David Oller: In Memoriam

David Oller, consultant to Esoterics LLC and long time Baieido Wholesale Representative in the United States, passed away this weekend after a long and courageous battle with liver disease.

David had a profound reverence for Buddhism. It inspired and guided his studies and devotional practices, and was intimately connected with his long-standing and ardent love of incense.

A small glimpse of David’s knowledge can be found on Alice’s Incense Blog, in articles posted on Esoteric’s website, and at japanese-incense. com (http://www.japanese-incense.com/contents.htm). For a long time this site was one of the only sources to offer historical, literary, and practical information about incense, and kodo in particular, to Western incense lovers. Information on the site has been copied again and again, rarely citing David as its source. His studiously-researched knowledge was extensive and I hope that someday David’s writings, and the source materials he collected, will be made public.

I will miss David’s enthusiasm and reverence for the art of Japanese incense, and I feel very fortunate that he went out of his way to share his knowledge and passion with those of us with common interests. A friend to whom I mentioned David’s death lit an incense stick “in remembrance and honor of him”. I am sure that would make David very happy, and I hope that others who read this memoriam will do the same.


Incense sale at Tibet-Incense.com

Upcoming from Ross

Lots of new scents to sample over at Japan Incense when I went over there this last weekend. A review of 5 new scents from Gyokushodo by this weekend (these guys are the master of the subtle, multi-layered approach). Plus at some point some new floral/spice sticks (about 6-7 different ones) from a smallish maker(who shall remain nameless at the moment).

The first week in July I will be part of a 10 blog and 12 perfumers event called the “The Mystery of Musk” which is being organized by the Natural Perfumers Guild. You can read more about it at the above link. It should be great fun and provide some real insight into what is one of the most sought after scents in both perfume and incense. The list of perfumers and bloggers is pretty amazing. I invite you to check out the differnt blogs as these people have a lot of experience and know how in the olfactory arts.

I/we will be doing a post on incenses that feature the scent of musk in June as a sort of companion piece. Actually I just now thought of this so we will be headed to the secret Lab to figure it out 🙂

12 Days of Christmas Sale at EoA

Essence of the Ages is having their annual Christmas Sale. It runs for the next 12 days with different  sale items each day. There are great deals but  you need to swing by the site each day to see whats up as they only last 24 hours. Have fun


Way of Incense 101~ Incense Appreciation (Ross)

This is coming up very soon but there are two opportunities to attend. I went to the last one in San Francisco and had a great time as well as getting to sample some really nice Aloewoods. There is one in SF and another on the  Oakland/Berkeley borderline.

The speaker, Kihachiro Nishiura, is a wonderful presenter who is really into the traditions of Japan and loves to teach others. He keeps it entertaining and easy to understand. Given how formal and complex a koh event could be this is a very good thing!

You will need to confirm your seat via the email address below.

Way of Incense 101~ Incense Appreciation~

Historically, fragrance first had an important impact upon Japanese culture as part of religious ceremonies. But inaddition to just the visual and fragrant impact ofincense,”listening” to incense with the entire body andmind added color to everyday life, providing a new expression of beauty and feeling. Over the centuries, theuse and importance of incense has evolved, becoming part of art, meditation, and self-awareness. Learn about the history of Incense and Fragrance in Japan and how to “listen” with your spirt, opening the door to a world of beauty.

Day and Time: Friday, November 13th, 7 to 8:30 pm

Location: New People building 1746 Post St.,

San Francisco

Participation: $20

Day and Time: Saturday, Nov. 14th,5pm to 6:30 pm

Location: Ko-Jin-An 6140 B  Chabot Road,

Oakland, CA 94618

Participation: $20

To Apply: contact Nozaki at(nishiurastyleusa@yahoo.co.jp.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 11th

Profile of Kihachiro Nishiura,

Born in 1970.  Earned a Masters(Bs Degree in Geophysics from Ohio University.  Owner of Nishiura Ryokusuid; antique dealership in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo.  Descendant of Nishiura Enji, founder of the Nishiura-yaki school of ceramics, which was highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad in the Meiji and Taisho periods (1868-1912; 1912-1926) for its outstanding technique and artistry. Steeped in traditional Japanese culture from his early childhood, Kihachiro expresses the world of Japanese culture and arts in his own unique style based upon the ancient philosophy of eki, central to which is the inevitability of change.  His  Nishiura Styleexhibitions of incense, floral arrangements, calligraphy, and other art forms have been enthusiastically received in Japan and the United States.

