May 21:
Kyukyodo Hagashi Yama
Awaji-Baikundo Shoujou

May 22:
Dhoop Factory Alpine
Tibetan Medical College Nectar

May 23:
Tibetan Medical College Nectar
Bosen Pythoncidere

May 24:
Mother’s Fragrance Atma
Dhoop Factory Medicine Buddha Regular

May 14:
Kyukyodo Umegaka
Baieido Byakudan Kobunboku

May 15:
Mandala Trading Tibetan Monastery
Kyukyodo Higashiyama
Nippon Kodo Viva Sandalwood
Mother’s Fragrances Ganesh

May 16:
Kyukyodo Umegaka
Kyukyodo Shiun

May 17:
Mother’s Fragrances Shanti
Kyukyodo Shiun
Kunmeido Reiryo-Koh
Nippon Kodo Ka Fuh Hinoki
Mother’s Fragrances Shanti

May 18:
Baieido Kobunboku x 2
Tibetan Medical College Holy Land
Tibetan Medical College Nectar
(Ajax the Dachshund ate half a stick of Mandala Trading Tibetan Monastery)

May 19:
Baieido Koh
Awaji-Baikundo Shoujou

Back into incense a bit.  Starting out slow, by merely keeping track of what I’m burning.

Currently making final revisions on my dissertation.  I feel insane.

May 8:
Baiedo Tobiume
Shroff Channasabappa Parrot-Green Durbar
Shroff Channasabappa Rosy Sandal

May 9:
Kunjudo Tokusen Karin
Incense Works Vanilla Amber

May 10:
Tennendo Renzan
Mandala Trading Tibetan Monastery x 2

May 12:
Kyukyodo Yumemachi x 2
Kyukyodo Ikaruga

May 13:
Baieido Koh
Kunmeido Rei-Ryoko
Mandala Trading Tibetan Monastery x 2

You are invited to join the Incense Trading Wiki, a bulletin board where you can post and maintain your own wish lists and trading lists.

After you join and have been approved as a new member, you will be free to post and edit your own listings.  Instructions can be found on the wiki itself after you have been approved.

EDIT:  Please apply with some sort of personal message about your interest in incense, your favorite incenses, incenses you’re trying to get rid of, etc.  It will make the application process a lot faster.

http://incensetrading.wikidot.com/

Have fun and trade well!

Incense Warehouse is having another sale, now through June 17th:

http://www.incensewarehouse.com/june-sale.html

In addition to the incenses Katlyn was kind enough to send me, she enclosed a number of sample vials of body incense, perfume oils that can be used for anointing or otherwise perfuming the skin.  Two of these, Kyphi and Elf Oil, are still available on her site.

Their textures are, well, oily, as opposed to watery.  As such, they stay on the skin and are slowly absorbed.

Kyphi is based on ancient Egyptian formulas for temple incense.  Its blend is composed of Oman and Somalia Frankincense, Somalia Myrrh, Cassia, Labdanum, Port Orford Cedar, and LiquidAmbar.

Kyphi is composed largely of dark base notes that stick with you for a long time, slowly fading away.  The amber is pervasive from the beginning, lying beneath the other notes in a blanket of sweet smoothness.  Katlyn’s amber reminds me very much of Eden Botanicals’ lovely amber oils.  The prominent notes at the beginning are frankincense and myrrh.  The cedar lends a pleasantly piercing, piney note to the blend, reminiscent of menthol.  This balsamic accent cuts any cloying sweetness that the blend could have.  The result is a resiny amber that is velvety without being cuddly.

Elf Oil is a “’Fayrie’ formula that comes from the Bodleian Library 17th-century magickal manuscript” used for the anointing of the eyes to see the Faery realm.  Katlyn gives no list of ingredients (all 100% essential oils and absolutes), but here are my impressions of the scent:

It’s a lovely, light sweet floral that would suit springtime pursuits.  Initially, notes of petitgrain lend a green, citrusy, floral wood scent.  That part is fleeting, and is quickly followed by a dominant white floral like neroli or orange blossom.  As the neroli starts to fade, rose joins the blend and acts as a floral base note.  Interestingly, on my skin, the woody aspects of the rose showed up first until the neroli had faded enough to let the rose peek through.  The blend didn’t last long on me—maybe an hour at best—but the sweetest scents are often the most fleeting, are they not?

These and another new blend, Blue Lotus, can be found on the Mermade Magickal Arts web site.  Blue Lotus sounds yummy; it’s a blend of sandalwood oil and coconut oil.

