December 18, 2011 at 12:49 am (Ross, Sandalwood, Shunkodo)
Kohshi, at their retail San Francisco store, has gotten in leaf cut Sandalwood from Shunkohdo. These are about one millimeter thick “slabs” that are roughly 3” x 3” in size, all cut from the same piece of wood. It is a beautiful presentation and has a nice medium reddish color. The scent is pure Sandalwood with a very slight hint of cinnamon after it’s been heated up for awhile. I would recommend an electric incense heater or non direct heating to the side of a coal.
I also noticed when I was there last weekend that they had a pretty good assortment of Kyukyodo (lot of the really good high end line, not to be missed).
You might also check out the selection from Kousaido. I have three that I am writing up for review, they use what would seem to be a mixture woods and oils to produce some great scents at very good prices, just the thing for Christmas.
December 18, 2011 at 12:40 am (Amber, Ambergris, Incense, Ingredients/Styles, Kasturi, Marian, Musk, Sandalwood, Uncategorized, Vanilla)
Tags: Aluwwah, incense, Marian
When I think of lambs I think of sweet, gentle, soft, unhurried animals with fleecy white coats, kind, dark eyes and moist, glistening noses. They are small yet sturdy, soft and tractable, fluffy yet compact and very content and sociable. Aluwwah’s Lamb’s Breath incense has many of the same traits. It’s sweet and warm and makes me want to bury my nose in it’s deep, floeuve-y fuzziness. It exudes a moist thickness that feels very embracing and cuddly, and a strong ambery goldeness makes it smell as though it glows. The thing that gets me most, though, is that it’s an unusual blend- I’ve never smelled anything quite like it. It’s sweet without being cloying, resinous without being sticky and spicy without being sharp. It’s a balanced blend of florals, woods, earth and spices- one in which each note retains it’s unique identity yet the blend is far more than a sum of its ingredients.
Smelling this comfy blend makes me feel very relaxed so I’m going to guess it contains a high grade of sandalwood; vanilla may account for a portion of its sweetness; a downy, powdery fluffiness could be musk, and a sweet, dry spiciness, (patchouli?), makes the herbal aspect seem alive and vital. I smell an almost mineral, metallic zinginess that’s so shimmery it’s fizzy. A rich moistness and licorice-y succulence make me think of toffee-colored tobacco leaves that are juicy and squeezable, and an elusive floral delicacy brings to mind a newly-formed blossom opening its first, pristine petals . The earthy scent of henna completes the composition and a cedar-like dryness prevents it from ever becoming overpowering or heavy.
Aluwaah’s Lamb’s Breath would be a lovely compliment to a bowl filled with pomanders, or an arrangement of pine boughs and bayberries. Grab a glass of mulled wine, flock around the hearth and light up some Lamb’s Breath to usher in the New Year! May each of you have a Happy and Dream-fulfilling 2012, replete with much joy, love, beauty, hope and, of course, many intoxicating moments adrift in your favorite incenses and perfumes!
December 16, 2011 at 9:26 am (Administrative, Mike)
Just wanted to wish all our readers happy holidays and the best for 2012!
I’m still having home computer issues and thus may be very intermittent for the next month or two (am not sure yet whether I can get it fixed or have to buy a new machine at this point). I do hope after I get back to spread the word on some new Dhuni and Happy Hari incenses.
December 10, 2011 at 12:18 am (Perfume, Ross, Uncategorized)
This weekend Mandy Aftel is having her annual Open House and it looks to be a really good one with lots of new and wonderful thing to smell. Visit her website for more information. http://www.aftelier.com/holidays-2011/
Yuko Fukami ( April 2011 Top Ten ) and a number of other great artists are having a combined showing at Keiko’s Studio, 227 Arlington Ave, Kensington CA 510-524-7986 for more information.
December 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm (Ross, Uncategorized)
I have the Ocean of Night( loose) mix in stock, it is $45.00 for 15 grams, shipping within the USA runs about $10.00.
I also have some Agarwood and ambergris blend (loose), made of two Vietnamese agarwoods, touch of Sandalwood, spices and ambergris chunks/dust(yellow) and then saturated with an aged tincture of grey/tan ambergris. There might be a bit of musk in there also. This sells for $30.00 for 5 grams.
