The Rikkoku Gomi

Agarwood

The Rikkoku Gomi translates to “Six Countries of Agarwood” and “Five Tastes” is the traditional Japanese way of classifying agarwood.

The Six Countries of Agarwood

  • Kyara – A solemn and complex scent, usually accompanied by bitterness.
  • Rakoku – A sharp scent, which smells sort of like a deeper and wetter sandalwood.
  • Manaka – A unique scent. Light and airy in nature. None of the five elements are easily detectable in this type of agarwood.
  • Manaban – A sweet scent. Manaban typically has quite a bit of oil.
  • Sumotara – An initially sour scent, but it tends to alternate between sour and bitter. Sometimes mistaken for Kyara.
  • Sasora – A cooling, slightly sour scent. Quality and scent can vary quite a bit on this one.

The Five Tastes of Agarwood

  • Sweet – Has a sweet smell, reminding one of honey.
  • Sour – Has a sour and acidic smell, reminding one of dark fruit.
  • Hot – Has a warming vibe, reminding one of heat, or the color orange.
  • Salty – Has a salty, oceanic scent, reminding one of ocean water and a cool wind.
  • Bitter – Has a bitter scent. This is the scent which your typical Vietnamese agarwood will have.

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