Minorien / Kougiku (Chrysanthemum), Hana Murasaki (Violet)

I don’t usually go deep enough into a company’s catalog to start experimenting with moderns and florals, but I’m a huge fan of the Minorien line and since it’s not a terrible large one, I wanted to see what they had left after all the wonderful aloeswoods, sandalwoods, kyaras and frankincense. It was a good move because I discovered another aloeswood-related incense with the Kougiku mini stick. I first introduced this in my 14 One of a Kind Japanese Incenses feature, but I wanted to memorialize it as an actual review as it’s a lovely and rare piece of incense art.

Kougiku (it’s also spelled Kagiku, but I’m sure both are fine from a transliteration point of view) comes in a little square box and yet like other Minoriens it is packaged with the paper covered trays. It’s just in this case they’re smaller and a bit more adorable as a result. Each little stick packs a glorious little wallop of a chrysanthemum-scented aloeswood, one of those rare convergences that even your family might be OK with. And of course it’s not a surprise from such a venerable company that the combination is pitched fairly perfectly, like a modern and a traditional coming to the table for a friendly handshake. It’s got a bit of a spicy middle, some caramel notes, and no lack of neat wood presence and so could easily also be the kind of floral an aloeswood appreciator is OK with. Honestly the only issue I have is it might be cool in a longer stick or coil form too. It comes and goes so fast, so it’s hard not to light up another one.

Minorien’s lil Hana Murasaki/Violet coils (these also come in sticks, although I have not compared them for differences) are another floral treat, although this time there are no woods outside of whatever base the oils sit on. This is straight along the line modern floral incense but very nicely done. Violet is another one of those flowers that can become indistinctive in the wrong hands and while this doesn’t come quite up to how amazing Shoyeido’s high end Floral World violet was before the deluxe version got deleted, it’s still a very worthy treat nonetheless and certainly one of the best violet incenses I can think of off hand. I am running the risk of going hey people this violet incense smells like …. violet, but at least in this case it really does and there aren’t a lot of harsh notes or floral bouquet dilutions to get in the way, which is a lot more common with cheaper fare. I don’t do a lot of florals but I am happy with this one as an occasional diversion.