Larung Gar Buddhist Academy / Five Fragrance Tibetan Incense

I tend to think of incense like this “Five Fragrance” as “Bosen style” even though I’m sure its original formulation predates that company. It’s just that all of Bosen’s incenses are Tibetan style in a way that creates a much tighter, less crumbly stick that seems more a step in the Japanese direction both thinness-wise and aromatically. It’s a truly wonderful style for a number of reasons, but one in particular is that it is a good carrier for evergreen scents. Think Bosen’s Pythoncidere and its almost completely accurate transmission of a green cypress scent. In fact Five Fragrance Tibetan incense is not terribly far off something like Bosen’s Herbal Meditation. If you A/B this with that incense, while both definitely have their differences, it really is in that sort of pocket. Five Fragrance Tibetan Incense comes in a double roll, so it may be one of those you want to try first, but I don’t regret it at all because this really puts forward a gorgeous evergreen resin and wood scent that I genuinely find pleasant. Ingredients include red and white sandalwood, borneol, frankincense, clove, and agarwood. Five Frgrance also takes a sidestep away from Tibetans with musk, saffron and so forth, which acts as a nice contrast to other Tibetans and almost makes it a separate kind of style. A couple of other incenses in this vein, Spirit of Shambhala and Agarwood Heart of Shambhala, are much pricier but both of these also have some woods in them that make them a bit more deluxe (and yes I hope to review both in the future, they’re both superb). Overall, if you’re familiar with many of Bosen’s non agarwood and sandalwood incenses, the blends that tend to have more resin content, and like them, then this one will be well up your alley.

4 Comments

  1. July 13, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I’m glad I saw this review. There are some Tibetans that when I encounter them, all I can do is put them in context with the things I’ve already experienced. I often say ‘not as musky as Holy Land’ or ‘less woody than Mindroling’, but I rarely go to another country to describe it, but you’re right, Bosen is basically taking a lot of recipes from Tibet and refining them towards more Japanese/Chinese techniques for manufacturing, as they are most likely using machines rather than lamas to make the incense.

    • Mike said,

      July 13, 2021 at 9:39 am

      One huge difference I think is I’m not sure if you get that green scent from woods or even crushed needles. It almost feels to me like if you combine oils with the right resin mix you might actually be able to kind of magnify those green elements. I wonder if that’s why a lot of these types have a bit more tensile strength than the other sticks. Then again Quinrum and Huiyou are pretty fragile while still remaining green so I haven’t been satisified with that theory yet.

    • glennjf said,

      July 13, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      I might have spat my coffee when I read “lamas” had I not known which lamas you meant 😀

      • Mike said,

        July 13, 2021 at 1:23 pm

        Glenn I think the other ones have double ls lol


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