Seikado Gokujo Kyara and Minorien Kyara Chogo No. 5 ( Five Notes)

Seikado Gokujo Kyara: There is a style of incense that, in the US, Sho-kaku has come to be the example that we all refer to. Probably because it got here first and is also one of the greats. There are, in reality, a number of other Japanese incense makers who produce similar scents that Kohshi has brought into the US by this point and Seikado’s Gokujo Kyara is certainly one of the best. It has all the wonderful musky notes dancing around the central deep wood/kyara somewhat vanilla scents that I have seen literally stop people in their tracks when first smelling it. There are none of the charcoal notes that some of these mixes have, which I find a little hard to deal with. I think this is a wonderful incense and worthy of anyone’s collection, plus it comes at a great price for what you are getting.

Minorien Kyara Chogo No. 5 ( Five Notes): Kyarazen sent me a stick of this to try some months ago; it was love at first scent! There are the “wet” notes Minorien is known for but they are much more restrained then in the Kyara Ryugen, there is also a much stronger or noticeable overall wood presence then the Ryugen. But what really sets it apart, at least for me, is a sort of honeyed scent that flows in and out of the overall mix. This is not dominating but rather adds to the refined nature of this incense. I think this is one of the best sticks on the market at any price point.

I am working on a Top 10-20 for sometime in December, stay tuned!


  1. greggking said,

    January 12, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Even after burning a few of the Gokujo sticks, I still find it hard to tell if there is actually any Kyara in the mix or not. While the price and ingredient list suggest not, it does have a nice Kyara aroma to it when burned, and perhaps that is the important thing. I agree with Ross on the Chogo 5 being one of the better sticks being imported, especially considering price per stick. The blenders mastery in weaving the aromas in and out as the stick burns rivals what Kunmeido did with the Tokusen Tenpyo limited edition, I know the last wasn’t a favorite around here, but the smell of the Black Kyara weaving in and out of a damp forest mist is really quite nice, although an acquired taste. What is the most surprising about the Chogo 5 is that is smells and looks almost identical to the Ryugen before being lit, a problem for old persons like myself.

  2. Mumon said,

    January 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    OK, now I’ve tried Kyara Chogo No. 5…whenever I smell this smell I feel so fortunate to have known this. Not. Kidding. This is something so few people know – not even Japanese people.

  3. Mumon said,

    December 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I bought some of this…will try it after Christmas. 🙂 Appropos of nothing else, I wish somebody would import Kousaido’s traditional incenses, especially the aloeswood, which I was able to get at Kansai Airport several years ago.

  4. Jay Cowan said,

    November 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Claire: I certainly agree with your reviews of the Seikado Gokujo Kyara and the Minorien Kyara Chogo No. 5. Thank you for putting into words the descriptions of small notes of fragrances that I could not really identify, but loved in each one. By the way, since most readers cannot get to our Kohshi store in San Francisco, they can still order these two incenses online at our Thank you.

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