Scent of Samadhi is really nice also ;-)
Didnt like Baieido's or Shoyeido's to much. Just Yamadamatsu Gokuhin & Scent of Samadhi. Anyone know of any other houses that offer incense body powders please post.
Haha! I am a few months late in replying to this one! In Japan, body powders were originally formulated for liturgical purposes rather than the fragrance. So I thnk they include cumin, turmeric and possibly asafoetida. When I went to the temple Koyasan, I asked about it at a shop. The guy said that the more expensive ones were heavier on the odd-smelling stuff, and recommended buying the cheaper ones for hobby use. A friend who is a priest at Koyasan told me that the cheaper ones are mostly clove powder, which is the cheapest ingredient. It sounds like the formula doesn't specify the proportions, so they can put only minute amounts of the expensive ingredients (aloeswood, etc.) and it is still liturgically correct. By the way, the incense shop in Koyasan, Koya Taishi Do, has their own body powder, and it does have a bit of the odd stuff in it, but using it for meditation, I have come to like it. just for reference, in Japanese esoteric Buddhism, rubbing on powder symbolizes purification. When you enter the main temple building at Koyasan, there is a small container of body powder (very cheap stuff, I think) for visitors to rub on.
I tried the Shoyeido 'tokusen zukoh' which is the highest grade of body powder. It seems to have lots of benzoin or something kind of sweet in it, so it smells very 'unliturgical' to me, like it is designed for enjoyment rather than use in a temple. So I use it all the time, either for meditation or when visiting a temple. The lower Shoyeido grades seem okay to me too. Baieido body powder has a strong Buddhist vibe for me, so maybe the cheaper ones would be better in that line. Looking on the web, I see that Gyokushodo body powder is widely available. I haven't investigated too much, since I am satisfied with the Shoyeido product. But rubbing powder is not well-known to most Japanese--it is a super-niche product.