Katlyn’s blends are often limited releases, so get yours soon before they’re gone!

Incense Warehouse has a 10% off coupon out now!

Get 10% off their entire inventory. Offer ends at midnight, April 16th!
Enter the Coupon Code AP555 in the “Apply Coupon” box in your shopping cart then press the GO button.

If you get a chance to use the coupon, be sure to come back here and share what you’ve purchased in the comments!

What would I buy if I were able?

Oh, just a few things. For example:

Ran across an awesome tidbit about a late-1920’s electric incense burner, alongside tidbits about airplane altimeters and seed counters.

Read it at Google Books.

I wonder what she’s thinking…

Springtime is upon us!  I’ve been slogging away all winter working on my dissertation, and am ready to blossom in the warmer weather.

The incense has fallen by the wayside (for various reasons) until recently.  My restlessness takes the form of an increased yearning for the sensual–bring on the incense!!

I’ve been dipping into the stash of samples that Katlyn Breene kindly sent me from her incense making company, Mermade Magickal Arts.  For whatever reason, Indian incense just doesn’t seem fitting right now, nor does Japanese incense.  I feel like dancing around a bonfire in the night to waken the earth, not meditating or relaxing.  Push out and up into the light of spring.  For whatever reason, Katlyn’s incense blends push that button for me.

Sacred Grove and Earth Church:

Similarities thanks to the ingredients in common: fir balsam, cedar, juniper, and pine – all the foresty goodness you could ask for.  (Aside:  Why can’t piney body fragrances work so well??  They tend to end up smelling like Pine Sol: pine-scented household cleaning products)

Sacred Grove, however, riffs more on the resiny aspects of woods by emphasizing frankincense, storax, and labdanum.  While this good slug of resin could tend towards the sweet, powdery, ambery, or even citrusy, the balsamic-smelling aspects of the resins “hook into” the balsams proper.  To my nose, the piney, cedary aspects sneak up on you while you’re being dazzled by the orchestra of resins.  I love this stuff.

On the other hand, Earth Church focuses on the leaves and woods of the balsam family—the cedar and fir seem to take a front seat while the resins act as a bass line, rounding out the woods nicely.  The result is a blend that smells primarily of sweet, warm woodsmoke, with overtones of cedar and pine.

Aphrodesia:

Aphrodesia is a sweet blend showcasing rose otto, the fabulous essence of the rose flower.  The sweet, musky rose intertwines with other ingredients that are reminiscent of the sensual smell of skin or traditionally used in elixirs of love: sandalwood and aloeswood powder, ylang ylang and and a pinch of sweet amber/vanilla Tolu Balsam.  Labdanum and Hougary frankincense act as the resinous components.  This blend is simply yummy.  I love rose fragrances, but this blend excels beyond other rose-tinged incenses in my collection.  While rose is evident, its musky, sweet floral qualities are intensified by the ylang ylang.  And let’s not forget naughty naughty labdanum, so often used in perfumery to imitate ambergris or leather, and incorporated in amber blends to lend depth and sweetness.  (For more on labdanum, please read helg’s fascinating and thorough article.)  So for me, Aphrodesia works as smoky-sweet-skin-smell yumminess.  My favorite of the lot, but Sacred Grove and Earth Church are different enough from Aphrodesia that I need not pick Aphrodesia over the other two: buttons they do push, but each push different ones.

Pan’s Earth:

And let’s not forget Pan’s Earth:  It’s an earthy blend punctuated by piney notes.  Totally causes flashbacks for me:  when I light it, I’m back in my 12-year-old days.  We went to a retreat center in the mountains of North Carolina several times when I was younger, and I would often play in the forests and streams neighboring our cabin.  The air smelt earthy-damp and fresh with pine needles all the time–even though it was the middle of summer.  Wonderful time of freedom and relaxation in the mountain woods.  Aloeswood, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, labdanum, Hougary frankincense, and Himalayan juniper wood.

You can also read my earlier thoughts on Sacred Grove, Earth Church, and Pan’s Earth.

As reported on Alices Incense, Tobiume, Baieido’s newest addition, has arrived in the US.  (Old news, but I’m still catching up.)

I wanted to share a picture of the actual Flying Plum Tree, the legendary namesake of this new blend.

The trees haven’t started blooming here yet, but I’m looking forward to similar displays in a short while!

Photo by David Chart.

You can visit the home page of the shrine if you’re interested.

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