If interested let me know off the blog at “clairsight at yahoo dot com. Make sure you put the word “incense “ in the subject line.
You can see a review of Ocean here:
December 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm (Awaji-Baikundo, Baieido, Kyukyodo, Ross, Seijudo, Tennendo, Uncategorized, Yamada Matsu)
1. Akikaze from Kyukyodo: This is part of what I think of as the “The Heavy Hitters in Wood Boxes” from Kyukyodo. You can get an idea about them at this page in our blog. With luck I will get a review of them out in a week or two. This one is a reasonable price (for what one is getting) with a really beautiful perfume note on top of the woods and a light musk back note. You can check with Kohshi/Japan Incense for availability. I think Kyukyodo does this type of style (perfumed floral’s mixed with quality wood) really well and it very hard to beat here.
2. Kyara Seiran from Seijudo: This is number two in Seijudo’s high end line up, based mostly on price point, not scent. I think it is a little less strong and more likable then the Kyara Enju while still being heavily laced with a very strong set of wood notes and spices with musk undertones. If you are in the market for a Kyara blend this is a great one. I find myself liking it more in the cooler months; it is also very relaxing and quite nice in the evening. It is right up there at the pinnacle of this style and not to be missed; it also comes in a number of different sizes and price points.
3. Byakudan Kokoh from Baieido: This is one of the very best of the “straight up” Sandalwoods, in other words, no perfumes and minimal spices or herbs. It is pretty dry in scent but very true to Sandalwood’s nature. Great for reflection or the post work chilling. Baieido really does the woods oh so well, it is hard to go wrong with them and this is a real winner in a old Japan incense style.
4. Enkuu from Tennendo: You can check in the blog for the notes on this one, it has always been a favorite here at ORS and with good reason. It is very much on the dry side of the scent spectrum, it is also has a very clean (not pine or camphor) set of notes to it combined with a very unique and clear wood base of Aloeswood.
5. Cracked Earth from Aluwwah: Aluwwah is a Canadian Oud oil and wood seller as well as an incense maker. He has a number of styles of real, hand made Bakhoors at his site. They use real ingredients and quality woods and oils. This one has a nice resinous note mixed with some woods and ambers. It is somewhat lighter in scent then the Bakhoors that I have tried before, which I like as it tends to allow me to check out the different aspects of the mix. There was also a mix called Deer’s Breath that was a huge floral/musk/oud master piece. It’s out of stock but I hear tell that a successor called Lamb’s Breath is in the works.
6.Deep Earth 2011 from Mermade Incense: For the incense heater or coals, but for sure made to be slowly heated up. Stunning deep resin notes wrapped around woods and herbs, I think the name pretty much says it all. Perfect for Fall into Winter.
7. Evergreen Forest Incense from Mermade Incense: This is, again, for an incense heater, you could also try Sacred Grove if you wanted something along the lines of a cone. Either produce a wonderful “in the forest” scent that freshens up the atmosphere and generates a wonderfully clean and very green scent. Very much a Winter forest scent and just a wonderful treat for the senses.
8. Jihi – Amacha kou from Awaji-Baikundo: Very strong and beautiful amber note with borneal camphor added as well as Hydrangea Tea. I think this is one of the most beautiful amber’s on the market, no matter what country you are from. It is a very clean and warm offering that really livens up a space and would also be great to scent ones clothing with. Very long lasting scent.
9. Meena Supreme from Happy Hari: Easily one of the very best of the Indian incenses and in general this company looks to be a real winner all around. I have not gotten to try the newer releases yet but you can see Mike’s notes within the blog. This has all the deep floral’s along with the woods and spices. There is also enough separation between the notes to make it really interesting. It is pretty strong; you might not want to start here if you are going to be going through a number of different sticks at one setting.
10. Genmyo from Yamada Matsu: These are in the kneaded style or incense balls. These happen to have Kyara and Aloeswoods plus a spice and oil (I think) blended together for a more modern take on this style. There a sort of amber and caramel mix that rides across the woods. There are three different blends from YM that Kohshi has at their retail outlet in San Francisco. The Aloeswood blend has this same set of notes but the amber/caramel notes are stronger and the woods more backed off. It sort of depends on the day as to which I like more.