I am still kind of new to this one--my favorite incense shop has only large boxes of this. Then, wandering in a neighborhood of Buddhist altar shops (which often have incense) I found some ten-stick samples of Fuin Sandalwood, Fuin Jinko and Fuin Kyara. I wonder if they are mislabeled. The Jinko seems to have that clear, sweet, 'blue streak' that I noticed in Sho Kaku and other Shoyeido high-enders. In contrast, the Kyara seems much smokier and muskier, foggier. If the labels are correct, I like the cheaper Jinko product much more than the Kyara. Any opinions?
for minorien incense, i realized that if one goes up the "series" the incense feels more oily, seems that they applied or soaked the incense sticks in an oil mixture. overall burning temperature of minorien incenses's low. perhaps it could be the increased presence of oils etc that result in the incense appearing more "smoky"
I also prefer the jinko to the kyara, but last night burned an inch of the kyara again and although I was not so enamoured by the scent when I wafted it towards myself, the scent lingering afterwards was very nice.
Is anyone familiar with Minorien's Kunpu Kyara? It doesn't seem to be in the Fu-In series, and when I did a Google search for it, the only pages it turned up on were Japanese language ones, including Minorien's own. Using Google Translate, it appears that Kunpu translates to "summer breeze". I'm guessing that this type is made for the Japanese domestic market. I'm asking because I found a single 40-stick box of it on eBay, and bought it! Can't wait to try it.
So I just burned a stick of the very short (6 cm), square-shaped Minorien Kunpu Kyara. The unlit stick smells quite dry and hardly sweet at all to my nose - it reminded me of oakmoss, lichen, walnut bark, leather, dry leaves. Lit, the stick continues along this theme, with only a little bit of sweetness becoming noticeable, more than halfway through the burning. And even then, it's a very dry, powdery sweetness - like violets, or orris root, or white sage. An interesting burn, and quite different from Minorien's Fu-In line, from what everyone else has said about those incenses.
I tried a sample of Minorien that had Sandalwood, Frankincense, Fu-In Aloeswood, Fu-In Kyara, Fu-In Kyara Ryugen, and Kyara Chokoh No. 5.
Out of all six types, my favorite is the Fu-In Kyara and it isn't super expensive. It is like a refinement of the very masculine and earthy Fu-In Aloeswood with a more feminine and sweeter quality. On top of that is a beautiful kyara floral bouquet which isn't very complex, but a gorgeous, soft and friendly scent. There is an undulating quality to the experience for me, like it is lapping against my nose, pulling away, and coming back.
The Fu-In Kyara Ryugen takes some getting used to as its floral qualities are very strange and dark. Hard to describe this one. Somehow it is oily, leathery, and dry all at the same time. There's also a dead, decomposing leaves smell in there to my nose. I like it, but it isn't nearly as easy and accessible as the Fu-In Kyara.
As for the Kyara Chokoh No. 5, this one is fascinating. It is like the Fu-In Kyara, but more complex and with a smell that I can't describe. Sort of like wet grass or shrubs, maybe? The floral scent on top is incredible and evokes happiness and unknown ancient memories when I smell it. If I could afford this one in greater quantity, it would definitely be my favorite.
I don't like the Sandalwood.
The Frankincense is pleasant, with a pretty basic western churchy spicy/citrus frankincense resin smell plus a little woodiness.
I hope this report helps somebody out
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