Yamadamatsu Shu-yu series:

The Yamadamatsu Shu-yu series has been around for some time but has never gotten much attention here. This is more in the realm of a heads up rather then full on review, there are no “lesser lights” in this line up. You might think of this set as a sort of “Laboratory Standard” in stick form as to what good wood based incense is supposed to smell like. To a large degree this smells like incense used to. The scents are the deep agarwood scent of high resin content that one might have found in a Rikkoku set from years ago. Each as a slightly different scent to it that is reminiscent of its name.

I think the current batch is pretty close in scent to the ones I have from five years ago but given that my older sticks were not keep air tight it gets hard to tell. It is, to my knowledge, the only series of its kind (at least on a major commercial level, Kyarazen’s single area sets are also along these lines).

Japanincense/Kohshi sells these at a remarkable price, one, which is pretty much at Japanese retail and  makes these a great deal. The Yamadamatsu line is one of the very few that is sold in this country at these prices and this includes their other incenses as well as their pure wood pieces.

The Kyara sticks tend to go out of stock the fastest which is somewhat humorous to me as the others smell just as wonderful but of course we all get stuck on the Kyara hype.

I highly recommend these, the 15 stick sets in the presentation case are a work of art and very affordable, plus you get the case they come in. -Ross


  1. April 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    The Gift box sets are an even more affordable way to get the 15 stick offerings of the Shu-ju series. You may not get the wood box, but you get the incredible scents at an extremely affordable price.

  2. Gregg said,

    April 16, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    These sticks are still the best “reference” sticks going, however, it is worth noting that they have cut back on the amount of Aloeswood in the stick and increased the binder slightly. This really isn’t noticeable in a larger room or to most users who don’t have rolls of both on hand. The increased binder was not noticeable at all in the Kyara version, and only barely so in the others. I’m just glad to be able to still purchase them at all!

  3. ScentedGnome said,

    April 12, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I was sent a sample of the Suifu aloeswood blend from this company from JapanIncense and it prompted me to purchase several other offerings from them. It does seem to be a bargain!

  4. Hisham said,

    April 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Excellent series. The Somatran one, my favorite where you can easily detect the fine wood used. Like you I wless expensive alternative the Rikkokoh set

  5. April 11, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I’m actually fondest of the sham jinko – can’t get enough of that blue-sky melony freshness! The samples i had of the kyara were fantastic too though – and so resiny that I had on go out on its own. Leaves a brown stain around it in the sand, too.

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