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I’d like to say that every single thing I bought was unavailable in the United States, but that wasn’t the case. Given my limited budget, I couldn’t afford to buy stuff up willy-nilly. A marked difference in price from the US-available stock was also a major factor for me, if it was something I wanted to try or to acquire. That’s not to say I didn’t make some random purchases, but they were usually in the 500-700 yen range. At any rate, I’m fairly pleased with what I purchased so far. Here’s my list, and I’m still working on my impressions of a few of them, so I’ll leave longer reviews and details till later. (I’ll probably start with the Kyukyodos at that point; I’ve been burning them a great deal lately.)

  • Kunjudo Karin Hien (Swallows in Flight) – awesome, will need to burn more.
  • Kunjudo Karin Zuitou (Golden Waves) – awesome, love love love!
  • Kunjudo Hachijuuhachi-Ya – real green tea incense
  • Kyukyodo Ryuhinkou – so cheap, who could resist?
  • Kyukyodo Higashiyama – aloeswood, sandalwood, and Chinese herbs – I love this
  • Kyukyodo Chitose – Old Mountain sandalwood, benzoin, camphor, other ingredients
  • Kyukyodo Umegaka – sticks with the scent of nerikou (kneaded incense)
  • Kyukyodo Ikaruga – this has been out of stock at Essence of Ages longer than I’m willing to wait ^_^
  • Shoyeido Horikawa
  • Shoyeido unnamed incense (or name in kanji) from Daisen-in temple in Kyoto
  • Baieido Imagine Hinoki
  • Gyokushodo Jinko Hoen
  • Kyukyodo’s bunny incense stand

Again, details forthcoming.

BONUS!
Things that I badly wanted to buy and that may remain on my “to try” list till my next trip to Japan, in no order:

  • Kyukyodo Miyuki
  • Kyukyodo Seigetsu
  • Kyukyodo Kinbato
  • Kyukyodo Shin’nyo
  • Kyukyodo Zuifuu
  • Kyokyodo everything (let’s just face it)
  • Kunjudo Hougetsu (Encens du Monde Guiding Light)
  • Kunjudo Matsurankou (Encens du Monde Pine and Orchid Wedding)

And the biggest three White Whales of all, which are easily caught in the States for more $$ (I’ll elaborate next time):

  • Koukando Shouchikubai (Encens du Monde Whispering Bamboo)
  • Koukando Sennenkou (Encens du Monde 1000 Years of Wisdom)
  • Awaji-Baikundo everything

This is a trinket (looks like a mobile phone charm) that merges a couple of my hobbies/interests.  I. Must. Have. It!!

Okoh Kitty

Who knew that Kitty-chan appreciated incense?

It says it’s not shippable outside of Japan, so I’ll have to see if I can find it anywhere.  This store is located in Nagoya, which is not near where I’ll be.  We’ll see.

Argh, every time I visit The Perfumed Court for decants, my browsing spins into a chain of free association that ends who knows where.   I always seem to end up running across something tempting.

The object of allure at the moment is Guerlain’s Bois d’Armenie.  Inspired by France’s Papier d’Armenie, little booklets of burning papers permeated with benzoin, the notes consist of pink pepper, iris, rose, coriander, benzoin, Indonesian patchouli, incense, precious woods, musk and balsams.  You can locate reviews of the fragrance here.

But! I won’t be purchasing it anytime soon, given my budget.  At least I can burn Shoyeido’s Kyoto Moon Abundance for a heady benzoin fix.

Sounds like the Papiers aren’t as lovely as they could be, either.  Kevin at Now Smell This compared raw benzoin with Papier d’Armenie and provides a review.

Hmmm.

The Japanese Baieido web site lists a Jinkou Kobunboku that is like the Smokeless Bikou Kobunboku available in the U.S., but supposedly with a more pronounced aloeswood note.

Standard retail’s given at 2100 yen for a bulk box.

Check it out! (#540)

EDIT: Looks like other people know about it already!  That’s why reviews are great to read before buying.