I haven’t done a Top Ten list since April, so I figure it’s about time for one.
This month I’ve been inundated with incense, so it’s now difficult to pick just ten. Hooray for that! ^_^
Naturally, it’s dominated by incenses I picked up in Japan.

  1. Kunjudo Karin Zuitou (Encens du Monde Golden Waves) – musky and sweet aloeswood goodness.
  2. Kyukyodo Higashiyama – Aloeswood, sandalwood, and Chinese herbs – a lighter aloeswood, thanks to the additional of sandalwood, with a slight vegetal tang. It alternates between a mossy kind of greenness and a musky freshness.
  3. Shoyeido unnamed incense (or name in kanji) from Daisen-in temple in Kyoto – Shoyeido really knows how to do benzoin-laced incenses really well, and this is another awesome example of their craft. I plan on exploring other Shoyeidos to discover if I can get this in the States. Hopefully it’s not one of the discontinued Classics.
  4. Mermade Magickal Arts Golden Bough – aptly named. It’s like a ray of sunshine through the trees of a pine grove. Resiny awesomeness.
  5. Mermade Magickal Arts Sacred Grove – similar to Golden Bough (I think it’s the resiny elements) but with an emphasis on the piney scent–needles and wood. Come Wintertime, I need to do some scent research at a Christmas tree lot–the last time we had a tree in the house for the holidays was when I was four, and I don’t remember what the whole experience of the tree is like.
  6. BAM Champa – My preferred nag champa, thanks to the awesome presence of sweet, resiny halmaddi. I also prefer the stick size, which is skinnier than the Mother’s Fragrance nag champas. While they’re awesome and neck-to-neck with the BAM, they’re too smoky for my small house.
  7. Kyukyodo Shiun – light aloeswood, great for meditative summer moments
  8. Kunjudo Karin/Encens du Monde Forest of Flowers – the eponymous incense of the five-fold Karin line by Kunjudo. (Different from the Encens du Monde Karin line) I think you could call this the theme, and the others the variations. Somewhat lighter because of an emphasis on more sandalwood, I think. (I have a “small box”)
  9. Kyukyodo Ikaruga – this is so inexpensive, but so good. I prefer this to Shirohato, finding the latter’s floral component too delicate. I lit one Monday while I was cleaning house as an act of home purification, and was pleasantly reminded of how cheering I find the fragrance. I believe the bundles in the 10-bundle box are meant to be burned en masse as an outdoor temple or gravesite offering.
  10. Shroff Sandal Flora – I haven’t burned many of the new Shroffs yet, but this older one remains one of my favorites. A light rosy-woody scent that lingers a while, but not for days. I prefer that so I can burn other scents in the house. A good balance of rose and wood is a hard one to come by in personal fragrances, and sometimes I wish I could wear this one.