Notes on Kida Jinseido

Following up on mikes post, I would like to add my notes on some of kida jinseido’s lineup below, as well as including my own  “John Score” on a scale of 0 to 10 based on my own personal preference, with 0 being keep it as far away from me as possible, and 10 being just shove it inside my nose and leave it there:

+6 Joyokoh – stick has a sweet spiced aroma, gourmand, sandal and nutmeg, with a hint of benzoin? aroma of dry sandal, hint of hot agarwood remeniscent of burning peppers.
+7 Kingyoku koh – stick smells of cassia, sweet sandal an spices, almost floral.aroma is dry, tarry agarwood, cinnamon, spices. hint of a plum like scent.
+7 Hanakokone – stick smells of aloeswood, camphor, musk, clove, sandal, almost exactly like baika nerikoh. light aroma of sour agarwood like sour plum and dry sandal.
+8 Ikuhokoh – stick smells of plums, sandalwood, musk, sandal, smells of nerikoh. aroma of sour and bitter aloeswood with some sweet sandal,and an almost floral nerikoh note.

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Old, Unknown Incense Brand

Hello! Today I’m going to be reviewing a box of three scents that were gifted to me by a friend a few years ago. These are very old from what I can tell and I would guess that they are from anywhere between the 1990’s to perhaps the 1960’s.

The box itself is made of glued pawlonia in a segmented construction, and has a spot color printed label applied to the top, Labelling the set “Yume no Kaori”/ Scent of Dreams. What I assume to be the manufacturer is printed alongside as

“神氣爽快
一性彌天”
Or Shinkei Soukai Issei Yaten, If I am reading it correctly.
It states it contains 3 fragrances, rose, lily, and violet.

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Inside, There is a roughly finished, unglazed ceramic incense stand in the shape of a leaf in the top compartment, wrapped in some kind of wax paper. Below it are three short clear plastic boxes with the images of each respective flower the scent is supposed to represent. Unfortunately, I believe as these sticks are so old, many of the aromatic compounds they originally had have dried out and been lost, as they all 3 seem to have a homogenous smell at this point in time, at least from what I can tell.

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My notes on each of the three are below:

Yume no Kaori Lily – Stick smells of talcum powder, with a hint of amber. aroma of caramelizing frankincense, musk, bit of amber, hint of floral but way in the back. just a bit powdery but not cloying or harsh.
Yume no Kaori Rose – Stick smells of talcum powder, with a hint of amber. same as Lily, but less of the floral and getting a hint of mildew every now and then.
Yume no Kaori Violet – Stick smells of talcum powder, with a hint of amber, a bit stronger than the other 2. Aroma same as lily.

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On Bosen Incense

Howdy everyone! This is John, I am sad to hear of Ross’s passing, but glad to hear that Mike is opening the ORS up again. I am going to try to begin writing reviews again, and as you may or may not know I personally try to review each incense in a way that expresses the scent in an easy to understand manner, to make it easier to the layman to decide if it sounds like something they may or may not like, as well as providing a “John Score” on a scale of 0 to 10 based on my own personal preference. As I personally stink at elocution, I am providing a brief summary of my recent foray into Bosens line-up of sticks below.
To begin with, Bosen is a company based out of taiwan, and tend towards the tibetan style of incense.
The naming of their product line is a bit odd, and I will attempt to clear it up as I understand it. It seems each line is broken down into categories of quality, in descending order:
“Top Grade”
“Reserved”
“Superior”
“Premium”
“High Grade”
Where Top Grade is the highest concentration of ingredients, with a thicker stick, and High Grade is the lowest concentration/thinner stick/more binder.
The notes I have taken on Bosens Lineup are below:

+7 Superior grade Hoi-An (Jinko) Aloeswood – Vietnamese agarwood, and buttered cinnamon toast, 50/50 split. very low smoke.
+5 Premium Vietnamese Hoi-An Aloeswood – Mostly Vietnamese aloeswood, slight cinnamon back. Stick has no scent.
+6 Superior Chin-zhou Aloeswood – sweet and salty agarwood. that’s it. Stick has no scent.
+5 Premium Ambon Aloeswood – Black pepper and agarwood
+0 Blessing Incense – VERY bitter and medicinal. No oud, no sandal, just pungent herbs.
+5 Refining Incense – Cedar, musty book, sticky sweet wood oil note, reminiscent of sawdust in a sawmill.
+3 Herbal Meditation Incense – Woodsy scent, sage and pine. possibly a small amount of sandalwood if any. Reminiscent of a campfire almost.
+4 Zambhala Incense – sage and pine base. IMO just a lager size stick of Herbal Meditation.
+4 Dakini – Herbal meditation but with a spikenard back added to it.
+5 Pythoncidere Incense – very woodsy, strong cedar sweetness, touch of sage, touch of spikenard, more balanced than dakini or herbal meditation.
+7 Shangrila Incense – Sweetness, slight base of pine and sage. Sandal, spikenard, herbs in a very pungent sweeter concentration.
+4 Tonga Sandalwood – Burning raw, dry sandalwood, with a hint of a bitter herb in there.
+5 Centuries Weathered Old Sandalwood – Stronger version of Tonga Sandalwood, with a hint of sweetness.
+7 Top grade Tibetan sandalwood – Burning sweet sandalwood, with a hint of herbs in the back. Stick almost reminds me of the scent of mysore sandalwood.

