, a solid winner. I think it will appeal to a wide variety of people.

Coffee (Less Smoke) (Kunjudo): This smells like a very good cup of French Roast with a bit of heavy cream, no sugar, to round it out. An very pleasant and friendly sort of aroma that is actually stronger burning then unlit. It is supposed to act as an air purifier and freshener. I was not at all sure what a coffee scented incense was going to do for me but ended up being quite pleased. I can see this could be very useful in commercial areas or at home as a back round scent.

Green Tea (Less Smoke) (Kikujudo): A nice medium tea scent. Not really sweet and with that subtle bitter edge that tea can have that, to me, gives it character. There is a green note that flows through the whole mix and kind of holds it all together. There are no forceful notes in this stick, rather it is a grouping of three or four delicate scents that work very well together to add a distinctive “Japanese Tea” scent to a room, in other words, it smells like its name.



  1. glennjf said,

    September 10, 2010 at 5:04 am

    I am not too sure that water lilies have a scent – ross

    Many do not all of the and often they have the most exquisite scents.

    I’ve worked a little in the retail nursery trade. I was always amazed when longtime gardeners would plonk down a flowering plant ready to have it rung up as a sale all the while sharing with me how much they loved the things yet when I asked how they found the flowers for perfume, was the scent as amazing to them as i found it to be that they would give me “the look” and fumble that they’d never considered smelling the flowers! Lovely to see them swoon once they took their first wiff 🙂 Waterlilys are usually worth the smell test.

  2. February 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    […] February 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm (Incense, Japan, Saraike Kunbutsudo, Scents of Japan, Shochikudo, Shorindo, Uncategorized) This is Part 2 of the new Awaji Koh-shi series from Scents of Japan, for Part 1 go here. […]

  3. Pinjie said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the review, Ross!

    Japanese Musk has some similarities to Father’s love, but the former is so much better! It’s quickly becoming addicting to me.

    How do you think India Ink compares to Kyoyama?


    • clairsight said,

      February 10, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Similar I think, but I have only smelled the Kyoyama once from about 4 feet away!
      Hope to get to Kohshi on Sunday and will do a comparison.

    • Megumi said,

      July 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

      While I haven’t smelled them side by side, the fact that they’re both done by Seikado and are described in nearly indentical terms (sumi-e and borneol) makes me suspect India Ink actually -is- Kyoyama. That seems to happen a lot in the incense world, companies re-releasing scents under a new name, doesn’t it? Baieido’s Sawayaka/Imagine Koh, the entire Encens du Monde label, etc …

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