Kyukyodo / Musashino

There was a lot of talk about Kyukyodo incenses in the (previous) heyday of ORS because they were one of the longest holdouts for importing to the west. We initially used to order Kyukyodo incenses through third party vendors before Japan Incense began carrying them and there’s still a Kyukyodo catalog from that era with translations and links on the left. Looking through those was almost painful, there were still huge sets of incenses I never got to try due to expense (especially those multiple roll sets with scents that didn’t appear on their own). I even bought bulk and sold off partial boxes just to be able to try them (I miss Denpo, an incense that is somewhat analagous to Musashino on a much less expensive level, now discontinued, probably more than any of those others). But then as was inevitable, Japan Incense found a way to add many of the scents, including a lot of their premium incenses, and they became more available in the US. However, like most companies, incenses go in and out of their catalog.

Kyukyodo isn’t really known for doing kyara incenses. I’m not sure a woody kyara incense is really the style for a company who specializes mostly in oil-based incenses. But Musashino is really a one of a kind kyara, it’s unlike any other company’s kyara incenses and really much more in line with their entire aloeswood- and sandalwood-based, higher-end catalog. In fact it shares some similarities to the company’s top line aloeswood, Murasakino. But where that’s just a highly elegant and smooth aloeswood, Musashino is more of a mix of green elements with a touch of really fine kyara oil on the top. There are earthy and sweet hints of patchouli and vetivert, that bit of clay-like smell some incenses that include those ingredients often have, as well as a bit of mint and some fresh sandalwood in the mix. There’s no denser layer of wood like you’d expect at this price point, that doesn’t appear to be the intent of the stick. It’s a much brighter, fresher scent and strangely it’s this that is evocative of really expensive green kyara on a heater. And if you want to take the plunge and give it a shot without risking a larger outlay, Japan Incense sells single sticks for $15.


1 Comment

  1. June 26, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Ha. Ya never know, eh? I will do this thing. Thank you.

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