Gyokushodo / Nerikoh (Kneaded) / Kusa No To, Hanafuna, Shiun

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Its been a while since I wrote a review! I have been trying to reign in my budget a bit by going through my existing stockpiles before purchasing anything new, but I had the opportunity to try Gyokushodo’s new line up of nerikoh offerings earlier today thanks to Kotaro-san from Japan Incense.

On first analysis all three blends contain the typical Ume-gaka style ingredients, including camphor, clove, cassia and agar wood. They each start off with a blast of camphor and clove, and then settle down into a sour plum fragrance, and eventually wrapping up with a nice woody agarwood aroma. The difference in the three though is the concentration of ingredients. Whereas Kusa no To is the lowest price point of the three, it is obvious it has less of the key ingredients than the next two up the line, and does not project as much. Hanafuna ups the game a bit, and Shiun does that but also seems to have extra agar wood added to it.

Shoyeido – Nijo, Shirakawa, Genroku, Muromachi, Tenpyo

Nijo on first impressions is a heavily perfumed sandalwood stick, on first light I get a strong floral top note of jasmine and wisteria, with a mid note of fruit (maybe apricot or green grapes?) and a slight hint of vanilla amber and talcum.

Shirakawa is a stick with a rich, full bodied scent of vanilla and amber, with a hint of floral and dry sandalwood in the background. There is also a tiny base note of talc hiding out in the burn.

Genroku is quite diffrent from the first two, in that it has no overt perfumes or oils that I can tell, and insteads seems to be composed of a blend of aloeswood, with a top note of cambodian or vietnamese aloeswood and a base note of sweet agarwood.

Muromachi seemed to have a sweet spiced scent to it, with a blend of agar and dry sandal at the base.

Tenpyo is straight vietnamese agarwood, with the rich resiny aroma associated with such.

Yamadamatsu / Shihou Kyara (Coil) (Discontinued)

Where to start. A note on the name, Shihou in Japanese means ‘all directions’. I put some prep time in before I lit this coil to take notes on it, cleansing my olfactory senses with coffee beans and ensuring the room was free from other scents, etc etc.

This coil is all wood. It immediately hits you with concentrated, pure aloes wood scent, with a rich turpentine backed up by a light rosy cedar sweetness, mixed with a hint of ozone. This is by no means a 100-paces style incense, even though it comes in a coil. You will definitely want to sit down and listen to this one on a personal level.

Yamadamatsu / Gyoka (Coils)

Yamadamatsu’s Gyoka blend is the lowest of the line of aloeswood coils currently available. It has a top note of strong, slightly sweet, spicy, peppery aloeswood, alongside a buttery mid note of medicinal herbs and a touch of lysimachiae herba. Overall it reminds me a lot of a Baiedo blend, but slightly sweeter. The fragrance of this blend has a bit of a learning curve to it, and after a bit of time spent with it, it begins to remind me of an old log cabin, with the rich turpentine and wood scents that one associates with such.

Yamadamatsu / Fujitsubo (Coils)

This will be the first of my reviews of several Yamadamatsu scents I recently picked up from the wonderful people over at Japan Incense. Fujitsubo means (in the way it is written here) jar of wisteria, and comes in two forms, stick and coil. I am basing this review off of my impressions of the coil variant as I write, and I am immediately confronted with a sticky sweet floral reminiscent of a strong perfume. I get top notes of vanilla and lavender, with mid notes of rose and a base note of talcum powder and a slight, slight hint of spice. There is not a strong learning curve to this mix, as all the scents are quite up front and easy to pull out. At the very lowest end of the Yamadamatsu coils, this incense should be a pleasing treat to anyone who loves strong, sweet in-your-face florals without breaking the bank.

Okuno Seimeido / Ginsen Kunsui Aloeswood

Howdy!
This will be my first review of the new year!
Today I will be reviewing Okuno Seimeido’s Ginsen Kunsui Aloeswood, or green incense – singing* selection. The stick is your standard brown and is listed as containing “aloeswood and Chinese medicinal herbs”. On first lighting, I smell a hit of salty aloeswood with a touch of pine, with a mid note of plum, and a touch of cassia, nutmeg and sweet spice in the background. Overall I would describe this stick as a mild, sweet, woody floral scent. It is definitely a pleasing aroma, If you are a fan of floral and spice I would definitely give this one a try.

*I think I translated this correct :/

Nippon Kodo / Hatsune Nerikoh (Discontinued)

Howdy!
Today I will be reviewing Nippon Kodo’s “Hatsune” Nerikoh. This kneaded blend tends to be a strong, syrupy sweet mix. I ordered a ceramic container of this, and was pleasantly surprised when I received it. It is slated as having aloeswood and sandalwood, while its name is a phrase meaning “the first bird warbles of spring” in japanese. Although slated as having aloeswood in the ingredients, I was initially confronted with overtones/base note of sweet apricot, with a background note of talcum powder and sandalwood. After the initial burn in on charcoal in a traditional koro, (and slight heat increase), the overtones faded to a more woody, sweet and bitter sandalwood, and the apricot faded into the background. Overall I believe this to be a very approachable nerikoh that will definitely appeal to those who love sweet incense.