Your TOP 10 Favorite Japanese Incenses?

    Your TOP 10 Favorite Japanese Incenses?

    post #1 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    Your TOP 10 Favorite Japanese Incenses?
    post #2 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    Top 10 out of the 30 or so of various incenses i have tried so far:

    Shoyeido - Sho-Kaku / Translucent Path
    Shoyeido - Go-Un / Five Clouds
    Minorien Fu-In / Sandalwood
    Minorien Fu-In / Kyara Ryugen
    Minorien Fu-In / Kyara
    Minorien Fu-In / Aloeswood
    Yamadamatsu - Kumoi
    Yamadamatsu - Saiun
    Yamadamatsu - Shikun
    Yamadamatsu - Suifu Gokuhin
    post #3 of 40
    that is some premium ones you have there.

    i'm an avid collector of japanese incense, particularly that from various japanese temples as well.

    my favourites are not too expensive, not necessary "kyara" containing, in no particular order of preference
    Baieido's Syukohkoku (normal not the tokusen one), this incense weaves in and out with a harmonious balance of various spices and woods
    Gyukushodo Kage-nosho, fleeting, cool like a cool breeze in a hot day
    Shoyeido Horin Horikawa (this is my regular/daily burn), and it should be on the "must try list" of sandalwood lovers. rich, intense, floral, punctuates the surrounding with penetrating clarity
    minorian's fifth form, utmost purity in all elements, rich and humble, clean and pure
    yamada matsu gokuhin houjoukoh - light musky kyara accentuated by borneol and various herb/spices used
    shoyeido myoho, a yin and yang balance, a wave of luxurious kyara with a dry weave of sweet vietnamese aloeswood, this incense provides ever changing contrast, like how yin and yang cycles endlessly.
    post #4 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    Any big scent difference between Baieido's Syukohkoku -&- Baieido's Syukohkoku Tokusen
    post #5 of 40
    yes! its a very discernable difference.

    the tokusen uses a different type of aloeswood although still vietnamese

    the normal syukohkoku smells sweet, sour, occasional bit of spice evolving into a benzoin note with a very mild woodyness

    the tokusen syukohkoku is more dignified, no sourness, a bitter sweetness, lightly spicy, less expressive than the normal.

    i bought large boxes of both at a point of time and the normal syukohkoku is probably half a box left.. whilst the tokusen's still quite full :P
    post #6 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    What do you think of the Yamadamatsu incenses? if you haven't tried them,i would definitely give them a go they have a sampler they made up for me awhile back:

    If you try them,please share your thoughts :-)
    post #7 of 40
    i believe yamada matsu to be excellent, at least the woods they have are excellent.

    i've tried only the houjoukoh both normal and gokuhin, i prefer the gokuhin as it was transcendental, transparent and a rich balance. the normal houjoukoh had good aloeswood and kyara but was a little dry.

    have not tried their sumatora and manaban incense but it would be interesting. have you tried these? what are your experiences?
    post #8 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    I like both very much they are a raw yet refined at the same time, one is more tart & sharper than the other just forget which one,they are ALL fantastic and i love everyone from the larger sampler except hyofu maybe i need to give that one another go. Im very impressed with Yamadamatsu and think they are up there with Shoyeido & Baieido. If not better IMHO Yamadamatsu Houjoh Pheonix selects are very nice too ;-)

    Here is the Yamadamatsu page
    post #9 of 40
    i'm not a big fan of baieido's higher end incense though.

    i have the 60 stick boxes of Kokonoe, Kunsho, Koh-En, Horyu, and have gone through probably 3-4 sticks each.. with 90% left..
    similar to the jinkoya series's sandalwood kokonoe which i have a box as well... probably my nose.. not taking too much liking to their particular "spice/herb" blend with the aloeswoods.

    koh-shiboku was fine as the kyara was able to surface above the spice/herb blend.. but not the aloeswoods series for me
    post #10 of 40
    Thread Starter 
    like the pics :-)

    how is Nippon Kodo's Kyara Kongo? also do you like Kai un Koh by Baieido?
    post #11 of 40
    hmm.. I didnt like Nippon Kodo's Kyara kongo as it seemed a little too one dimensional, and a little synthetic on some notes, a thick musky note with some powdery perfumy smell.. Kyara Taikan was superb though, really transparent incense, non-imposing, very defined cleanliness although the kyara notes were only occasionally detected lightly.

    have not tried kai un koh by baieido yet, leaped straight into the higher end agarwood series as i'm an agarwood lover, will try them one day
    post #12 of 40
    Fav incense, hands down: Fu-in granulated Kyara mix!

    And I agree with you kyarazen. Kyara Kongo smells way too perfumy and (synthetic) musk-y.
    post #13 of 40
    Thread Starter 

    Coming from you especially,that Minorien Fu-In Kyara granulated blend must be pretty nice! You have a good nose. Better put that on my To Try List for the future
    post #14 of 40
    fuin kyara blend is a good choice it is one of my favourite sho-kohs

    i transferred everything from the original ziploc/box into amber glass vials with teflon lined cap.. just not to have any of those lovely smells vaporizing and losing its intensity over time..

    post #15 of 40
    I'm embarrassed to say that I like Gokuhin Kyara Taikan even though it, too, contains the synthetic musk scent. I think the musk's soft powderiness softens and cushions the sweet, clear, clean and warm woods. The kyara note is very recognizable, and the musk enhances it. The incense smells very feminine and graceful to me. If it were a dance it would be a sweeping waltz. If it were a color it would be fawn.
    post #16 of 40
    Kyarazen: That's a good a idea to transfer into bottles. Most of the granulated incense I have comes in 30 gram sizes. Would you please tell me what size bottle would hold the contents? I don't know how to do the math :-(
    post #17 of 40
    Hmmmm... it's kind of difficult to pick out ten and rank them. I will just mention some that I really like, until I get to ten!

    The Shoyeido premium line--who doesn't like these? However, Sho Kaku is not something you can enjoy every day. A nice compromise is Misho Gentle Smile, reasonable price, very good and distinctively Shoyeido smell. You can get something similar in the Horin line--the top end Tenpyo and the more reasonable Genroku, which I like almost as well. Another favorite Shoyeido is Sei Fu--a nice 'agarwood-type' (maybe very little of the actual stuff, but a nice impression anyway). I also like the Incense Road line, but I will try to keep this list to more traditional types.

    In the Gyokushodo Kaori no Sho line, I like the one right in the middle, Nami no Sho (Waves), a small amount of agarwood amplified with something like deer musk, very rich. I have had a sampler of this line, and there are others I like, but have not bought boxes yet.

    From Baieido, I had some trouble with the premium Sho Kun--maybe I am anosmic to it--it seemed too light. I like the Jinkoya Sakubei line better--even going down a notch to the Horyu Koh. I am also a fan of Kai Un Koh.

    The Tennendo En Kuu Horizon is a very satisfying high-end agarwood, basically traditional but with a spicy licorice accent. From Kyukyodo, I have enjoyed Sho Bai Koh and also Kinbato, which is not that far away from the much more expensive Murasaki.

    How about Kunmeido's Reiryokoh? Very distinctive, with fenugreek. Imagining this in use at a dark, ancient Zen temple makes it seem deep and exotic.

    There are so many more, but anyway, here are the first ten that came to mind.
    post #18 of 40

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