Please visit the NISHIURA STYLE home page at http://www.nishiura-style.com

Review of Samurai Spirit (Incense and the Samurai) Presentation

I managed to get away from my work to take in the Samurai Spirit (Incense and the Samurai) lecture and demonstration at the Nichibei Kai Culture Center in San Francisco today. It was taught by Mr. Kihachiro Nishiura who is an extremely gifted presenter. He combines a true passion and in depth knowledge for the subject as well that most wonderful of talents of being able to communicate at a level for all of his audience to understand. This is the mark of the true master, one who really understands what he is talking about.  Some how he manged to fit about 1500 years worth of information into about a 45 minute lecture and then proceeded to set up, prepare and direct at least 12 Koh cups. Luckily he had a fantastic group of helpers. One of the aspects of this style of incense appreciation that he pointed out was the meditative quality of “Listening to Incense” and I noticed that as he was preparing the cups that indeed he looked to be oh so centered and in the moment.

It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend attending one if you get the chance. I know I will be on the look out for them in the future.

Nippon Kodo Kayuragi promotion

Kayuragi’s probably one of the better NK lines, they’re modern incenses in a fairly traditional style but they’re quite classy as well so I thought I’d bring this promotion to your attention. I’ve found the Pomegranate and Osmanthus to hit the spot at the right times and certainly there aren’t any other scents I can think of that are close in style.

New York Gift Show – January 25 – 29, 2009 (Sunday – Thursday)

The New York Gift show starts this coming Sunday and many of our favorite brands will be represented there.

Scents of Japan (Kohshi) in booth 2255

Baieido in booth 2881

Shoyeido in booth 2947

If you are in New York at this time it might be great fun to drop by their booths… can you say samples 🙂

There is a general trend at these shows to bring out new products so they should be interesting.

You can go to  http://www.nyigf.com/info/ for directions and hours.


Scents of Japan to reopen a new retail outlet.

Scents of Japan, whose previous retail store, Japan Incense, closed some months ago will reopen in the Japan Center in San Francisco.
The new store is called KOHSHI which means ‘Scents of the Master”.
Expect the store to formally open around early December 2008.
Its address is:

1737 Post Street, Suite 335
San Francisco, CA 94115

Scents of Japan is responsible for introducing into the US a huge amount of previously unavailable incenses.

Say tuned for more!

Essence of the Ages 12 Days of Christmas Sale

Starting the day after Thanksgiving is the Essence of the Ages 12 Days of Christmas Sale. Each day there are new and different items for sale from 15-30% off. This is a really fun sale and a great resource and well worth getting in on. Here’s the fine print from Beth:
Fine print: We are happy to hold your order(s) until the last sale day, which is Dec. 9th at 8:00pm CST. That way you can shop everyday and take advantage of our incredible offers. Your orders are then totaled together, shipped together … and there’s only one shipping charge! Better yet, your combined orders could total over $85, which would mean FREE shipping!
Note: All held orders can only ship to one address! Shipments to 2 or more addresses need to be on separate orders, and will/may incur separate shipping charges.
Hold your order? Send your order? We’re happy to do either. But you MUST let us know either way. IF YOU DO NOT LET US KNOW TO HOLD YOUR ORDER, YOUR ORDER WILL BE SHIPPED IMMEDIATELY. YOU MUST LET US KNOW IF WE ARE TO HOLD YOUR ORDER.
At the end of the sale, if we have been holding your order, we will automatically send your order and bill your credit card.
Paying by PayPal? No problem. We’ll still add your orders together to save you shipping costs and ship your order when you tell us to.
What could be easier?
Please note that we are expecting a TREMENDOUS response to our sale items. If we run out of something we will do everything we can to be certain that your order arrives before Christmas. We are stocked ‘to the gills’ on everything but we could still run out. …Just so you know.
The sales start Thursday, Nov. 27th … Thanksgiving night at 8:00 CST.

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