You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Incense’ category.

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

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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!

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.

This is actually old news, but I thought I’d share now that I’m out of my burrow for a while.  I ran across this while trying again in vain to find Blissful Mountain on their web site.

Kunjudo has released a new entry into the Karin line, Tokusen Karin.  It went on sale December 10, 2009.

It looks like it’s a premium version of the beloved Karin / Forest of Flowers scent.  The box is the same, with the colors slightly deepened.

Oh, and new trivia: looks like Karin itself came out in April of 1986.  Cool!

If anyone wants to send me a box/stick, please drop me a line and I will gladly smell it for you!

Today marks the Autumnal Equinox, when the days begin their slow descent into winter darkness.  It also marks one of the first cool days we’ve had since July in my part of the world (US Midwest).  The sky outside is an even, pale gray.  Rain has been predicted, but none has fallen.  My tomato plants haven’t wilted yet, but the first average frost date is rapidly approaching.  The corn field I can see from my deck has gone past the gold of harvest into the brown of decay.  The leaves have not started to turn yet, but I anticipate they will soon enough.  It’s a perfect time to start talking about scents that help one start cocooning against the elements.

Incense:

I think spicy scents form a good bridge between the lighter woods of summer and the richer scents of winter. Shoyeido’s Kyoto Autumn Leaves is an obvious choice, featuring a spicy, rich blend of sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, and benzoin.  Shoyeido’s Golden Pavilion is similarly spicy, but adds the pervasive note of cloves to Kyoto Autumn Leaves’ blend.  Baieido’s Sawayaka Kobunboku / Imagine series Koh serves cinnamon lovers well with its toasty blend of aloeswood, cinnamon, and Chinese herbs.  Shoyeido’s Incense Road series may also appeal to spice-lovers, especially its Spicy Chai scent.

I don’t usually pay any attention to Martha Stewart, but she seems to love Halloween just as much as I do.  She’s got an interesting project for a “pumpkin incense burner” that allows one to fill one’s living space with the scent of spiced, baking pumpkin–specifically, pumpkin pie, for those readers who are familiar with this autumn treat.  I’m curious about how the project would turn out, but the amount of time needed to complete it gives me pause.

Autumn is also time to be outside amongst the falling leaves and chill breeze.  Scents that evoke earthy loam and bonfires are perfect for autumn.  Mermade Magickal’s Pan’s Earth is awesomely earthy and slightly musky, bringing together aloeswood, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, labdanum, Hougary frankincense, and Himalayan juniper wood.  Mermade Magickal’s Sacred Grove and Earth Church both evoke the scent of the wild woods and nighttime bonfires.  Both feature a good proportion of fragrant woods and evergreen wood and resins.  They bring the scent of the ideal bonfire to your house.

(Sacred Grove’s ingredients: Hougary and Oman Frankincense, Turkish Storax, Labdanum, Fir Balsam Essential Oil, Western Red Cedar Wood, Powdered Grand Fir Tips, Himalayan Juniper Wood, Pinon Pine Resin, Copal Elemi Resin)

(Earth Church’s ingredients:  Poplar Buds, Fir Needles, Port Orford Cedar, Juniper, Oman Frankincense, Pine Resin, Salupati, Rose Petals, Bay Laurel, Cedar, Labdanum , Ylang Ylang)

Daisen-In Incense:

While in Kyoto, we visited Daisen-In, the head temple of the temple complex Daitoku-ji.  I highly recommend a visit if you’re into zen gardens at all.  At the end of our visit, I bought some lovely incense made by Shoyeido labelled solely in kanji.

After buying it my husband and I were blessed by a cheerful monk who was there doing custom calligraphy for visitors: “Be Happy Always!”

The Daisen-In incense is very very similar to Shoyeido’s Nokiba, and someone has told me that he found someplace that said it was Nokiba.  (Thanks, Paul!)  I think they may be different, but I plan a couple of smell tests to see.  The color is very different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.  Both certainly have the same lovely cottony benzoin sweetness tempered with the earthy aspects of patchouli.

I will post close-ups of the box and materials in another post, in the hopes that someone may be able to read them!  (I know that the kanji at the bottom of the front says “Daisen-In”)  The script that Shoyeido likes to use on all their boxes throws me off.

Daisen-In

Kyukyodo at Keio Department Store:

It turns out that the Keio department store attached to Shinjuku Station (as I wrote about earlier) has a wonderful Kyukyodo counter if you’re not wanting to travel to the head store in the Ginza district of Tokyo.  (It’s not the only other department store counter Kyukyodo possesses in Tokyo.)  It’s located straight across from the elevators on the 6th floor, which is why we missed it on our first trip to Keio.  I visited the counter to make my follow-up purchases after having mulled over my choices in the Kyukyodo catalog I got in Kyoto.  I believe that the Keio counter boasted all of the incense available at the Kyoto head branch.  I didn’t see the less expensive incense stands in Kyoto, but I may have missed them.

I ended up just purchasing a bulk box of Ikaruga (1100 yen) and a rabbit incense stand/holder (850 yen) that I couldn’t find at the Kyoto branch.

Ikaruga Bunny

On my previous trip (on let’s say, Tuesday), there was also an extensive selection of Awaji-Baikundo incense for sale down the aisle.  A young man dressed in traditional clothing demonstrated the various choices to the few passers-by shopping on a Tuesday night.  Not knowing what was going on at first, I approached the tatami-covered platform he and an older woman were occupying, and suddenly realized that it was Awaji-Baikundo.  Bulk boxes from 850 yen to 1500 yen.  I hadn’t expected to find any there, and so I couldn’t remember which kinds were the ones I wanted to try.  He showed me a few sticks, but I needed to get home.  I vowed to myself to research and come back as soon as possible.

Wednesday and Thursday passed (our trip to Kyoto), as did Friday (a return trip to Akihabara and several bookstores).  So Saturday rolls around, and the Awaji-Baikundo stand was gone!!

It turns out that the section next to the Kyukyodo counter carries regional goods that rotate on a weekly basis.  In Awaji-Baikundo’s place was someone selling amber jewelry of some sort.  So that’s my story of the Awaji-Baikundo that got away.

Narita Airport:

I managed to squeak in one last incense purchase at the airport of all places—a box of Baieido’s Imagine series Hinoki.  They were selling it in the Fa-So-La across from a food court.  Eh, why not?

And so my incense adventures ended way too quickly.  I can say that I expected to have to open my backpack up for inspection, but I got through security just fine.