I adore the (links below) Minorien Fu-In Sandalwood as well as the Daihatsu and Yamadamatsu Kouboku Senshu sandalwood included in the mix :-) your opinions & preferred sandalwoods?
good choice on the fu-in sandalwood, but sometimes i feel it can afford a little more complexity
for sandalwood base i have two favourites, one being shoyeido's horikawa as talked about in the previous threads, the other is gyokushodo's Hana-no-sho, a lovely blend of sandalwood with the cool notes of camphor. the sandalwood used in this incense is rich mellow indian sandalwood lifted up by the floaty cool mintyness of the camphor, sweet and flowery. the quality of the sandalwood is extremely obvious here, it almost smells like heating a mysore chip in japanese kodo style, thanks to the composition of activated charcoal in the incense that makes the temperature right.
Nice photos, kyarazen! It’s interesting that activated charcoal is added to Hana-no-sho to help with the temperature. I’m surprised that the charcoal doesn’t make the powders burn too hot. I imagine it takes a long time to become an incense blender. I’ve often wondered how the blenders keep the sticks consistent from batch to batch since growing conditions change every year, and maybe sources of supply can’t always stay the same.
For creamy, melt-in-your-nose sandalwood, as well as the Daihatsu chip already mentioned I like Yamada Matsu’s slices, chips and powder, and Baiedo’s Byakudan chips
http://www.essenceoftheages.com/sand...ous/sand1.html These woods are satin smooth and caressing, both during and after the burn. When I walk into the room in which the incense was burned I almost feel as though I’m swimming in a thick wave of sweet, melted, hand-rubbed woods. Their scents are very relaxing and calming. When I see an all blue painting by Yves Klein the color of the solid blue is so brilliant and mesmerizing that I don’t care about the absence of forms, symbols, etc. These sandalwoods aren’t exciting or complex the way a beautiful blend can be, but the sandalwood itself is so filling and soothing that I don’t miss the absence of other ingredients.
I haven’t yet found a “straight up” sandalwood stick I totally enjoy. Keigado’s Keiga Byakudan is very pleasant while it’s burning but the dry scent it leaves in the room is somewhat edgy. While it’s burning there are intermittent and faint notes of coconut, cinnamon and vanilla that are there only to enhance the scent of sandalwood. The stick isn’t entirely uniform while it burns but there’s enough sandalwood in it to be fairly consistent and strong during the duration of the session. I prefer the Yamada Matsu sandalwoods but the ease of burning the stick and it’s longevity make it a good choice for days when I don’t feel like playing with a burner.
I like the Minorien Fuin Sandalwood, although for me sandalwood is really a base for incense. Kind of like vanilla ice cream--many people really like vanilla ice cream, but I like to add chocolate or strawberries or something. But the Minorien product is pretty satisfactory in spite of being a pretty straightforward unadorned sandalwood.
The Daihatsu Sandalwood Sticks(memories of Japan) is really good especially for the price,it almost similar to Minoriens Sandalwood but a bit sweeter,I like it a lot,a must try. I think Japanincense.com still has this.
bluemoon : the charcoal powder's to help combustion when binder content is largely reduced even to below 10% :P and with the use of charcoal powder instead of more binder, it reduces the smoke and cleans up the incense of any traces of binder's spicy smell.. so the incense becomes purer and more transparent. that is why a lot of premium incenses sticks are black!
in terms of fluctuation in quality etc, it seems that many japanese incenses are quite consistent to me so far.. i've seen fluctuations more in taiwanese incense than the japanese ones
The Yamadamatsu sandalwood sticks are really nice! Tried a sample of them a awhile back.
Daihatsu sandalwood sticks are a nice creamy sandalwood. Tried these from JapanIncense in a sampler.
This set is amazing a must try the sandalwood in it is nice!