Baieido’s Koh and Sawayaka Kobunboku are the same incense in different packaging.  It’s interesting that Baieido would present Sawayaka (“fresh and clean”) Kobunboku as the lone example of traditional Japanese incense/”koh” in their Imagine series.   It is pretty user-friendly, though.  I could see this as a gateway incense from the modern Imagine line into traditional Japanese incense.

On the flip side, the Imagine line, being modern, might attract incense users not wanting a traditional scent–whereas Koh seems traditional but also friendly.  I digress.

Also interesting, to my American nose, is the descriptor of this Kobunboku entry as “fresh and clean.”  On a blind smell test where I’m being introduced to the Kobunboku series for the first time, I think I would say that I would label the original or Byakudan Kobunboku with “sawayaka.”

And yet, Koh/Sawayaka Kobunboku is fresh and clean.

The cinnamon is warm but not hot like Red Hots or like some of the cinnamon-dominant candles I’ve smelled.  Instead the effect is gentle, like roasted cinnamon.  The comparison to cinnamon toast is fitting.

It seems to have a coolness underlying the spice that might otherwise come from a cool aloeswood.  The same high quality sandalwood as in the original Kobunboku is present.  Koh/Sawayaka Kobunboku shows same restraint as the original but with more spice–but it’s not “in your face” about it.

I’d say if you’re in the mood for a quiet, spicy wood that tends towards coziness, this would be a good choice for you.

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